Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Garnett Is Good Enough for the NBA Right Now

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Garnett Is Good Enough for the NBA Right Now

Article excerpt

Given the cold, bold world he has entered, the most refreshing - and frightening - thing about Kevin Garnett is that he really does act his age. He prefers to shoot his jumpers with lucky rubber bands around his wrists, and scrawl "Da Kid" in black ink across his sneakers. When his teammates go to a club, he goes home and plays video games.

With a $5.6 million, three-year contract, Garnett can afford the cover charge, and maybe even the notoriety. But when you're 19, not everything's legal.

Six months ago, Garnett was going to his senior prom. Now he's trying to guard Scottie Pippen. Those dance steps are a lot harder to learn.

But the Timberwolves - the Stengel Mets, but without the laughs - are betting that Garnett will learn. The kid destroyed All-Star prep competition the summer after his senior year at Chicago's Admiral Farragut High. At about the same time, he was failing to get the standardized test scores he needed to get a college scholarship. Garnett said he probably would have gone to Maryland. He still will, only now he'll be playing the Bullets.

Those Garnett's age go into the service, go off to the real world all the time, and nobody makes a big fuss. But when a kid goes straight from high school to the NBA, some act as if it's child abuse.

Lonely, is all. Garnett is the fifth American kid in 21 years to go to the NBA without playing college basketball. Of the others - Moses Malone, Bill Willoughby, Darryl Dawkins and Shawn Kemp - only Malone made the transition easily.

The 6-foot-11, 220-pound Garnett says it's a good life, but his enthusiasm soars when he recalls sitting home and watching the official opening of the college basketball season - Midnight Madness - on ESPN. College is where his superstar buddies are. Garnett is on the long and winding NBA road, in antiseptic hotel rooms, or at his suburban Minneapolis home with his childhood friend Jaime "Bug" Peters, listening to CDs and staring at TV.

Garnett grew up in Mauldin, S.C., but his life changed forever after his junior year. …

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