Whomever Kevin Garnett eventually chooses as the presenter for his Hall of Fame induction, there will be a can’t-miss talking point.
He or she or maybe they will be introducing one of the most unselfish stars in the history of the game. Those words are plaque-ready. In the past, those words have also been a problem for a Celtics team with an occasional thirst for more offense.
But that’s the tradeoff. The voice, if not always the scoring, never is absent in its own comically profane way.
“Not only does he have a loud voice — and it can be really loud — but his example speaks even louder,” Ainge said. “I’ve just been so impressed by his consistency. I’ve never been more impressed with Kevin. Just his focus and leadership has been so important to this team. He has sort of willed the team to play the way they’re playing now, and his defense has carried us through the season.
“Kevin leads as well as anyone I’ve been around. His approach to his teammates isn’t always the best, because he sets such high expectations, and it can be loud. But he only wants to win. Just by the example of his own commitment, he brings more out of these guys.
“He’s getting up there in age, and when he goes out there with that energy and passion every night, how can you not do the same thing when you see what he’s doing?”
Ultimately, it’s the qualities unseen by all but Garnett’s teammates that count the most.
“I don’t know how other teams see us. As far as morale and confidence, we don’t lack too much of that around here,” Garnett said. “We’re a great team. Our positions and personnel are all about the system and knowing your role in the system. You carry your role 100 percent whole-heartedly, and that’s your contribution to the team.
“If you’re a big guy, you get the scorers and the guards open. We’re still trying to figure out this rebound thing, but for the most part defensively we’re helping each other. Doc’s system is not very complicated, but it does call for you to give everything you have. From that standpoint, if you’re a player who loves to play hard and work hard, then you can fit into this system. Otherwise you won’t make it.”
The Celtics’ top cop always will see to that.
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