As most followers of the NBA know, the North American Committee has announced their nominees for the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Some of those names include Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Chris Bosh. This is, undoubtedly, the greatest nomination class of all time.
Kobe, Duncan, KG and Bosh combine for 59 NBA All-Star game appearances, 13 NBA Championships, and 4 NBA MVPs. The top coaches include George Karl (4 time All-Star game coach, .588 winning percentage) and Rudy Tomjanovich (2 time NBA champion, .561 winning percentage). The only Hall of Fame class that can even hold a candle to this class is the 2009 HoF Class, with Michael Jordan, David Robinson and John Stockton.
Other notable nominees are Swin Cash (WNBA, 4-time WNBA All-Star, 3-time WNBA champion), Tamika Catchings (WNBA, 10-time WNBA All-Star, 2011 WNBA MVP, 2012 WNBA champion), 1936 U.S. Olympic Team (gold medal in first Olympic basketball competition), Loyola Chicago (credited for ushering in racial equality in college sports).
And while this was big news, Kevin Garnett wanted to add another headline to the mix.
“We broke LeBron…you understand how he got to Miami?” Garnett said of his team’s dominance over LeBron’s 2009-10 Cavaliers. KG claimed to have run LeBron out of Cleveland and to Miami. All of this was on the Bill Simmons Podcast, which is part of The Ringer.
The Boston Celtics beat LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Garnett and the Celtics thought they had broken LeBron a second time, after game 5 of the ECF (Celtics were up 3-2). Garnett said: “The Cs, we didn’t give a f*** about LeBron. We didn’t fear LeBron and we didn’t think that he could beat all five of us. And that’s how it felt. He was trying to consolidate because he didn’t want the pressure on him.”
Unfortunately for them, LeBron went off in game 6, with a 45-15-5 statline, leading both teams in points and rebounds. Then in game 7, LeBron dropped 31 points while collecting 13 boards, leading Miami to a 101-88 victory. The Heat eventually beat the OKC Thunder in the NBA Finals, 4 games to 1.
But KG had an explanation for them losing, as well. He went bold, and said that the Heat won solely because the NBA wanted them to. Not sure how that works.
“The league knew they had an agenda in which we wasn’t a part of the agenda,” KG said. “That’s how they ended up winning that series. Yeah, I said it.”
Even if the Miami Heat were not part of the NBA’s agenda, they certainly were one of the top teams for four years, winning two NBA championships with Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.
But some advice Kevin Garnett gave LeBron after the 2010 playoff series between the Celtics and Cavaliers might have something to do with why LeBron has chosen to be on four different teams throughout his career.
“Loyalty is something that hurts you at times, because you can’t get youth back,” Garnett said. “I can honestly say that if I could go back and do my situation over, knowing what I know now with this organization, I’d have done it a little sooner…”
While I am sure there are many other reasons LeBron has changed teams over the years, from the age of player empowerment to what is best for his family, Kevin Garnett seems to be an underrated factor of LeBron’s decisions.