kgflipIn an attempt to shed its image as a site dedicated to shouty fan blog posts and slide shows, Bleacher Report in recent years has hired accomplished writers and taken on more ambitious projects.

One of the best things I’ve seen from the site is an oral history of Kevin Garnett, which starts with this setup:

As Garnett’s brilliant career quietly winds down back where it all began, in Minnesota—after stops in Boston and Brooklyn—it seems like the right time to reflect on one of the most unique figures ever to grace the NBA.

B/R spoke to more than 40 people who played or worked with Garnett over the course of his basketball life for a two-part oral history of a unique NBA career.

It’s full of wonderful detail from voices both current and perhaps long-forgotten, including this anecdote from Garnett’s predraft workout in 1995:

John Hammond, Bucks general manager: The thing that I remember vividly was how nervous Kevin was. He got to the point early in the workout where basically he almost started hyperventilating. I thought he was going to pass out. … So he and I just walked to the other end of the court, with no one on that end. Now we have our backs to everyone. I just had him start shooting some free throws and tried to get him to relax and pull himself back together.

And this from Flip Saunders: That was probably the best workout I’ve ever seen one individual ever have. … Kevin [McHale] and I both thought that there was no risk. We were just hoping that he was going to be there.

Oral histories can be hit or miss, but this one is a must-read. It’s so long that it’s in two parts, but it’s well worth your time.

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