Lenn Robbins, the Nets in-house beat writer, profiles Kevin Garnett, his role in this month's training camp and how it's changed the personality of the Nets.
"He has wasted little time putting his stamp on this team. He was the first player on the court for each practice during training camp. He bought the team dinner Friday night, treating them to barbecue. He has been known to buy rookie teammates suits because it's important to him that they dress the part of an NBA player."
Robbins talks to a mixture of experts on the KG Effect, from Jason Terry to Celtics play-by-play announcer Sean Grande as well as an expert on physical contact and trust. "The way he affects the culture in a locker room is like no other player in the NBA,'' said Grande. "Some players are vocal leaders. Some lead by example. Some lead with their play. He does all three."
But perhaps the most telling example of leadership came earlier this week when Alan Anderson missed a free throw at the end of practice, making his teammates run wind sprints. Anderson, writes Robbins, dropped his head in embarrassment. Robbins describes what happens next...
Garnett clandestinely moves alongside the teammate who he once coached in his summer camp.
"Control your breathing when you get up there,'' he says.
Anderson buries his next free throw. Garnett claps, his two huge hands clanging together like cast iron pans.