You Can’t Teach Height

June 6, 2012

You can’t teach height.  This has been a basketball cliche for as long as I can remember.  It also happens to be one of my favorite sayings.  At a lanky, un-athletic looking 6-4 I am often picked towards the end of pick-up basketball drafts.  I then usually proceed to drop one goofy looking hook shot after another over helpless shorter, quicker defenders proving that height is the ultimate weapon in basketball.  (If someone my height is guarding me then I am totally screwed.)  This playoffs Kevin Garnett is showing that even in the NBA being the biggest player on the court has its advantages.  He is averaging nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds per game against Miami.  This is even more absurd given that Garnett is in his 17th season in the league.  (Think about that for a minute.  He has been playing NBA basketball at a high level for longer than most people stay at the same job.  I was in freaking kindergarten when Garnett was drafted.  Now I am 22 and have graduated college and he still is dropping double doubles against elite competition.)  The fact that Garnett can still make plays like this one at age 36 is just crazy.

Garnett has been able to dominate this playoffs because he is an enormously skilled basketball player, and because in most cases he is 4 or 5 inches taller than the player guarding him.  The tallest heat player is Chris Bosh at 6-11 but he has been injured and has played only 14 minutes in the series.  (All in game 5 last night.)  The next tallest players are Joel Anthony at 6-9 and Udonis Haslem at 6-8.  Haslem and Anthony are very good defenders but they have just no chance against Garnett who is listed at 6-11 but in reality is well over 7 feet tall.  The Celtics staff jokingly refers to Garnett as 6-13.  As a result KG has just had his way with the heat defense.  He has scored the majority of his points on layups that resulted from simple lob passes over the defense and he has also dominated the glass.

I do not mean to diminish the accomplishments of Kevin Garnett.  As former number 2 draft pick and confirmed bum Hasheem Thabeet can tell you height does not guarantee success in the NBA.  But it is a pretty damn big advantage.  And unless Bosh comes back healthy for game six (and grows a sack) then Garnett is going to put the team on his back and drag them into the finals.


And as a bonus Garnett gives the best post-game interviews of all time.  I can’t believe I am actually linking to Doris Burke, but this one is too good to miss.

I like so much about this video but I think the clear winner is Garnett’s deathstare when he mentioned his critics and doubters.


BOO BOO go to Bed




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