Loyalty or Potential Titles, How Should Kevin Garnett Define His Final Ride?

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterFebruary 5, 2013

When Kevin Garnett says, "I bleed green," I believe the man. Considering his insane work ethic, intensity and extraterrestrial on-court screams, I might even take the "bleed green" statement literally.

Anyway, KG is espousing strong loyalty to the Boston Celtics as trade rumors flit about this disappointing season (skip to 2:10 mark): 

As a basketball fan, I would love to see Garnett finish his final act in Boston. I have an affinity for what remains of the 2007-08 Celtics and find a certain romance in Paul Pierce and Garnett aging through the duration of their contracts.

If I were to choose a song for my vision of what the veteran Celtics should be, it'd be this one:

Get old, eventually bottom out. Tank, get a great draft pick, sign a free agent.

Danny Ainge might feel differently. It's his job to help his team win in the short term, and Garnett's trade value diminishes by the day.

Also relevant: Garnett has a no-trade clause. KG is his own personal GM, in control of his own destiny. That won't stop the trade rumors, though:   

KG for Bledsoe/DeAndre is a fascinating trade rumor. I can tell you 2 teams that don't want that trade to happen: OKC and Miami.

— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) February 4, 2013

Any trade rumor involving Kevin Garnett is likely to involve at least two elements, and the above rumor has both.

The first is "Los Angeles," because Garnett has a home in Malibu. The second is a trade to a title-contending team.

At this point in Garnett's career, he should obviously do whatever makes him happiest. I can't tell him what that is from afar.

But what I can say is that KG is in the unique position where fans wouldn't resent him for leaving. The perception is that Boston can't win with this team, and that trading Garnett might be a way to rebuild.

Should KG leave to chase a title, he will not get booed like Ray Allen did. After all, Danny Ainge is still the one making the trade. It's a bit different than racing off to Miami.  

Garnett's situation is fraught and strange. Loyalty to the Celtics might mean letting them trade him. 

In a way, it's a positive position for Garnett. The fans will love him for staying and they'll almost certainly forgive him for leaving.