Kevin Garnett is old. In fact, when he finishes playing out his freshly signed, two-year, $16 million contract, he’ll have played more years than anyone in NBA history — 22. That got me to thinking about how much has happened since Garnett started playing.
It’s been a productive career. In fact, it would be hard to argue for anyone else as the greatest all-around power forward of all time. He’s the only player ever to record 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 blocks and 1,500 steals.
The sheer volume of Garnett’s work is impressive, especially when you consider it in the scope of the history around it.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
On Nov. 3, 1995, a guy named Pierre Omidyar looked at this new-fangled Internet thing and thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if you could buy and sell stuff online? So he founded something called AuctionWeb.com, which later changed its name to EBay.
Do you get it? Garnett’s career is as old as buying and selling stuff online!!!
Garnett’s NBA debut came on the exact same date, Nov. 3, 1995. It was one day after the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened up in Cleveland, Ohio. Since Garnett first played, more than 8.5 million have gone there since it opened its doors. Do you know how long it takes for 8.5 million to visit Cleveland? Just ask Joakim Noah.
On the day Garnett took the court the first time, the No. 1 song in the country was Gangsta’s Paradise. There was still cool in Coolio. That’s old.
Michael Jordan was retired — the first time!!! He had only three rings because he was too busy filming Space Jam and striking out playing baseball.
Bill Clinton was still in his first term as POTUS. No one knew who Monica Lewinsky was yet, including Clinton. Their first alleged encounter wasn’t until November of that year.
The highest-grossing movie was Batman Forever, which was pretty much a disaster, unlike Garnett’s career. But at least the Forever part of the whole thing works. Braveheart came out the same year. Mel Gibson wasn’t a racist yet and “They will never take our freedom” became one of the greatest movie lines of all time.
The highest-rated TV show was E.R., in its second season. Friends and Seinfeld were the top-rated comedies. Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox were are still hot. Garnett’s not the only one handling the years well. Xena: Warrior Princess debuted.
League Pass was in just its second year of existence, so you could watch your favorite team on your CRT. But high-definition broadcasts were still a year away, and high-def TVs were mostly just a great idea:
But if you wanted to watch a movie on your SDTV, you could watch it in 480p!!! It was crystal clear because these new-fangled DVD things were out. They were like CDs but they were for movies. (That’s what we had before Blu-Ray kids.)
The cool new operating system from Windows was “Windows 95.” OK, that was probably easy. But did you know that the Start Window and the taskbar at the bottom of your screen (if you use Windows) were innovations from that one? It was a cool upgrade.
A cutting-edge, top-of-the-line computer in ’95 was utilizing eight whole megabytes of memory. Eight! That was like fire! Of course, that would cost you $800 (just for the memory), but it was totally worth it. And your super elite hard drive was capable of holding an entire gigabyte!!! A PC like that was going to run you around $3,000.
But one computer innovation that affected everyone who had a computer was the mouse. That little wheel scroll in the middle was an invention from 1995. So think about that the next time you’re scrolling down one of my articles.
If someone called you on your cell phone, you pulled one of these big clunky things out of your pocket. And you were filthy rich:
Here’s a mindblower. When Garnett was a rookie, he played against Robert Parish twice. He scored 24 total points in those two games. But it was the end of Parish’s career, and it’s Parish’s record for seasons played that Garnett will tie this year.
When Parish was a rookie for the Golden State Warriors, John Havlicek, the last Boston Celtic of the 60s dynasty was playing his penultimate season. Thus, Parish links the three Celtic championship teams — from the Bill Russell years to the Larry Bird years to the Kevin Garnett years.
Since Garnett started playing, we’ve been introduced to Broadband Internet, Netflix, YouTube, smartphones, Twitter, Facebook, DVRs and flat screens.
We’ve seen innovative shows like 24 come and go, and we’ve seen “reality TV” shows like The Bachelor and 30 seasons too many of Survivor “enrich” the national conversation.
The nation has passed through a sex scandal, an impeachment, the most controversial election ever, the worst terrorist attack, two wars, the Great Recession and two economic recoveries.
We’ve seen the introduction of the Euro.
We’ve seen the invention of the GPS. There once was a time, when you were driving somewhere, and you got lost, you used a map. A frigging map!!!
We’ve seen Ray Allen’s entire career begin and end. The same goes with Tony Gonzales, Ray Lewis and Mariano Rivera. Derek Jeter debuted just a few months before Garnett.
Significant aspects of just about everything, ranging from sports history to world history have changed while Garnett has been playing basketball. And almost every detail of life has been touched in some way.
But there’s Garnett, still bouncing the same ball (they tried to change that, but it didn’t take) on the same hardwood and still doing damage. That’s one hell of a legacy, but Garnett sure is one old dude.