The Minnesota Timberwolves traded for the hands-down best player in franchise history on Wednesday as Kevin Garnett returned to Target Center. Earlier this offseason, the Minnesota Twins brought back one of the best players in franchise history in Torii Hunter. Everyone has compared the two, so let’s keep that going.
Hunter is 39. Garnett is 38.
Hunter is a five-time All-Star. Garnett is a 15-time All-Star. Both of their last All-Star appearances came in 2013.
Let’s all call a spade a spade; both of these players are back in Minnesota mainly for reasons that have nothing to do with the on-field or on-court product. It’s all about what surrounds the field and the court. The seats the fans sit in and the seats the other players sit in.
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Both Garnett and Hunter are back to sell some tickets by reminding us of the good ol’ days and it’ll work. I want to see Hunter play and Friday’s Wolves game has become appointment viewing. Hell, I want to go to Target Center and see him play again as a T-Wolf just for the heck of it.
If these two make you fall back in love with your teams and attend a game or two, they’ve completed half of their assignment.
The other half is the infamous ‘mentor’ role. Everyone should have a mentor, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a little overblown in sports, in my opinion. Hunter and Garnett are expected to do this.
Patrick Reusse has already talked about Hunter taking Aaron Hicks under his wing as the veteran reported well before he needed to in Florida. Ricky Rubio is already excited to learn from The Big Ticket.
To say ‘don’t expect production from either’ would be a ludicrous statement. Any player on any MLB or NBA roster should be expected to give something. Hunter should be expected to be better, since his production has yet to fall as drastically as Garnett, but we need to keep reminding ourselves of why they are really here.
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