Was Kevin Garnett the First Hip-Hop Athlete? Da Kid Goes Back Home.
Many see Allen Iverson as the prototypical Hip-Hop athlete. Iverson entered the NBA from the Georgetown Hoyas in 1996, full of swagger with his cornrows, jewelry and baggy jeans. However, it was perhaps Kevin Garnett, who was drafted into the league straight out of high school a year earlier, who was the original embodiment of Hip-Hop in sports.
Last week, Garnett was traded back to his original team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and The Shadow League, has done an extensive piece on the groundbreaking career of the player now simply known as “KG.” Check out some excerpts from the article below, as well as a link to the full piece.
Here’s an excerpt from The Shadow League:
“You could hear it in his voice. You could see it in his style. The big diamond earrings in both ears with the scully tilted to the side while wearing a triple phat goose with a fur hood, yet with the verbal skills to shatter any negative stereotypes that would originate from a mere look at his physical presence. We knew it. We saw it. We recognized it. We appreciated it, and most importantly, we understood it when “others” could/would not.
Although many attempt to “perpetrate the fraud” as my late Uncle would say, Garnett’s leadership, basketball intelligence and rugged emotional authenticity is something you can’t fake. You either have it or you don’t.
A.I. had it.
Derek Rose has it.
But KG came before them. He had the moxy that brands like And1 craved, and the personality and demeanor that brands like Gatorade and Adidas desperately wanted to tap into when they realized that they had to build a connection to the rapidly developing influence of urban culture. He has the style that made Beats come calling when they needed an athlete to don their headphones in a commercial, appropriately using Aloe Blacc’s ‘The Man.'”