Kevin Garnett is arguably the best player in NBA history to come from the city of Chicago. Anthony Davis certainly feels like the next star to cement his name in this city’s hoop lore.
Through their first three seasons, the two superstar careers are heading on a very similar path.
And it’s not just statistical. Their rise up the ranks of the NBA’s elite played along very similar storylines. Between being top five draft picks from the same city, going to organizations in dire need of a face-lift, and instantly becoming the household name at a young age, Anthony Davis and Kevin Garnett’s early years have essentially become spitting images of each other.
That’s just a statistical comparison. You see the offensive numbers favor Davis. That’s expected as the current brand of basketball is offensive fireworks and allowing athleticism to shine.
It might be the defensive side of the ball that’s more significant, however. Note the block numbers from these two. Davis has led the NBA in blocks each of the last two seasons with 2.8 and 2.9 blocks per game respectively.
Garnett, who is known as one of the better shot-blocking power forwards of this generation, averaged 2.3 each in years two and three. KG, too, would go on to become a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times — a team that Davis is likely to be a member of on more than one occasion.
It’s their elite ability as two-way players that have allowed them to essentially carry their respective teams to the NBA playoffs in just their third season in the NBA. Note, Garnett, and the Timberwolves made the playoffs in his second season with a 40-42 record. Davis’ Pelicans showed massive improvement from year one to year two, but they missed out on the playoffs finishing with a 34-48 record.
Professional sport has always been about comparisons. The NBA specifically has always been a comparative sport given importance of the individual player.
Anthony Davis compares to Kevin Garnett simply when you administer the eye test. But if you line up these two resumes through three years in the NBA, you see some of these odd similarities.
Just like we’ve enjoyed Kevin Garnett for the past 21 seasons, we can rest easy knowing that as he hangs them up, we have a player like Anthony Davis seamlessly carrying the torch.
(Featured Image courtesy of Keith Allison)