Kevin Garnett on being a professional athlete: ‘You’ve got to be a lot more willing to run through the rope’

David Akerman
2 Min Read

Kevin Garnett is one of the most polarizing figures in NBA history.

Apart from being a great player, he was one of the league’s biggest trash-talkers. Garnett has also constantly been praised for his passion regarding the game of basketball.

In a profile with GQ, the Hall of Famer talked about where he would go mentally during games throughout his career.

“To be a professional athlete, I truly believe you have to be a little—you’ve got to be a lot more willing to run through the rope. … Some people get off on that,” Garnett told Michael Pina. “I would hear Arnold Schwarzenegger sometimes talk about having orgasms when he would lift. [In ‘Pumping Iron,’ Schwarzenegger compared the feeling of lifting to ‘coming.’] And I went, ‘F—, what? F— outta here.’ But then when I would run and I would work on these moves and I would actually see my s— working, and then I’d get in a game and, He went for it! Oh, s—. How’d he go for that s—? And I understand. I understand the chase.”

It is no surprise to hear Garnett speaking in this way. He was definitely one of the more intense players in the league throughout his career.

During his time in the NBA, the former-first round pick was named an All-Star 15 times. He also won an MVP award, NBA championship and Defensive Player of the Year award.

Garnett averaged 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 blocks per game on 49.7 percent shooting from the field throughout his career in the NBA.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who has experience in writing, editing and video production. He has been following the NBA and NFL for as long as he can remember.