What's buzzing:

Ball Don't Lie

Kevin Garnett is ready to die for the Celtics

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

View photo

.

Kevin Garnett fends for his life (Jim Rogash/ Getty).

Calling Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett an intense athlete is like calling water wet or salt salty. There have been few players in the history of the league as committed as Garnett, and that passion shows in pretty much everything he does on the basketball court. In a sport where players need any edge they can get to be successful, Garnett always seems to have a psychological advantage.

[Related: Celtics know they're in for a fight after Sixers even series ]

That's so much the case, in fact, that it sometimes seems as if he takes things too seriously. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that he considers his devotion to the Celtics as a matter of life and death. From an interview with WEEI in Boston, as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews (via SLAM):

How tired he was at the end of the game against the 76ers:

"I'd die out here if I had to and that's real talk. I've been doing this for a long time and ways where I know how to conserve energy and get 'em at free-throw lines and when guys are shooting free throws, those are valuable seconds for me. When I train in the summer I train for a lack of, and when I say that, I mean rest. I program my body to recover as quickly as it can. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm a cerebral player these days and I know how to buy myself time on pick-and-rolls and stuff like that, things that you don't see when you're in your seat and it helps me."

KG's answer is generally about staying fresh as he ages, but the dying comment nevertheless provides a telling picture of how he approaches the game. For KG, it's not simply a matter of wanting things more, but that what he's doing is actually about staying alive. Basketball becomes something that encompasses his whole life, not just his job or an issue of effort.

Players exaggerate emotions all the time, but KG stands out for seeming as if he legitimately believes the hyperbole of talking trash. The things he says aren't what gives him his edge. It's that he buys into them instead of treating them as mind games.

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
David Stern wants to stop flopping in the NBA; What can be done?
Michigan president admits hiring Rich Rodriguez was a bad move
Shine: Beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh-Jennings almost lost out on Olympic dream

View Comments (81)
  • Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

    Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

    Jim Fanning, the longtime Montreal Expos executive who managed the franchise to its only playoff appearance in Canada, has died. The Toronto Blue Jays confirmed Fanning's death Saturday. Fanning was the Expos' general manager when the team entered … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

    Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

    They were beaten badly in the regular season and were losing by a little in the playoffs. On their seventh try this season, the Nets finally got a victory over Atlanta. Brook Lopez had 22 points and 13 rebounds, Thaddeus Young added 18 points and … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Mets ace Matt Harvey slows Yankees in 8-2 win

    Mets ace Matt Harvey slows Yankees in 8-2 win

    Matt Harvey finished one out shy of a complete game, earning his first win against the team he rooted for growing up and leading the New York Mets to an 8-2 victory Saturday over the crosstown rival Yankees. Kevin Plawecki hit his first major … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Sheahan hammers a PPG into the top corner

    Sheahan hammers a PPG into the top corner

    Detroit Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan smacks a one-timer from the right circle top-shelf by Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop to open the scoring. … More »

    NHL Highlights - 11 minutes ago
  • Stowers stuns field to win 100 hurdler at Drake Relays

    Stowers stuns field to win 100 hurdler at Drake Relays

    The field for the women's 110-meter hurdle race at the Drake Relays was so stacked that hometown favorite Lolo Jones' late scratch was barely noticed. All those stars couldn't touch unheralded Jasmin Stowers - who likely won't be an afterthought … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago