Michael Wilbon thought Kevin Garnett going straight to the NBA from high school was a big mistake, and boy was he wrong.
We’ve unearthed a column from the Pardon The Interruption host from 1995, during his time with the Washington Post. In the piece, he argues Garnett skipping college was “foolish” and that he should have been studying for his ACT, not hoping for a pro hoops career.
On May 10, Garnett submitted his name for the upcoming NBA draft, perhaps jeopardizing his amateur status/college eligibility. Undoubtedly, Garnett should have been in a library on May 10 studying to retake the ACT so that he can go somewhere in August and be a college freshman.
Wilbon then argued Garnett wasn’t strong enough to play in the NBA.
“First of all, Kevin Garnett is not ready to play in the NBA. He just isn’t close. We’re going to assume his coach simply hasn’t seen enough NBA games, live, up-close. The kid isn’t physically ready to play under the basket in the Big Ten, much less against Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson. His skill level isn’t high enough; he isn’t savvy enough.”
Turns out, Garnett was quite ready, as during his rookie season in 1995-96, he averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and made the All-NBA Rookie team.
Here’s more from Wilbon:
“Most kids who have trouble scoring a 17 on the ACT, who have clearly put ball ahead of school their entire lives, have enough trouble going from high school to college, much less high school to real life. What’s your guess on whether Kevin Garnett has ever checked into a hotel by himself, whether he’s ever paid a bill or negotiated a foreign country (he could be drafted by Vancouver or Toronto) essentially by himself?
Second, Garnett simply ought to be continuing his education. I would contend, starting his education. Not ‘going to get that piece of paper,’ not ‘going to school so that I have something to fall back on,’ not even ‘working toward a degree.'”
Let’s just say KG made the right move.