Kevin Garnett is two years removed from his NBA career, but you don’t have to look too far to see The Big Ticket’s influence on the league. The emerging crop of star big men led by Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, and Kristaps Porzingis are all following in the footsteps of Garnett when he came in the league 21 years ago as a 7-footer hoisting jump shots and doing his best work facing the basket.
Garnett now watches games from home, except for Thursday nights when he comes to Atlanta to watch from his own section of the Turner studios called “Area 21” for TNT’s Inside The NBA broadcasts. The atmosphere is “lounge meets basketball court,” which is perfect because it allows for a more laid back vibe than a traditional set, while also allowing the always energetic Garnett to move around and, at times, talk to guests while they shoot baskets, with additional videos airing on “Area 21” Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout the night as well. Plus it includes a “Cuss Button” that he can smash to mute the mics when the language goes beyond PG.
On Thursday night, Garnett will host three WNBA stars on “Area 21” when Sue Bird, Lindsay Whalen, and Cynthia Cooper drop by. Garnett spoke with Dime Magazine on Thursday morning about the importance of providing more of a platform for WNBA players and their voice, as well as his thoughts on the early season struggles from some of the league’s top teams and how much pride he takes in watching those young star bigs doing things on the court that he started (as well as the influences that shaped his style).