The Tragedy Of Kevin GarnettCourtesy of True Hoop, a link to David Berri's blog in which "The Wages of Wins" co-author expands on the book's reasoning that KG is the most productive player in the league.
The problem for KG is not his game, but his teammates. In 2002-03 Garnett produced 31.5 wins. The rest of his team produced 15.1. The next season Garnett produced 30.5 wins while the rest of the T-Wolves produced 25.3 victories. The increased productivity of his teammates allowed the writers to notice Garnett and give him the league MVP award.
In 2004-05, as we note in the book, Garnett was essentially the same player who won the MVP. He produced 30 wins, but his teammates only produced 14.8 victories. This past season, just to make life even less fun, his teammates only produced 9.4 wins. So over the past four seasons, Garnett’s teammates have averaged 16.1 wins per year. Although Garnett is averaging close to 30 wins per season, it is not enough to overcome the performance of his co-workers.
This past season no player in the league had less productive teammates. Only two of his fellow T-Wolves posted an above average wins production per-minute played – Wally Szczerbiak and Eddie Griffin – and one of these was traded away during the season. And Griffin was only barely above average.
And that is the tragedy of Kevin Garnett. Year after year he is the most productive player in the league. And year after year he plays with many players who are not only not average, but quite a bit below average.