Garnett sweating details
Celtic works out early, and often
By Marc J. Spears, Globe Correspondent September 4, 2007
LAS VEGAS - It's 8 a.m. in "Sin City." Many of the "what happens in Vegas . . ." tourists are either asleep or just getting to their hotels. As for Celtics new star forward Kevin Garnett, he's already up and working out on Labor Day.
Garnett is among more than 20 NBA players working out under the Abunassar Impact Basketball system at the Tarkanian Basketball Academy, but none may be taking it more seriously. For more than a week, the 10-time All-Star has been the first player to arrive for his six-day-a-week workouts. In fact, Garnett has been starting at 7 a.m. since arriving Aug. 27, and he began an hour later yesterday only because Joe Abunassar wanted his employees to have an extra hour of sleep on the holiday.
"I like my footprints to be the first in the sand," Garnett said.
Said Abunassar: "He's a [workout] freak and always has been. He likes to come in and get it done."
Abunassar has been working out Garnett for seven weeks this summer, the majority of the time in Los Angeles. The regimen includes about 90 minutes of weight training and 90 minutes of basketball drills and five-on-five scrimmages. While Celtics training camp doesn't begin until Sept. 30 in Rome, Garnett already seems to be in prime shape.
In one drill yesterday, Garnett showed how strong he is. Wearing a belt with a cable connected to it, Garnett was immovable as one man tried to yank him from the post with the cable and Abunassar tried unsuccessfully to steal the ball several times.
The 6-foot-11-inch, 253-pounder also sprinted while pulling a man with a resistance cable. After the drill, a sweat-drenched Garnett made the majority of his free throws while pumping himself up.
"C'mon Kevin. C'mon Kevin. C'mon Kevin," he said.
Garnett preferred not to talk much about his tough regimen. Abunassar said Garnett is private about it and doesn't like fanfare, and he could be the hardest worker of all the players Abunassar trains.
"He's so focused about getting ready," Abunassar said. "He's a leader by the way he is. That's why he's Kevin Garnett."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers would like his players to be in Boston for pre-training camp workouts by Sunday. According to Abunassar, Garnett is expected to arrive in Boston as early as tomorrow.
Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Garnett and guard Ray Allen have been calling their new teammates to get in early for voluntary workouts. According to Ainge, 8-10 Celtics have been working out, voluntarily, at the Waltham facility on a consistent basis. Ainge also wasn't surprised to hear Garnett has been working out hard.
"He's looking forward to this year," Ainge said. "Work ethic isn't something he's lacked."
Ainge said second-round draft pick Glen "Big Baby" Davis has signed a contract, with an official announcement to come today. The ex-Louisiana State star, the 35th overall pick, in the second round, averaged 12 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocked shots in five games of Summer League play.
"I like his versatility," Ainge said. "He can shoot the ball. He's a terrific rebounder, quick feet defensively. He played well in Summer League."
The Celtics have 13 players with guaranteed contracts; rookie forward Brandon Wallace is partially guaranteed and guard Jackie Manual signed a make-good contract. Ainge said the Celtics might not bring anyone else to training camp, and if they do, it probably won't be a big-name player.