12.04.2008

Russ, KG, & Walton

When Red Auerbach sat down with Bill Russell to negotiate their first contract, Red told Russ that he didn't care about statistics. Red told Russell that his true value could never be measured by raw statistics.

Instead, the only statistics that mattered to Red were wins and losses. Red continued to apply this philosophy to negotiations even after Wilt Chamberlain came into the league. In fact, Red made a point of always paying Russ at least $1 more than Wilt, just to clear up any ambiguity that existed over the relative worth of the two players.

Red had a similar discussion with Bill Walton during their first contract negotiations, which relieved the Mountain Man, because his numbers had been in decline for some time. Red wasn't alive when Danny acquired KG, but Danny understands the bottom line has nothing to do with KG's declining fantasy numbers.
YR        G  GS  MIN   FG      FG%    FT     FT% STL BLK  TO  PF OFF TOT  AST PTS

95-96 MIN 80 43 28.7 4.5-9.2 .491 1.3-1.9 .705 1.1 1.6 1.4 2.4 2.2 6.3 1.8 10.4

96-97 MIN 77 77 38.9 7.1-14.3 .499 2.7-3.5 .754 1.4 2.1 2.3 2.6 2.5 8.1 3.1 17.0

97-98 MIN 82 82 39.3 7.7-15.8 .491 3.0-4.0 .738 1.7 1.8 2.3 2.7 2.7 9.6 4.2 18.5

98-99 MIN 47 47 37.9 8.8-19.1 .460 3.1-4.4 .704 1.7 1.8 2.9 3.2 3.5 10.4 4.3 20.8

99-00 MIN 81 81 40.0 9.4-18.8 .497 3.8-5.0 .765 1.5 1.6 3.3 2.5 2.8 11.8 5.0 22.9

00-01 MIN 81 81 39.5 8.7-18.2 .477 4.4-5.8 .764 1.4 1.8 2.8 2.5 2.7 11.4 5.0 22.0

01-02 MIN 81 81 39.2 8.1-17.3 .470 4.4-5.5 .801 1.2 1.6 2.8 2.3 3.0 12.1 5.2 21.2

02-03 MIN 82 82 40.5 9.1-18.1 .502 4.6-6.1 .751 1.4 1.6 2.8 2.4 3.0 13.5 6.0 23.0

03-04 MIN 82 82 39.4 9.8-19.6 .499 4.5-5.7 .791 1.5 2.2 2.6 2.5 3.0 13.9 5.0 24.2

04-05 MIN 82 82 38.1 8.3-16.6 .502 5.4-6.7 .811 1.5 1.4 2.7 2.5 3.0 13.5 5.7 22.2

05-06 MIN 76 76 38.9 8.2-15.7 .526 5.2-6.4 .810 1.4 1.4 2.4 2.7 2.8 12.7 4.1 21.8

06-07 MIN 76 76 39.4 8.4-17.6 .476 5.5-6.6 .835 1.2 1.7 2.7 2.4 2.4 12.8 4.1 22.4

07-08 BOS 71 71 32.8 7.5-13.9 .539 3.8-4.7 .801 1.4 1.3 1.9 2.3 1.9 9.2 3.4 18.8

08-09 BOS 18 17 32.8 7.0-14.2 .494 1.9-2.4 .814 1.1 1.3 1.9 1.9 1.6 8.5 2.2 16.0
It is interesting to contrast KG's numbers not only with his numbers from last year but with his numbers from his last couple of years in Minnesota.

Points per game--Down from last year, way down from Minny
Rebounds per game--Down from last year, way down from Minny
Assists per game--Down from last year, way down from Minny
Free throws per game--Down from last year, way down from Minny
Shots per game--About the same as last year, down from Minny

Some of this might be attributable to the fact that his minutes are down, too. But the Celtics continue to pile up the wins in convincing fashion, and KG is playing no small role.

Verdict?

Like Bill Russell and Bill Walton before him, KG's value can't be measured by numbers. He's found the perfect environment, perfect coach, and perfect team for what he brings to the floor.

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