Garnett's Game-Face Getting Attention

KG's Rookie Season

There was still more than an hour left before Kevin Garnett's first regular-season NBA game in his new home arena, and he already looked unhappy about it. He didn't look 19 years old, either. Not with that scowl. Trying hard to concentrate on Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, and, like his teammates, peeved by the Wolves' 0-2 start on the road, Garnett wasn't talking.

He wasn't upset, just focused. ``I don't talk before games,'' he grumbled, bristling like a veteran. Less than five months out of Chicago's Farragut High School, Garnett already is becoming known for his game face. After taking him with the fifth pick overall last June, the Wolves hope he eventually will become known for his game, too.

``He's impressing me, but he's been impressing me all along,'' coach Bill Blair said before his second Target Center opener. ``He doesn't look like a rookie.'' Garnett, trying to become just the fourth player to jump from high school to the pros, scored eight points in 16 minutes during his first game at Sacramento on Friday. He was scoreless with three rebounds in 11 minutes at Vancouver on Sunday.

Remarkably skinny at 6 feet 11 and 220 pounds, Garnett must mature physically before he will be ready to approach the star level many predict for him. The Wolves, with perhaps their deepest team since joining the league in 1989, are bringing Garnett along slowly, introducing him slowly to the rigors of the NBA. ``I don't want to push him into things that he's not ready for,'' Blair said.

There was nothing unusual about Garnett's first road trip, the coach said. Nothing to make the teen-ager seem any different than his teammates. ``He was just like everybody else,'' Blair said. ``He keeps to himself. He's very careful.'' Watching Garnett shoot around before the game, Rick Schrupp was hopeful that he was about to watch the first game of what could be an exciting career for Garnett. ``They've got a project on their hands,'' said Schrupp, a 23-year-old fan from Monticello. ``But three or four years out, I think he can be very good.''

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