The Rituals of KG

Foul shot hexes and the bunny hop butt slap

Finally, mention must be made of Foul Shot Hexes and Blessings. This seems to be one of the more strategic, situation-oriented components of Garnett's arsenal. Sometimes, but not always, before an opponent is about to take a foul shot, he'll ask for the ball from the referee and briefly squeeze and stare at it before giving it back. Occasionally it seems to be a matter of some urgency, and he'll practically wrest the ball away from the ref or the player holding it. Less often, he'll call for possession and do the squeeze and stare before he or one of his teammates is shooting the foul shot.

These are obviously blessings where the others are hexes. They have replaced the Head Bash With the Ball that KG used to perform at irregular intervals when he'd miss from the free-throw line.

Perhaps not surprisingly, neither KG nor his teammates and coaches seem very willing to talk about his many rituals or routines. "Yeah, I do have a lot of little superstitions and stuff," Garnett says with a chuckle when I raise the subject in the Wolves' locker room after a game. Can I talk to you about them and what they all mean? I ask. "Noooooooooo," he howls, the smile still on his face. He shoots me a "you've got to be crazy" look before adding, "I ain't going to tell you what they mean."

No matter. It's working.

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