The ‘Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett – ’04 NBA/ MVP Trophy ©Photofile’ images
The NBA’s 2016-2017 Season will be without another star player. Kobe and Tim Duncan retired during the summer and on September 22, Kevin Garnett hung up his sneakers. KG will be remembered for his fiery attitude and passion on the court. At the age of 19 KG was drafted – straight out of high school – by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995. Garnett’s decision to skip college and turn pro led many other high school players to do the same in the years that followed. Garnett was the most notable player to make the leap since the great Moses Malone.
By the end of his career, Garnett was a mere shell of himself. He’d left Boston – to ring chase in Brooklyn(2013-2015) before returning “home” to Minnesota(1995-2007; 2015-2016) – where he reached the NBA Finals twice and won a ring in 2008. The early part of his career in Minnesota brought about a change in how 7-footers – “6’12” as he referred to his height – were viewed in the NBA. KG’s ability as a triple-threat(passer, shooter, and dribbler) made him a tough cover all over the court. His tenacious defense and trash talk were also key parts of his game. Minnesota had a lot of “firsts” with KG on their team. They reached the Playoffs for the first time in 1996-1997 and 8 consecutive times total with him on the squad. It all paid off in 2004 when KG was voted MVP
of the NBA and helped Minnesota win a franchise record 58 games. That season saw the T-Wolves notch their first and only Division Championship and Western Conference Finals appearance. Unfortunately that’s the last time Minnesota reached the Playoffs. Before the start of the 2007-2008 season Garnett joined the Boston Celtics to form a “Big 3” with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. People talk about those 3 but Boston had one of the most loaded rosters in NBA history. Nonetheless Boston won the Eastern Conference and then defeated the Los Angeles Lakers to capture their 17th NBA Championship. And KG gave us his now famous line.
I enjoyed watching KG in the early part of his career in Minnesota and had a respectful dislike of him when he played in Boston/Brooklyn. It stemmed from the fact that he was an irritant to everybody that he played with and against (just lookup KG-Carmelo or KG-“Big Baby” Glen Davis). He also helped make LeBron’s first stint with the Cavaliers rough after joining the Celtics. That doesn’t diminish from his stellar Hall of Fame career. So I say “thanks KG and good riddance.”
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