The year was 1995. A young 19-year-old by the name of Kevin Garnett was making headlines as he became the first player in 20 years to get drafted straight out of high school. After obtaining national recognition as a young basketball player, Garnett went to the Minnesota Timberwolves as the fifth overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft.
Kevin Garnett’s career with the Timberwolves
Despite his 6-foot and 240-pound stature, Garnett did not immediately make his presence known at Minnesota. However, by his second season in the NBA, Garnett made his scoring prowess and top rebounding skills known across the league.
Between 1995 and 2007, Garnett racked up impressive stats, individual honors, and millions of dollars. Despite his individual success, Garnett had never been able to obtain the NBA title during his twelve-year stint with the Timberwolves.
Championship run with the Celtics
In 2007, Garnett started a new era of his career. After a huge package deal, Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, and Theo Ratliff, along with cash considerations and draft picks. The Garnett trade was a 7-for-1 deal, which turned out to be the largest trade for a single player in league history.
The trade paid off for both the Celtics and Garnett, as the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA Championship. This was the first and only championship title that Garnett would be able to seize throughout his 22 years in the league. After six seasons in Boston, the Celtics traded Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in 2013.
Two seasons with the Nets
Garnett started his 19th NBA season with the Brooklyn Nets. It was at the Nets that Garnett surpassed 14,000 career rebounds. He was only the tenth player in league history to reach this milestone.
While at the Nets, Garnett also reached a milestone that only two other NBA stars, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone, had accomplished, reaching 25,000 points, 14,000 rebounds, and 5,000 assists. Garnett would only play two seasons for the Nets before returning to where it all started.
Return to Minnesota
After eight years away, Garnett agreed to a trade deal that would send him back to the team where his NBA career had started twenty years earlier. In 2015, Garnett would once again wear a Timberwolves jersey. Garnett would finish out his last two seasons with the Timberwolves, announcing his retirement on September 23, 2016. After twenty-two seasons in the league, Kevin Garnett left a lasting legacy and impact on the NBA.
Kevin Garnett’s hardships and hard feelings
Garnett entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for the Class of 2020. Despite his hall of fame career and fourteen seasons with the team, the Timberwolves have never retired his jersey number. Rightfully so, Garnett feels slighted by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ organization and the owners.
Ultimately, Garnett has no respect left for the Timberwolves’ ownership, particularly Glen Taylor. Timberwolves owner, Glen Taylor, has always had a rocky relationship with the hall of fame. In 2007, Taylor even accused Garnett of faking a leg injury in order to sit out the last five games of the season.
Garnett has not been shy about his feelings toward Taylor. While the two had never been on great terms, their relationship became even worse in 2015. It was initially agreed that Garnett would become part of the ownership group of the Timberwolves after returning to the team in 2015. However, after the death of Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, Taylor went back on this agreement.
At this point, Garnett has publicly stated that he does not wish to have his Timberwolves’ jersey retired or have any dealings with Glen Taylor of the Timberwolves organization. Garnett feels like a jersey retirement now would just not feel genuine and does not wish to be a part of it. After a hall of fame career, it’s a sad ending for both Garnett and Timberwolves’ fans.