NBA

Kevin Garnett Once Told the Late Craig Sager to Go Home and Burn All His Clothes

Kevin Garnett, who won an NBA title with the Celtics and starred for the Minnesota Timberwolves for years, is one guy who isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind. The late Craig Sager, a sports reporter and fan favorite, was known for his flashy sports jackets and colorful outfits. When the two got together, the outcome was predictable. Garnett simply told Sager to go home and burn his clothes.

Kevin Garnett’s basketball career

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Kevin Garnett was the fifth overall player selected in the 1995 NBA draft. The 6-foot-11, 240-pound forward came right out of high school after attending Farragut Career Academy in Chicago. The Minnesota Timberwolves gambled on the kid with zero college experience and it certainly paid off.

Garnett went on to play 21 seasons in the NBA. He spent the first 12 seasons of his lengthy career in Minnesota, where he averaged 19.8 points and 11 rebounds per game. Garnett was an NBA All-Star for 10 of those seasons. He was named the league’s MVP for the 2003-04 season. Prior to the 2007-08 season, Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics for five players, including Al Jefferson, and a pair of future first-round picks.

In Boston, Garnett didn’t put up the individual numbers he did as the go-to guy in Minnesota, but he was able to be a major part of an NBA championship in his first season with the team. In six years with the Celtics, he appeared in two NBA Finals and he averaged 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. He then spent a year with the Brooklyn Nets and went back to finish his career in Minnesota. Garnett was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.

Craig Sager’s sports reporting career

After working for a local station in Kansas City broadcasting Kansas City Royals and Chiefs games in 1978, Craig Sager eventually moved on to work at CNN. There, he co-anchored the CNN Sports Tonight show after he got a full-time gig there in 1981.

Sager also hosted the College Football Scorboard on TBS, a sister station of CNN, from 1982-1985. He began working full time at TBS in 1987 and was a jack of all trades. One of his assignments was to do the halftime reports of Atlanta Hawks games.

Sager was well known for his sideline reporting on The NBA on TNT. His flashy wardrobe was a big part of his style. In April of 2014, Sager was diagnosed with leukemia and he died on Dec. 15, 2016. During the Inside the NBA game preview between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls, players honored Sager by wearing t-shirts during warmups designed to replicate some of Sager’s outlandish suits. Sager was 65 years old.

Garnett tells Sager to go home and burn his clothes

After an NBA game involving Kevin Garnett, NBA TV reporter Craig Sager caught up with the big man outside the locker room. When the interview was over, Garnett asked for 10-15 seconds to he could give Sager a personal message. The message was regarding Sager’s fashion choice as he was all decked out a pink sports coat with red pants and bright red shoes.

“Tonight, I am stressing to you, take this outfit home and you burn it,” Garnett said. “I’ve never seen you in a (same) outfit twice, but you take this right here – I don’t care if it’s Versace, name brand…You take this and you burn it. When you get done with this, you should be butt-ass naked. This should be burned.

“It’s good to see you, like always – and the shoes, too, burn them. Don’t ask no questions, just burn them. The red socks, which people can’t see at home, take it all and burn it. Gasoline, kerosine, either one.” Sager simply smiled and thanked Garnett for his advice.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.