During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Kevin Garnett embodied the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise. While the team never found much success, the Big Ticket emerged as a legitimate NBA star. For more than 10 years, he was the dictionary definition of a franchise player.
In hindsight, though, the forward believes that he should have cut bait sooner. In fact, Garnett recently admitted that the “only regret” of his Hall of Fame career was failing to get to Boston earlier than he did.
Kevin Garnett made a name for himself as with the Minnesota Timberwolves before finding success elsewhere
When you think of big-time NBA cities, Minneapolis probably doesn’t spring to the front of your mind. During his time in the association, though, Garnett put the Timberwolves on the map.
After a dominant high school career, Garnett entered directly into the 1995 NBA draft and joined the Timberwolves as the fifth overall pick. While the forward didn’t immediately take over the pro game, he gradually grew into a do-it-all star.
Eventually, the Big Ticket had become the Timberwolves franchise player. He inked a $102 million deal to remain in Minnesota and, in 2004, claimed NBA MVP honors. Despite that individual success, though, the team couldn’t get over the hump. Eventually, KG had enough.
In 2007, Garnett finally left Minnesota and joined the Boston Celtics via a trade. The forward teamed up with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to form a “Big 3” and promptly claimed his first NBA title. After more than a decade trying to help his Timberwolves reach the promised land, KG had finally won a championship.
KG joined the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 before returning to Minnesota to see out the rest of his career. He finally retired from professional basketball in 2016.
KG regrets failing to join the Boson Celtics sooner
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As mentioned above, Garnett was the franchise during his time with the Timberwolves. That reality, however, apparently didn’t overshadow the pain of constantly coming up short.
Ahead of his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, KG made a surprisingly candid admission about his career. For all the ups and downs on the hardwood, the forward only has one regret: failing to join the Celtics sooner.
“You come into the NBA wanting to win, and losing is part of it. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it,” Garnett explained, according to CBS Sports. Getting with a storied franchise like Boston, gave me light, gave me breath, gave me purpose. And the players that you’re playing with actually make the experience monumental, made it magical. The city is — the city was waiting for something big or for something different to happen versus where it was, and when we went we just never looked back. The fan base in Boston was over the top. People following you home, people standing outside your gate when you get home, people wanting to pump your gas. The fan level in Boston was just another level, but I learned to embrace it. My only regret in any of this is that I should have came to Boston a little earlier, other than that it was magical.”
At the end of the day, though, everything worked out for Kevin Garnett
While Garnett did make a similar statement before in The Athletic, it’s still somewhat jarring to hear him speaking so openly about finding greener pastures after leaving Minnesota. At the end of the day, though, things still worked out pretty well for the Big Ticket.
As mentioned above, Garnett spent 12 seasons in the Twin Cities during his first stint with Minnesota. During that time, he blossomed into a legitimate superstar, earning multiple all-star nods and claiming the only NBA MVP title of his career; he also took home more than $180 million in salary during that time, based on Spotrac’s financial records.
Even if he arrived in Boston a bit late, KG still landed in a pretty good situation. In addition to lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy, he got to play the part of the conquering hero; he came to town and promptly helped the Celtics reclaim their lost glory.
Could Garnett have won another championship if he teamed up with Paul Pierce when both men were younger? Possibly. At the end of the day, though, the Big Ticket still put together a Hall of Fame career. Even with only one ring, it’s tough to argue with his resume.