Kevin Garnett’s First Attempt at Sports Ownership Failed Due to an Obscure NBA Rule
While he spent some time in Boston and Brooklyn, Kevin Garnett is synonymous with the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise. During his time in the Midwest, the Big Ticket grew from a teenager into one of basketball’s greatest power forwards. Now, he could be preparing to purchase his beloved team.
Buying the Minnesota Timberwolves, however, wouldn’t be Garnett’s first foray into sports ownership. He once tried to buy into a big-name soccer club but ran afoul with an obscure NBA rule.
Kevin Garnett’s legendary NBA career
While everyone in the NBA possesses plenty of basketball talent, it takes a special player to jump directly from high school to the pros. In 1995, Kevin Garnett did just that.
After splitting his high school career between South Carolina and Chicago, Garnett entered into the 1995 NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected him with the fifth-overall pick; that move would change the course of the franchise’s history.
Although Garnett didn’t dominate during his rookie season, he developed into a legitimate star. The forward proved capable of scoring, rebounding, and defending with equal ease; the Timberwolves became a fixture in the playoffs, but, despite their franchise player, couldn’t make it over the hump.
In 2007, Garnett left Minnesota and joined the Boston Celtics via a trade. Although it was weird seeing the Big Ticket wearing a different uniform, he didn’t miss a beat in Boston. As part of a ‘big three’ with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, the veteran forward won an elusive NBA title in 2008. He also spent two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets before returning to Minnesota to call it a career.
In total, Garnett spent 21 seasons in the association, averaging 17.8 points, 10 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per outing. In addition to his one championship, the forward claimed the 2004 NBA MVP crown, 2008 Defensive Player of the Year honors, and 15 All-Star nods. He also earned a place in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2020.
Potentially buying the Minnesota Timberwolves
While Kevin Garnett spent most of his career in Minnesota, he doesn’t have the best opinion of Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. Everything, however, could be changing in the near future.
On Tuesday, news broke that Taylor could be ready to cash out his investment and sell the Timberwolves. “He has retained The Raine Group to sell the franchise,” ESPN explained. “He is seeking at least $1.2 billion for the team that has been valued at close to $1.4 billion.”
While there will obviously be plenty of interested parties—there are only so many professional sports franchises available, and they rarely hit the open market—a few big names are reportedly interested. According to Sham Charania of The Athletic, Kevin Garnett is one of them.
Although we’ll have to wait and see what happens, the appeal of Garnett and his investment group taking over the Timberwolves is clear. The Big Ticket spent the prime of his career trying to lift the franchise to prominence; as an owner, he’d get another crack at bringing a title to Minnesota.
Kevin Garnett’s previous attempt at sports ownership fell flat
If Kevin Garnett does manage to put together a bid to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves, that won’t be his first foray into sports ownership. In 2011, the Big Ticket tried to break into the world of European soccer.
As documented in an AP Report that’s still live on ESPN, Garnett “accepted an offer from James Pallotta, one of the four Boston executives who closed a deal in August to become the first foreign majority owners” of Italian soccer club AS Roma. An obscure NBA rule, however, ended up tanking that deal.
Pallotta, in addition to his role with Roma, is also a minority owner of the Boston Celtics, where KG was playing at the time. While there was no suspicion of Pallotta and Garnett doing anything wrong, the NBA blocked the deal due to a potential conflict of interest. “If you enter into a business agreement with the owner of a team that doesn’t involve playing service, there are potential problems,” a league source said, according to Yahoo Sports. “Maybe not in this case. But there is a chance of, say, making a contract a lot larger.”
These days, however, Garnett is retired from professional basketball. Both he and Timberwolves fans will be hoping that clears the path for him to buy into NBA ownership.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference