Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury were phone buddies for over three years. Then, they came face to face and played a pickup game. Next, they became teammates for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the mid-’90s. Today, they have a strong bond forged by a common love — basketball. Here’s what you need to know about these fast friends.
Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury’s lasting bond
Many people hoped Garnett and Marbury would form a lasting bond, reports Sports Illustrated, and they were not disappointed. Prior to meeting, they were best friends. Some of the bond emerged from their differences.
Marbury comes from a big city and Garnett comes from a small town. Marbury is a little man and Garnet is a big man. Who says opposites don’t attract? Certainly not Garnett and Marbury who discovered a lasting bond on- and off-court. This bond has lasted since their first meeting in 1994. It’s had its ups and downs, like any friendship. At the end of the day, each has each other’s back, supporting victories.
A pickup game
During the summer of 1994, reports Talk Basket, Garnett and Marbury met face to face for the first time in Chicago. The first thing they did was play a pickup game. Their meeting was direct, to the point, and focused on playing ball. Both men knew the other was linked to their destiny. Both knew the pickup game would mean nothing and everything for their relationship. They were right.
Garnett recalled feeling like Marbury was in his head during the pickup game against another team. Following his friend’s silent instructions, the pair made a perfect alley-oop. The crowd went wild. Little did Marbury and Garnett know the future that was coming to them. Not only would their friendship strengthen, but they would also become teammates for three years.
Playing for the Timberwolves
Garnett and Marbury found themselves both playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the late ’90s, details SB Nation. During their shared career, they were called Stockton and Malone. This was because of their bond. You wouldn’t find one without the other.
Both men were traded out from the Timberwolves. Garnett to Boston and Marbury to New Jersey. While playing together, the bond between Garnett and Marbury was obvious. They went together like cake and ice cream when playing ball. They supported each other and worked together to win games.
Garnett and Marbury are both excellent ballplayers. They both offered a lot to the Minnesota Timberwolves while playing together. Garnett was traded because he wasn’t going anywhere. Marbury forced his transfer. In 1999, Garnett and Marbury played their last game together as teammates. That was the day Marbury quit looking to help Garnett with critical winning plays during the game.
Today, they may not be teammates anymore, but they have respect for the other’s skills on the court. The friendship isn’t the same though. Both men have moved on in their careers. But both remember the early days — the hours of conversation and laughter. Garnett still considers Marbury a close friend. Although Marbury cites respect for Garnett, he doesn’t call him ‘friend’ anymore.
The once-dynamic duo is now over. A friendship was lost. The Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t been the same since. Both men have continued playing ball. Both men have contributed to their communities. And both men recall that first pickup game that they ever played, the perfect alley-oop, the reaction of the crowd, and that they were once the other halves of the other.