Kevin Garnett‘s induction into the NBA Hall of Fame was a joyous occasion for fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics. Garnett was especially grateful to the Timberwolves for taking a chance on him when he entered the league and essentially carried the franchise on his shoulders for 12 seasons and endured mild success, highlighted by a loss in the 2004 Western Conference Finals against fellow Hall of Famer, and the late Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
However, Garnett’s time wasn’t always a joyous howl. In fact, like the cold chill that drapes over the state of the twin cities, his relationship with former owner Glen Taylor wasn’t the best. Mainly because Taylor never really provided help to Garnett, which directly correlates to why Minnesota never won a championship and has often become the center of jokes in the NBA since Garnett left for Boston.
Moreover, the Timberwolves have yet to retire Garnett’s No. 21 jersey, although, under the new ownership headlined by Alex Rodriguez, that likely will happen sooner than later. Because, quite frankly, while Garnett is known for winning a championship with the Celtics, some tend to forget that he was a real superstar in the twin cities.
Kevin Garnett has always been a classy individual and his thanks to Minnesota, despite previous displeasure, only proves that.
Since being drafted by Celtics legend Kevin McHale, then the general manager of Minnesota in 1995, Garnett quickly put the Timberwolves on the map. In the 03-04 season, Garnett became the first player in league history to win the NBA Player of the Month Award four times in a single season, a feat later achieved by LeBron James. In addition, Garnett won the league’s most outstanding player award and brought Minnesota to the Western Conference Finals.
However, from 2004-2007, there wasn’t much to celebrate for Garnett, and he was eventually traded to Boston and formed a “Big Three” with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. A year later, in 2008, Boston took home the title over Los Angeles, giving Garnett his first championship. The Celtics would eventually return to the finals again in 2010 but fell short to the Lakers in seven games. Garnett eventually played a number in Brooklyn with less than desirable results, before returning to Minnesota in 2015 and retiring a year later.
Garnett’s accomplishments speak for themselves. 15 All-Star appearances and an all-star MVP in 2003, 4x NBA All-First Team, 4x rebound champion, and biggest of all, 2008 NBA Champion and 2008 Defensive player of the year. Additionally, Garnett has scored over 26,000 points and logged over 14,000 rebounds. Moreover, Garnett also won a gold medal with the USA at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Maybe one day, we will have an opportunity to see Garnett at the Target Center watching his jersey join the rafters. For now, we are assured that he will be in the Hall of Fame while continuing to show class and gracious professionalism to a team that he was disappointed to leave without delivering a title.