It seemed like just yesterday didn’t it? A tall skinny high school kid from Chicago was drafted by our local NBA team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. My initial reaction was that of disbelief; here you have a struggling franchise in desperate need of talent and they go out and draft some high school kid. Why? Well he soon proved us doubters wrong in a short time. Kevin Garnett went on to have a hall of fame career and is no doubt one of the 50 best players the game has ever seen. Very few big men his size had that kind of versatility. If he had any faults, it could have been that he was too unselfish. He was the ultimate team player and could guard nearly every position on the floor.
My biggest memory of Garnett occurred during one of the few good years the franchise has ever had. It was game 7 of the 2004 Western Conference semi finals when Garnett had a monster game, 32 points and 21 rebounds. After the Wolves won the nail bitter of a game, Garnett jumped on the scorers table and saluted the fans. The building was going absolutely crazy. It was just very unfortunate that Garnett didn’t have more moments like that one. Near the end of Garnett’s tenure here, the Wolves were downright awful and it was time for him to move to greener pastures. He got his much deserved championship ring after being traded to Boston.
So what will Garnett’s legacy really be about? I can pretty much sum it up in one word, intensity. He had this intensity about him that very few pro athletes can match. Not only in the games, but in practice as well. If any young player wants a good role model to look up to, Garnett is the guy to follow. It is no surprise given his work ethic and intensity that he reached the hall of fame level.
The NBA could really use more players like Garnett. He will sorely be missed on the court and I hope he stays involved in the league. He was huge positive for the league and I can’t thank him enough for the many memories that he gave us NBA fans here in Minnesota. Best of luck, KG, with any future endeavors.