Newly elected basketball Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett is thrilled to be part of a star-studded class that also includes Tim Duncan and the late Kobe Bryant. However, when he reflects on his 21-year NBA career, he still bears some resentment over the way he was treated by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic, Garnett recalled his anger with being asked to play point guard in the 2004 Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers because of an injury to starter Sam Cassell.
"It was the (expletive) worst," Garnett said of the decision that took him — and everyone else — by surprise. "It ain’t too much (expletive) I’ve been pissed about when it came to basketball. I was pissed about that."
Kevin Garnett played his first 12 NBA seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves before returning to the team for his 21st and final one. (Photo: Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports)
But he saved his harshest criticism for Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who once worked out an arrangement with former coach Flip Saunders for Garnett to join the team's front office and/or ownership group after he retired.
Once Saunders died in 2015, Garnett said Taylor backed out of the deal.
"At this point, I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him," Garnett said. "I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart. But I don’t do business with snakes."
Garnett spent 14 seasons with the Timberwolves, including his final NBA season in 2015-16. Although he spent just six years with the Boston Celtics, the team announced in February that his No. 5 jersey would be retired during the 2020-21 season.
The Hall of Fame, however, is on a completely different level. "The achievement itself is supremely over the top and the culmination of the things I’ve worked on, the countless hours you’ve put into a craft," he said. "Going hard as I can, you want to be able to look back on it and say that it was worth something."
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