In his new book KG: A to Z: An Uncensored Encyclopedia of Life, Basketball, and Everything in Between, Kevin Garnett shares some of the most memorable things from his life and illustrious NBA career. Garnett is a true legend of the game who played almost two decades in the league, which means he has numerous great stories to share involving different NBA teams and players.
In one segment of the book, Garnett talked about the Chicago Bulls and Dennis Rodman, who during that time was probably the second most popular player in the NBA right after Michael Jordan. Garnett got drafted to the NBA by the Minessota Timberwolves straight out of high school. That was the season when the Chicago Bulls won 72 games in the regular season and eventually went on to win the championship.
The Timberwolves were not a great team during those years, but having Garnett meant they have a bright future ahead of them. Surprisingly enough, one of the teams that beat the Bulls in the regular season was the Timberwolves. It was also the perfect opportunity for Garnett as a teenager to play against guys that he considered his idols growing up.
Garnett remembers an interaction with Dennis Rodman right after the game in the locker room when Rodman complimented his game. However, what made that situation so unique is that Rodman came into the weight wearing combat boots while running on a treadmill.
Say what you want about Worm-one of the illest rebounders and most flamboyant brothas ever to play sports-but the thing I cherish most is his stamina. I saw it firsthand. T-wolves and Bulls just finished a blood-stained battle at the target center. Rugged,mean, mano a Mano. Went into overtime. Overtime rougher than regulation. Finally, squeezed it out. Might have been the first time Minny ever beat Chicago. We acting like we world champs. Confetti and shit. After the game, I go to our weight room, not to work out but to decompress. I’m sitting there when who struts in but Rodman, wearing these big ass combat boots that come up to his knees. He’s wearing sweats and combat boots! It’s him and his trainer. He looks at me right quick and says, “Good game, young fella. Love your energy.” Then he climbs on the treadmill and runs like he just robbed a bank with the Law hot on his ass, all the while talking shit to me.Kevin Garnett
Rodman’s work ethic was something genuinely astonishing. That day, Garnett witnessed firsthand Rodman was a freak of nature and an absolute workaholic who couldn’t wait for the next challenge. Rodman saw Garnett as different and very passionate about the game, so he used that time to advise what he needs to do to stay prepared and healthy as much as possible.
“Tomorrow playing this kid in Jersey. They say he’s the best rebounder. Fuck that shit. I’m gonna pull down 45 rebounds. Watch me.” I do. He ain’t slowing down. He’s drenched in sweat. I’m thinking man it’s time to go home! But no, my man is turning up the speed. He’s anticipating the next challenge and putting in extra work to meet that challenge. He’s crazy. He’s telling me all about his early injuries, and his strength training bulked up his body and boosted his stamina. Running in combat boots, talking a mile a minute, and not nearly out of breath. I’m thinking, that’s the kind of crazy I need to be.Kevin Garnett
It seems Garnett accepted a lot of the advice Rodman gave them that day because the intensity and competitiveness were almost the same. Garnett played every game like it’s game 7 in the playoffs, and Rodman did too, especially when you consider he came into the NBA as an underdog who had to fight for everything more than some other players. That type of mindset led to both of them having legendary and inspiring NBA careers.