Kevin Garnett was the first to step up onto the stage in one of the most memorable Hall Of Fame classes. First, he thanked his presenter Isiah Thomas for the advice that helped him step from high school to the NBA. Then, he thanked his sister and daughters, most of his former teammates, coaches, and GMs.
He also thanked his mom.
“A lot of people don’t know I’m from South Carolina. I’m a country boy. I like to say that. Helped hone my skills. My mother is a very intense and passionate woman, who cared about her craft, cared about the quality of her craft, and I think I took some of that from her. So if you guys want to blame me, or blame the intensity, blame her for that. I want to thank my mother, Shirley, for that.”Kevin Garnett
The Big Ticket paid hommage to Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant – players who he had numerous battles on the court. They also played together in nine different All-Star games.
However, Garnett didn’t have much success against them. In 1999 and 2001, Garnett and his Timberwolves were knocked out from the playoffs by Duncan and the Spurs. In 2003 Kobe and the Lakers won against Minnesota in the first round and the year after in the Western Conference finals.
“I played the game hard, I played the game with a passion. I want say Timmy, thank you man. Congratulations to you and Kobe. It was nothing but epic when we battled. I looked forward to all the battles, seriously. I thank you for taking me to another level. It’s an honor to go into the Hall with you bro, you and Kobe. Congratulations, Vanessa. I love ya’ll. That’s my time, thank you guys. I love y’all.”Kevin Garnett
Garnett never got the satisfaction to beat Duncan in the playoffs, but he got his win against Kobe. After joining the Celtics, Garnett helped Boston take the title in 2008, which would be his only ring. In the finals, the Celtics won against Bryant’s Lakers. Two years after that, Kobe got his revenge against KG and the Celtics in the finals.
Considering the success he had at the Celtics, it was expected from KG in his Hall Of Fame speech to thank his coaches and teammates from that time. KG thanked Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, and Paul Pierce. But he didn’t mention Ray Allen, a player that was crucial in the ’08 title. He even mentioned Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, but not Allen. Ray’s ex-teammates couldn’t forgive him for joining the Miami Heat in 2013, a year after the Celtics lost to them in the Eastern Conference finals. Since then, Allen has drawn a lot of criticism from his former teammates, and KG didn’t forgive him to this day.