Kevin Garnett is getting ready to close the final chapter on his basketball career as a player. Drafted out of high school, Garnett grew up in Minnesota, won the title in Boston, played in New York, and retired back home in Minnesota. He will soon become immortal in Naismith, joining the Hall of Fame in a class with Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Tamika Catchings.
While reflecting on his past as a player, Garnett is turning to his basketball future, and that one seems to be directed towards owning an NBA team. A long dream of Garnett’s was put on hold in Minessota; something KG will never get over. Well, never say never, but he seems quite adamant about it.
The Celtics plan to retire his jersey in 20/21, but there is no such plan in Minnesota, and it’s all thanks to Glen Taylor. Garnett was very close to the late great Flip Saunders, who brought him back to end his career in Minnesota, mentor Karl Anthony Towns for a few years, and then join the ownership group. But, when Saunders passed away, Glen Taylor changed the deal, and KG never got the chance to get a stake in the team. The plan was for Flip Saunders and KG to buy the team, but Taylor didn’t honor the deal after Saunders had passed away.
“Glen and I had an understanding before Flip died, and when Flip died, that understanding went with Flip. For that, I won’t forgive Glen. I won’t forgive him for that. I thought he was a straight-up person, straight up businessman, and when Flip died, everything went with him. … I don’t do business with snake mu’fuckas. I try not to do business with openly snakes or people who are snake-like.”Kevin Garnett, The Athletic
This doesn’t mean Garnett gave up on owning an NBA team, more that he shifted his focus elsewhere. KG had the fortune of joining the league at a time when contract rules were different. Rookie deals were shorter, and there were no max-contract rules. This allowed Garnett to sign a six-year, $126 million extension during the 1997-1998 season at the age of 21. The time this contract was up, he was entering his prime as a 27-year-old MVP, ready for a second large contract. The Wolves gave him a five year $100 million deal. When he came to Boston, he had already made 181 million with the Timberwolves.
With extensions that he made in Boston and his final contract in Minnesota, KG ended his career at the top of the earnings list; no player made more money playing in the NBA – $326 million. So, where would KG love to use all that cash and run an NBA team? Seattle.
“If I have a dream, I would say that I would love to be able to go and buy the Seattle SuperSonics and reactivate the Pacific Northwest. Seattle was huge to our league. I would love to be able to do that. That’s what’s up. If there’s one thing I could do tomorrow, it would be that.”Kevin Garnett, The Seattle Times
With all the uncertainty about COVID-19, the current NBA season, and the following one, expanding the league is down on the list of priorities right now. But, we’ve heard Grizzlies owner Robert Pera asked around about selling the team. Memphis is one of the smallest NBA markets, and buying that team and moving it back to Seattle isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
This is all speculation, but test balloons like these don’t happen out of thin air. Whatever the case may be, any scenario that involves bringing a team back to Seattle will have Kevin Garnett involved. We hope the second time is the charm for Kevin Garnett, Hall of Famer.