The younger generations of NBA fans may know Kevin Garnett as a key figure on the historic Boston Celtics Big 3 alongside his fellow Hall of Famers Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. However, before becoming an NBA champion with the C’s, KG was the longtime franchise superstar of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In Minnie, many consider Garnett the greatest player to ever represent the city on basketball’s biggest stage. And it’s hard to argue because, during his first 12 seasons with the Timberwolves, KG led the team to eight consecutive playoff appearances, including reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2004.
In 2015, Garnett, at 38 years of age, decided that he’d return home and spend his twilight years in Minnesota. At the time, “The Big Ticket” had a word with his former coach, late Flip Saunders, and the T’Wolves management about his desire to join the team’s front office or become part of the ownership group.
All parties seemed fine, but things took a huge turn when Saunders died in 2015. From then on, Garnett said that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor made decisions that were not included in their agreement, including hiring Tom Thibodeau as Minnesota’s head coach.
Garnett officially called it a career after the 2015/16 season and left Minnesota like the hero he was. However, when asked about his thoughts on having his No. 21 jersey hanged by the rafters inside the Target Center, KG outright said he’s “not entertaining it.”
“I’m not entertaining it. First of all, it’s not genuine,” Garnett told The Athletic in 2020. “Two, he’s getting pressure from a lot of fans and, I guess, the community there. 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.”
KG stressed that he felt really betrayed, adding, “I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him… I don’t do business with snakes. I don’t do business with snake mu’f**kas. I try not to do business with openly snakes or people who are snake-like.”
Back in Boston, things were completely the opposite. In March, the Celtics retired Garnett’s No. 5 jersey in a ceremony attended by his fellow 2008 NBA champions.
Will Garnett ever bury the hatchet with Taylor and the Timberwolves organization? Nobody knows. But one thing we are sure about is that even without a jersey retirement ceremony, KG is indeed one of the greatest players of all time.