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"I’m still a Timberwolf until I die, as I am a Celtic" - Kevin Garnett addresses rift with Minnesota Timberwolves

KG assured his die-hard fans and the T-Wolves faithful that not one bit has changed as far as his love for Minny goes
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

There are a lot of all-time greats up there in the Hall of Fame, but only a few had a career like Kevin Garnett. For one, KG became an All-Star with the Minnesota Timberwolves and left a lasting impact on the city of Minnesota. However, he won his first and only championship with the Boston Celtics.

Another thing is that, more often than not, most of these legendary players have maintained a great relationship with their respective teams. But not Garnett.

An ongoing rift

During Garnett’s best years with the Timberwolves, he was under the tutelage of the late NBA coach Flip Saunders. The pair was as thick as thieves. In fact, even though it was in Boston where Garnett copped an NBA title, he still saw himself landing a role in the Timberwolves’ organization after his playing years. Much of it was because of his beautiful relationship with Saunders.

However, things changed when Saunders died. As it turned out, Garnett and the Timberwolves front office weren’t on the same page. KG ultimately reckoned that Saunders was the only reason he, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and other high-ups were good. And co-existing and functioning inside the organization without Saunders was just not possible because he and Taylor don’t see each other “eye-to-eye.”

The rift between Garnett and the Timberwolves management has been going on. KG felt that Taylor and his team have no plans of burying the hatchet and working with him. In fact, “The Big Ticket” thinks the group didn’t even do enough to pay homage to Saunders, the man who helped him put the Timberwolves on the map.

“I thought he [Saunders] wasn’t celebrated the proper way. You have high school banners, you have (expletive) hockey banners (hanging in the rafters). You couldn’t put a Flip banner in Target Center, some place that we helped build?,” Garnett told The AP in 2017. “We established that market. I helped grow that with him. You can’t put him in the (rafters)?...So I just had problems with how they were shoving this down all of our throats.”

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Garnett went on and stressed that he totally understands why he’s the only one feeling this way about the matter.

“The young guys, they weren’t invested enough to really understand what was going on,” he continued. “I chose to be mute, to be professional and keep all the negative energy down. There was a bigger message I wanted to tell, but I supported it and just kept my mouth shut…I wish the Timberwolves all the best. I talk to KAT and some of the young guys all the time,” Garnett said. “I hope they can find a special place in commemorating Flip and celebrating him properly.”

Someone’s lying

In March, the Celtics officially made Garnett one of the storied franchise’s all-time greats. The C’s prepared a full ceremony for KG’s jersey retirement. Given the situation, it’s understandable why we still don’t see Garnett’s #21 jersey hanging by the Target Center’s rafters. However, Taylor said in February 2017 that they had already reached out to KG, but “he hasn’t commented on a timetable. We just have left it open.” But Garnett said he had never heard anything from the Timberwolves. And even if they do in the future, the 15-time NBA All-Star already addressed it in 2020 and exclaimed that he’s “not entertaining it.”

“First of all, it’s not genuine,” Garnett said of his jersey being retired by the Timberwolves. “Two, [Taylor] he’s getting pressure from a lot of fans and, I guess, the community there…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.”

Of course, some of Garnett’s former Timberwolves teammates have been waiting for that moment as they know how important it is for the franchise and the city of Minnesota.

Ex-Timberwolves shooting guard Wally Szczerbiak once said, "From the outside looking in, it's a shame. Because KG's the greatest Timberwolf of all time. I hope in due time there's a way those two can figure out a way to come to an agreement and a compromise where KG's number can be hung in the rafters."

Regardless of the unbearable situation between Garnett and Taylor, KG assured his die-hard fans and the Timberwolves faithful that not one bit has changed as far as his love for Minny goes.

“I choose to let the Timberwolves focus on what they’re focused on and I’m focused on what I’m focused on,” Garnett explained. “I still live in Minny. I still got love for Minny. You know what it is. I’m still a Timberwolf until I die, as I am a Celtic. And that’s what it is.”

No one has the right to jump to conclusions regarding the conflict between Garnett and the Timberwolves' management. But it’s good to know that no matter what, Minnesota still has a special place in KG’s heart.

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