Kevin Garnett was one of those NBA superstars every team would want on their roster. Apart from possessing some God-given basketball skills, KG was also loyal. And that loyalty didn’t only apply to the team but also to his teammates.
When KG is down with you, he’s down with you
As we all know, Garnett was the face of the Minnesota Timberwolves before he became a pillar of the Boston Celtics’ Big 3. In Minnie, Garnett played his heart out season after season. His intensity matched his game, and that’s what his teammates loved about him.
As a leader, KG was proud. He took pride in everything they accomplished as a team and was down for his teammates no matter what. But apparently, “The Big Ticket” believed that among all of his T’Wolves teammates, there were two who shared the same winning mentality as him – Troy Hudson and Trenton Hassell.
Hudson and Hassell were part of the Timberwolves team that reached the Western Conference Finals in 2004, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite the defeat, Garnett built a strong connection with Hudson and Hassell. So, when the Timberwolves front office decided to rebuild in 2007, KG opposed it.
“[Garnett] felt like he had more of a bond on and off the court with me and Trenton Hassell than he had with other players that they were bringing in,” Hudson told The Mercury News in 2007. “He felt like me and Trenton could really help win games. He felt that way. They didn’t feel that way. So they made the moves that they had to make.”
As it turned out, Hudson was telling the truth. Garnett wanted him and Hassell to stay and anchor the Timberwolves together. However, team owner Glen Taylor thought Hudson and Hassell weren’t giving it all they got like Garnett.
“I think there was a lot of stuff going on that we just couldn’t talk about publicly. KG wanted Trenton around. KG wanted Troy around,” Taylor told the same outlet. “And those guys took advantage of the situation, and it drove me nuts. I thought both of those guys could have been better players. They just didn’t put the effort into it like they should have.”
In the end, Minnesota still pushed through with its rebuilding and shipped Garnett to Boston. KG reunited with the Timberwolves in 2015, only to realize that he and Taylor weren’t on the same page in terms of him landing a role in the organization.
As for Hudson and Hassell, they also parted ways with Minnie that year. Hudson joined the Golden State Warriors, while Hassell signed with the Dallas Mavericks. What could’ve played out had the Timberwolves trusted the pair as Garnett did? We’ll never know.