After 21 legendary seasons in the NBA, Kevin Garnett has called it a career when he announced that he was retiring yesterday, according to ESPN.
He spent a combined 13 seasons as a member of the Timberwolves, won a world championship as a member of the Celtics in 2008 and spent two random seasons in Brooklyn before returning to Minnesota where he first started.
KG will go down in NBA history as one of the fiercest competitors of his generation, a player who changed the way defense was played and proved that dedicating yourself to hard work is what it takes to become a champion. He posted this farewell video to his Instagram where he expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to play the game he loves.
While Garnett was a proven winner and surefire Hall of Famer, it was the way he played the game and how he conducted himself off the court that will cement his legacy as one of the greats.
He might’ve rubbed people the wrong way on his way to the top but in retrospect, it’s players like him that makes the NBA what it is.
Trash talk and getting into another player’s psyche is just as important as the skill and for KG, he proved that he had both. These three stories prove that he was the asshole the NBA needed. Dude was a straight savage.
When he welcomed Joakim Noah to the NBA
When rookie Joakim Noah first entered the NBA idolizing Garnett, he had no idea that the hero he looked up to for years was actually a huge asshole.
According Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, former teammate Paul Pierce recalled,
“One time, he asked [Joakim] Noah if he could rub through his hair, like a female or something. … And I know that kind of made [Noah] hot. And this was when Noah was a rookie, too. I remember Noah looked up to KG. He was like, ‘Man, KG, I had your poster on my wall, I looked up to you, man.’ And then [Garnett] just said something like that, and was like ‘F— you, Noah.’ I was like, ‘Whoa.’ This kid fresh out of college, looks up to KG, just said he had his poster on the wall, and he tells him that! It crushed him. It crushed Noah.”
When he revealed his insane morning drink
KG in 2005: "Coffee and Gatorade. It's a hell of a mix. If you're ever tired in the morning, just try that mix, and tell me what you think."
— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) September 23, 2016
When he used this violent metaphorThe list goes on and there’s no limiting KG to anything as he takes the next step in his journey.
Whatever he chooses to do next, we can expect the same level of success if he brings the same type of dedication and passion to it.
Lasting 21 years in the NBA is no ordinary feat as this year marks a historic retirement class the included Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.
It’s no coincidence that all three of them lasted that long but it’s the character that they all individually exemplified that got them to become who they are: legends.