It’s official. Kevin Garnett is retiring from the NBA after 21 seasons. Garnett, an obvious Hall of Famer, will forego the final year of his Timberwolves contract to hang them up according to a Wolves press release:
Minneapolis/St. Paul – Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett today announced that he will retire after a 21-year NBA career, 13-plus of those with the Timberwolves. Garnett led the Wolves to the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, culminated by an appearance in the Western Conference Finals in 2004. After being traded to Boston on July 31, 2007, Garnett led the Celtics to the NBA title the following season.
“It has been a real joy to watch KG come into the league as a young man and watch him develop his skills to become one of the very best in the NBA,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “I have treasured the opportunity to see him grow as a leader. I wish him continued success in the next chapter of his life. His Minnesota fans will always cherish the memories he has provided.”
Selected by the Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, Garnett was the first player selected directly out of high school since 1975. He was named the NBA Most Valuable Player following the 2003-04 season. Over his career, Garnett recorded nine All-NBA Team selections,12 All-Defensive Team selections and was tabbed to play in 15 NBA All-Star Games. For his career, Garnett averaged 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.
Garnett retires as the Wolves’ all-time leader in numerous categories, including games played (970), minutes (36,189), points (19,201), rebounds (10,718), blocked shots (1,590), assists (4,216), steals (1,315), double-doubles (607) and triple-doubles (16).
The 6-11 forward’s name is also prominent in the NBA all-time record book. Garnett finishes his career ranked fifth in games played (1,462), third in minutes (50,418), 17th in points (26,071), 11th in field goals made (10,505), ninth in total rebounds (14,662), first in defensive rebounds (11,453), 16th in steals (1,859) and 17th in blocks (2,037).
Garnett appeared in 143 playoff games, averaging 18.2 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.3 bpg and 1.2 spg. In addition to winning the NBA title in 2008, Garnett and the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals in 2010, with Boston losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
As Drew wrote earlier, Garnett is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Their one transcendent star, a player who put Minnesota on the NBA map. Garnett matured and grew into an MVP with the Wolves, and returned to finish his career here. We’ll have other great players, in Minnesota and in the NBA as a whole, but there will never be another Kevin Garnett.
We’ll have much more on his career and legacy in the coming days.