Kevin Garnett’s split last summer with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and specifically with owner Glen Taylor, wasn’t a smooth one.
The future Hall of Famer opened up about it in an article on USA Today’s For The Win. When asked if having a prominent role in the organization is still a goal of his, Garnett responded:
It seemed like it was perfect for how Flip organized and put it together and designed it. Obviously when he left us, Glen saw differently and wanted to go a different way. I’ve always said I wanted to be a part of an organization that is about winning more progressively, in that direction. Minnesota seemed like a perfect fit for that. That has changed. I don’t see myself doing that any time soon, but that still is a goal of mine.
For The Win then asked Garnett if he was disappointed that the plan fell apart:
A little bit. A little bit. To say Debbie Downer is an understatement. It was a huge disappointment and one that showed me the true Glen Taylor. It showed me how he really feels. When this guy got the team, it was worth $90 million. When I left it, it was worth somewhere in the $400 (millions). That was never taken into account in my value or none of that. I guess I served my purpose, and I was on to the next. So it’s all good. So it’s all good. I’m moving on and taking my ball and playing somewhere else. (Laughs.)
Garnett’s comments offer some light into his point of view of the split. He clearly isn’t satisfied with Taylor’s decision and feels disrespected by it. Garnett had been keeping track of the value of the franchise before and after his career and felt Taylor owed him for that growth.
At the same time, it’s not like Taylor never rewarded Garnett as a Timberwolf. The $126 million contract Garnett signed in 1997 is still huge even by today’s standards. Back then? That kind of contract was unprecedented.
One clear conclusion that can be drawn from the comments is that Flip Saunders’ death likely prevented Garnett from taking a front office role with the Timberwolves. It appears as if some sort of verbal agreement between Saunders, Taylor and Garnett was in place, and plans changed when Flip tragically passed away.
We’ll probably never know all the intricate details of the situation. But from what we do know, it doesn’t sound like a fairy tale ending for the greatest player to ever put on a Timberwolves uniform.