Well, we probably knew this was coming at some point, but Kevin Garnett sat down with Shams Charania of The Athletic to discuss his career, business, etc. leading up to his Hall of Fame induction. The link to the full article is here, but there were a few parts that really stood out for Minnesota Timberwolves fans.
When asked about their trip to the Western Conference Finals in 2004 and his desire to win a championship with that Wolves group, Garnett told Shams:
I don’t play should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. I don’t play if I would’ve said something to her, I could’ve got her. I don’t play if I didn’t go out that night, this wouldn’t happen. I don’t play should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’s. It would drive me crazy. I would sit here and be in a depressed stage.
If I could actually go back and change anything, I would’ve left Minnesota a little earlier, knowing that the management wasn’t as committed as I was. Or wasn’t committed at all. I probably would’ve went to Boston or changed the situation earlier. I would’ve been a little younger and that means less wear and tear on the body. Teaming up with Paul (Pierce), I should’ve done that earlier. Who knows — I’m probably sitting here with another ring or two. But, yeah.
My days in Minnesota were great days, bro. It was a huge part of my progression. Flip Saunders and Kevin McHale were huge parts of my progression as a player. I had to put the work in and put it all together, but having those influences around me, having Kevin McHale as a great teacher all those years and pushing me and giving me the lay of the land … and me having a crazy ass appetite and imagination of what I want to be in the league … I’m very grateful for those days. Those are the days that actually made me to the man that I became and took to Boston.
Those days in Minnesota were basically like R&D (research and development). I’ll never forget them.
This is (maybe?) the first time KG has openly admitted to wishing he would have left Minnesota earlier, and from purely a basketball perspective, it is hard to blame him there. I think we all kind of knew that’s how he felt, it just was somewhat jarring to see him actually admit that to Shams.
As for the reasoning behind his jersey not yet being retired in the rafters at Target Center, Garnett pulled no punches, saying:
Glen knows where I’m at, I’m not entertaining it. First of all, it’s not genuine. Two, he’s getting pressure from a lot of fans and, I guess, the community there. Glen and I had an understanding before Flip died, and when Flip died, that understanding went with Flip. For that, I won’t forgive Glen. I won’t forgive him for that. I thought he was a straight up person, straight up business man, and when Flip died, everything went with him.
There’s no reason to complain. Just continue to move on. My years in Minnesota and in that community, I cherish. At this point, I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him. I love my Timberwolves, I’ll always love my guys, I’ll always love the people who fuck with me there. I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart. But I don’t do business with snakes. I don’t do business with snake mu’fuckas. I try not to do business with openly snakes or people who are snake-like.
This is ... tough to hear. It’s also so very KG, and shows an edge that was part of why we loved him so much. If he feels that he was wronged by Taylor, there’s nobody in the world who is going to convince him otherwise. Either way, the whole situation sucks, frankly. It’s understandable from Garnett’s end, but man, it just feels wrong not to have his number 21 hanging in the rafters.
Some day, maybe.