Garnett re­tires af­ter 21 sea­sons

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Jon Krawczynski

MIN­NEAPO­LIS >> No fire burned hot­ter, no mouth was fouler, no op­po­nent was in for a longer night than Kevin Garnett’s.

In more than two decades in the NBA, Garnett opened the door for a new wave of young tal­ent to en­ter the league, was partly re­spon­si­ble for a rewrit­ing of the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment and nearly sin­gle­hand­edly re­de­fined what the game’s tallest play­ers were al­lowed to do on the court.

Fit­tingly, and maybe a lit­tle re­luc­tantly, No. 21 is call­ing it a ca­reer af­ter 21 years, leav­ing a legacy as one of the best de­fen­sive play­ers in league his­tory and one of the game’s most in­flu­en­tial and in­tense com­peti­tors.

Garnett posted a video on his In­sta­gram ac­count on Fri­day, say­ing “farewell” and “thank you for the jour­ney.” He nar­rated the short, black-and-white video that shows him walk­ing alone through Tar­get Cen­ter with sun­glasses on.

“I’m just thank­ful. I can’t even put that into words,” Garnett says. “I’m just thank­ful. I’m just thank­ful for every­body and the love. I never would have thought that peo­ple love me like this. But, for it to be re­al­ity is just some­thing else, man. Man.”

Garnett in­formed the Tim­ber­wolves of his de­ci­sion to re­tire on Fri­day. The team will waive the fran­chise icon, which will al­low him to col­lect his en­tire $8 mil­lion salary for next sea­son. That is the same ap­proach the San An­to­nio Spurs took with Tim Dun­can.

“I’m proud of our as­so­ci­a­tion with Kevin, just see­ing him grow over the years,” Wolves owner Glen Tay­lor told The As­so­ci­ated Press. “I wish him the very best in the fu­ture and want to thank him, along with our fans, for the great mem­o­ries that he has given us.”

The 15-time All-Star was MVP in 2004 af­ter lead­ing the Tim­ber­wolves to the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals and ranks first in the league in ca­reer de­fen­sive re­bounds, third in min­utes played and fifth in games played.

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