Garnett retires after 21 seasons
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.