When Kevin Garnett retired from the NBA, his 21 seasons played were tied for the most in league history.
During those 21 seasons, he tallied 15 All-Star appearances, 12 All-Defensive Team selections, nine All-NBA selections, one Defensive Player of the Year award, one MVP award and one NBA championship, solidifying himself as one of the best forwards to ever play the game.
As Garnett is set to be enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame on May 15, our NBA.com Staff revisits some of their favourite memories of his illustrious career.
Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
I'll never forget this moment. Born and raised in Boston, I've been a Celtics fan my whole life. And this was one of the most special moments in my sports fandom to date.
When the Celtics traded for Garnett, it meant they weren't going to trade away Paul Pierce, blow everything up and enter a rebuilding stage. That they were looking to bring in assets to try and build a contender. Then they traded for Ray Allen and I knew it meant true championship aspirations.
Garnett was otherworldly that season. I knew he was a multi-time All-Star, one of the best players in the league, a former league MVP, but playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, I rarely got to see him play. As a 12-year-old, I knew his talent and skill set from video games more than I did from seeing it with my own eyes.
I had never seen anything like what he was doing in 2008. The intensity he brought each and every night, the guard-like skills from a near-7-footer, the ability to knock down mid-range jumper after mid-range jumper. His defence was tenacious. He was feared. The fiercest competitor I've ever seen.
To this day I'd still argue that he deserved the 2007-08 MVP over Kobe Bryant (or Chris Paul, for that matter) because of how quickly his impact was able to turn around an at-the-time struggling franchise. I also understand he had plenty of help to achieve that, too, though.
But I think I speak for both me and KG when I say I'll settle for the 2008 NBA championship - over the Lakers, nonetheless - instead.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): I'll probably be able to hear Garnett screaming "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!" in my head for the rest of my life. As tempted as I was to go with that, I'll go with a different moment.
That time Garnett jammed all over Blake Griffin.
Some context: Garnett was not "Kevin Garnett" at this point of his career. He was a 38-year-old on the brink of retirement. And yet, it was Garnett at his finest, throwing down a ferocious dunk and letting everyone - the person he dunked on included - know about it.
Plus, Zach LaVine's reaction was golden. (Pretty sure he let out an "Oh s-!")
As was Karl-Anthony Towns'.
Moreso than anything, it was a reminder that Garnett was the meanest and most intense dude whenever he stepped foot on the court, whether it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals or Game 59 of the regular season for a team that was heading towards the lottery.
We haven't seen anyone quite like him since he first burst on the scene and I'm not sure we ever will. He truly was one of a kind.
Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21): Growing up, I was all about the Charlotte and New Orleans Hornets because my dad was the team's TV analyst. So when he picked the Timberwolves to finish first in the West ahead of the 2003-04 season, I looked at him with confusion like, "you do know the Lakers have Kobe, Shaq and Gary Payton, right?"
But he believed in Kevin Garnett. And, as a nine-year-old, I wanted to understand why.
That season, KG did lead the Wolves to the West's best record, earning the league's MVP in the process with averages of 24.2 points and 13.9 rebounds per game. By the end of the year, I wanted to be KG, too. As a 10-year-old that was taller than most of my peers, I tried to perfect the KG post moves to be that exact same player.
As my growth tapered off, my aspirations to be KG did, too, but I always had a special appreciation for his skill, intensity and impact on every place he played. That's why the most memorable moment came over a decade later when he made his return to the franchise where it all started in 2015.
To this day, the introduction video gives me chills. It might be one of the best productions. Like, ever. Spend five minutes watching it and I promise you'll realize that statement wasn't hyperbole.
There are few players that can both emit and elicit such emotion. As Kyle said, that's why there will never be another Kevin Garnett.
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