By Matthew Bagdat
Sports Business Editor
After 21 seasons in the NBA, one of the game’s most passionate and intense players is finally calling it a career. Just four days before the start of training camp, the 40 year-old Kevin Garnett made an announcement to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night that he would not be returning to the team for the 2016-17 season. Garnett was drafted fifth overall out of high school by the Timberwolves in 1995 and was named to the All-NBA Rookie Second team that season. Since then, he has been one of the most decorated players in NBA history.
The “Big Ticket” spent the first 12 seasons of his career as a part of the Minnesota Timberwolves. His best moments in Minnesota came in the 2003-04 season when he won league MVP honors and led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals. He was traded to the Celtics right before the 2007-2008 season. In Boston, Garnett continued to make his impact defensively, winning the Defensive Player of the Year award in his first season.
Throughout his career, he was won numerous accolades and awards, however none meant more to him than winning his first NBA Championship in 2008. Garnett’s leadership along with the performance of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen helped the Celtics beat Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals that season.
Garnett finishes his career as one of three players with 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 5,000 assists, according to ESPN. He was named to the All-Star team 15 times, as well as being the game’s most valuable player in 2003. He also made the All-NBA team 9 times. For his height, Garnett was a very well-rounded player, and this is evidenced in his career numbers. However, his biggest strength was on the defensive side of the ball. He was named to the All-Defensive team 12 times, and was always an intimidating force that opposing teams hating facing.
In a statement released by the NBA, commissioner Adam Silver stated, “Kevin Garnett is one of the fiercest competitors our league has ever seen… On behalf of the NBA family, I thank Kevin for his sustained excellence and the enormous impact he’s had on the game.”
After earning a record $330 million, Kevin Garnett’s illustrious career has finally come to a close. His Hall of Fame induction is only a matter of time.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 27th print edition.
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