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Kevin Garnett jersey choice a tribute to friend and mentor Malik Sealy

Kevin C. Cox

When Kevin Garnett steps up on stage Thursday at Barclays Center, he will be holding up a uniform emblazoned with the number "2." On hearing the choice, some thought it was about KG wanting a second chance at a ring. Not so. It's to honor Malik Sealy, his friend and mentor on the Timberwolves who died in a car accident 13 years ago.

As Kelly Dwyer wrote Saturday...

The widely respected veteran had just celebrated the birthday of teammate Kevin Garnett the night before, and was driving back to his house when a previously-convicted drunk driver jumped the center line to crash head-on into Sealy’s SUV. Garnett was the last person Sealy saw before his untimely death.

It's the second time KG has chosen a number Sealy wore. His choice of "21" in Minnesota was a tribute as well. It was Sealy's number at St. John's. When Sealy arrived in Minny, he took "2." Garnett was precluded from wearing the number in Boston, as it is retired in honor of Red Auerbach. Now that he's in New York, Sealy's hometown, he's taken it as a Net.