Future first-ballot Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett has officially retired from the NBA after 21 seasons in the league. Garnett, 40, entered the league in 1995 at the age of 19, playing 14 seasons with the Timberwolves, 6 seasons with the Celtics and 2 with the Brooklyn Nets.
Garnett was part of the blockbuster trade that also brought future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce to Brooklyn. They were part of a roadmap to an NBA title, though that didn’t ultimately pan out.
Garnett played almost two full seasons with the Nets, starting in 2013-14, and then ultimately being traded back to the Timberwolves in a deal that would bring Thaddeus Young to Brooklyn.
Garnett was, well, past his prime as a member of the Nets, however, he took on the role of being the team’s leader, much to his surprise — he had not thought he would need to come into Brooklyn and be the first or second option, let alone leader, with Deron Williams as the team’s featured “franchise player.”
That said, Garnett provided many memorable moments as a member of the Nets, including one in which he gave Joe Johnson the nickname “Joe Jesus.”
Larry Fleisher compiled some of Kevin Garnett’s (and Paul Pierce’s) best quotes, following their 2013-14 campaign with the Nets. It’s definitely worth a read.
And Bobby Marks, who admits being intimidated by KG, offers a never-before-told story about how Garnett may have saved a life as a Net.
On Super Bowl Sunday in 2015, Nets assistant coach Jim Sann was in cardiac arrest before practice.
While Nets trainer Tim Walsh and his staff worked feverishly on Sann, it was Garnett, in the background with that signature fire, who was yelling for Sann to get up and fight for his life.
To this day, I believe Garnett, along with the Nets’ medical team, played a role in saving Sann’s life.
Kevin Garnett won’t be remembered much for his time with the Nets, however, but there are still plenty of great memories made in what turned out to be a brief stay in Brooklyn.