Kevin Garnett, arguably one of the 20 greatest players in NBA history, is contemplating retirement from the sport after spending a record-tying 22 years in the league.
If Garnett were to return, he would surpass Robert Parish and Kevin Willis as the first player in history to play 23 seasons. Garnett, 40, averaged just 3.2 points and 3.9 rebounds from 14.6 minutes last season. He played a total of 38 games and sat out of the season after late January.
Kevin Garnett to quit?
Glen Taylor, owner of the Timberwolves, told NBA.com in an interview that Garnett is leaning towards retirement. “I just asked him, ‘Kevin, what are you going to do?’ His answer was, ‘I’d really like to play next year ‘cuz I’d like to go out knowing we got into the playoffs.
“Then he said, ‘I don’t know if I can.’
Said Taylor, “I asked him, ‘What does that mean?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know.’”
In his twilight years, Garnett has suffered a series of injuries. Both his knees are banged up. The 2004 MVP hasn’t played more than 70 games since the 2010-11 season with the Boston Celtics. Taylor and the Timberwolves realize their longtime franchise player doesn’t have much to offer.
“So I asked the question but I didn’t get an answer that helped me. Yes, theoretically, he’d like to play. But he has some doubts of his knees holding up. I believe he told me exactly the truth,” Taylor added.
Reggie Miller, the Hall of Fame shooting guard, is also unaware of his friend’s plans. “He’s a little torn, I think. It’s the age-old question of mind over matter. I’m sure his mind is telling him he’s able to play. But can his body follow?”
Done mentoring Towns?
When Garnett returned to Minnesota from Brooklyn last season, it was primarily to mentor Karl-Anthony Towns. With Towns, the reigning rookie of the year, seemingly ready to dominate the NBA, Garnett could walk away a happy man.
Upon returning to Minnesota, Garnett told ESPN.com: “I pride myself on being loyal. I think I’ve proven that by coming back home to finish my career. I need to see how the next few weeks turn out to truly understand if everyone has that same loyalty. Then I will know what my future holds.”
If Garnett calls it a day, he would join fellow greats Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan in the 2021 Hall of Fame class. It would be the first time when two consensus top-10 players and three top-20 players enter the same class.
Kevin Garnett is one of the few players in NBA history to win the Most Valuable Player award (in 2004), the Defensive Player of the Year award (2008) and the NBA championship (2008).