Never short on words or shy with opinions, future NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett sat down for an enlightening interview with Vice Sports published Thursday.
The TNT personality and former Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets forward talked about his love for basketball and today’s young players. But his most enlightening comments came when talking candidly about his old teams.
I like individuals, not so much on the organizations. Obviously I’m gonna be with Minnesota and the players. Not so much upstairs. I don’t really deal with Minnesota’s upstairs. They suck. But Boston, all day. You know I’m a C ‘till I die. I always root for Brooklyn. But other than that I don’t really get into too many of the upstairs.
That has to burn just a little bit for Timberwolves fans, who watched Garnett transcend the game for his first 12 years on mostly mediocre teams in Minnesota before winning a ring in Boston with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on a superteam that set the template for team building in today’s NBA.
But Timberwolves fans should take heart that Garnett’s beef isn’t with the players or the city, but part of a standing feud he’s had with team owner Glen Taylor. It dates back to the 2015 death of team president Flip Saunders, who had talked with Garnett after he returned to finish his playing career in Minnesota about him becoming a minority owner.
A different course was set for the team in the aftermath of Saunders’ death, and Garnett retired after accepting a buyout from Taylor. Garnett never gained ownership in the team and believes that promises were broken in the process.
So, yeah. It makes sense that Garnett is a little salty.
But still. That ‘C till I die’ part. That can’t feel good in Minnesota.
Garnett talked up the young players in today’s NBA, especially the big men who, like Garnett in his time, are changing the way the game is played.
“The skill set of the big now, one-legged fadeaways, off glass, off the spin, like, it feels like the big can do more and is expected to be more versatile these days. And it’s impressive. I’m very much impressed.”
He went on to expound on the Timberwolves’ Towns, saying he’d like to see more from him on defense, which above all else was Garnett’s signature on the court.
“You’ve gotta get confidence and it’s just consistency,” Garnett said when talking about Towns. “It’s a mind thing. You’ve gotta put forth more of a focus towards defense versus offense sometimes.”
It sounds very much like Garnett would like the opportunity to participate with the team and act as a mentor to Towns.
If so, it’s a shame and an indictment of Taylor and Timberwolves management if they can’t figure out a way to make that happen with one of Minnesota’s iconic athletes.