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Kevin Garnett (born May 19 1976, in Mauldin, South Carolina) is an American professional basketball player for the NBA's Boston Celtics. He is also referred to by the nicknames "KG", "The Big Ticket" and "The Kid". After graduating from Farragut Career Academy in Chicago, Illinois, he was drafted in 1995, the first player drafted out of high school in 20 years. In 2004, he was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player.
Kevin Garnett was the 5th pick of the 1995 NBA Draft, picked by the moribund Minnesota Timberwolves. After joining the NBA for the 1989-90 season, the Timberwolves had not won more than 29 games in any season. However, the Timberwolves were going through a transition phase, having installed Flip Saunders as head coach (replacing the fired Bill Blair) and making several trades that changed the team's composition. Garnett initially came off the bench in his rookie year, but moved into the starting lineup in the middle of the season. In his rookie year, Garnett and fellow newcomer Tom Gugliotta carried the scoring load. Garnett did not immediately leap to stardom as later prep-to-pro prospects such as Amare Stoudemire, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard would, but he did have a very respectable rookie year. He averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game and was voted into the All-Rookie Second Team.
Because of his great athleticism and 6'11" (211 cm) stature, Garnett is widely regarded as one of the most versatile players ever, capable of playing all five positions on the floor, though he has made his mark playing the power forward position. He holds the record for most consecutive seasons (6) of averaging at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, formerly held by Larry Bird. In addition to his offensive prowess, Garnett is an excellent defender, having been elected to the NBA's All-Defense first team from 2000 to 2005 and making the second team in 2006.
Garnett is also a model of consistency; as of January 11, 2006, he has scored at least 10 points in 279 straight games, and started 309 straight games. He has also consistently been among the leaders in efficiency rating.
Garnett initially came off the bench in his rookie year, but moved into the starting lineup in the middle of the season and led the Minnesota Timberwolves in blocks. Garnett was selected to play in every All-Star Game after his second season, winning the All-Star MVP in 2003.
Despite his numerous individual accomplishments, Garnett's teams have struggled in the playoffs, unable to advance past the first round for seven consecutive years. The streak ended in 2004, as the Timberwolves, with the best record in the Western Conference defeated the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings. However they fell short of the NBA Finals, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
Garnett became the 5th player in NBA history to score 30+ points and grab 20+ rebounds in a 7th game of a series. He registered 32 points and 21 rebounds in the Game 7 victory over Sacramento. However, the Timberwolves failed to match this performance in 2005, the first year (8 consecutive playoff berths) they did not make the playoffs with Garnett.
By the latter half of the 2005-06 season, the Timberwolves were out of the playoff hunt, and rumors arose suggesting they would entertain trade offers for Garnett. At a post-season press conference, the Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale put these rumors to rest.
Garnett leads all active NBA players (11 years) for the distinction of having played his entire career for only one team. Tied for second place are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers, each of whom have played 10 seasons for their respective teams.
In spite of his stats, team success has eluded Garnett. On one hand, he arguably never had the teammates (except for the one-year stint of Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell), but critics say that Garnett has never succeeded to make his teammates better, in contrast to contemporary "big men" like Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan who helped shape talents like Anfernee Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili into legitimate superstars. Furthermore, he is one of the few superstars who has missed the playoffs in consecutive years during the prime of his career.
Garnett has a "Hall of Fame Probability" of 0.96 according to Basketball-Reference.com.
- NBA Most Valuable Player: 2004
- TSN NBA Most Valuable Player: 2004
- 9-time NBA All-Star: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
- NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2003
- 7-time All-NBA:
- First Team: 2000, 2003, 2004
- Second Team: 2001, 2002, 2005
- Third Team: 1999
- 1-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 2008
- 7-time All-Defensive:
- First Team: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
- Second Team: 2006
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team: 1996
- 2-time NBA regular-season leader, PER: 2004 (29.4), 2005 (28.2)
- 3-time NBA regular-season leader, rebounds per game: 2004 (13.9), 2005 (13.5), 2006 (12.7)
- 2-time NBA regular-season leader, rebounds: 2004 (1,139), 2005 (1,108)
- 4-time NBA regular-season leader, defensive rebounds: 2003 (858), 2004 (894), 2005 (861), 2006 (752)
- NBA regular-season leader, points: 2004 (1,987)
- NBA regular-season leader, field goals made: 2004 (804)
- J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: 2006
- Career triple-doubles (regular season): 13 (as of 2006)
- Career triple-doubles (postseason): 3 (as of 2006)
- Only player in NBA history to:
- average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists per season for 6 consecutive seasons.
- reach at least 17,000 points, 9,500 rebounds, 3,800 assists, 1,190 steals, and 1,450 blocks in his playing career.
- Holds Minnesota Timberwolves franchise record for most points in one game with 47 vs. the Phoenix Suns on January 4, 2005.
- Holds Minnesota Timberwolves franchise career records for points, 17,337; rebounds, 9,567; assists, 3,833; blocked shots, 1,450; steals, 1,193; and games played, 851 as of the end of the 2005-2006 season.
- Ranked #70 on SLAM Magazine's Top 75 NBA Players of All Time in 2003.
- Career stats (regular season): 851 games, 20.4 ppg, 11.2 rbg, 4.1 apg, 1.7 bpg, 1.4 spg, .493 FG%, .298 3FG%, .773 FT%
- Career stats (postseason): 47 games, 22.3 ppg, 13.4 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.9 bpg, 1.3 spg, .458 FG%, .333 3FG%, .761 FT%
Off the Court
- Garnett married long time girlfriend Brandi Padilla in the summer of 2004. The two had a private ceremony in California. The wedding was the reason he did not take part in the Olympic games. Brandi is the sister of the wife of Jimmy Jam Harris, one of Garnett's close friends.
- Garnett loved the Chicago Bulls as a child growing up in Mauldin, South Carolina
- In November 2005, Garnett donated $1.2 million to Oprah's Angel Network to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
- Garnett has appeared on the cover of SLAM Magazine five times.
- Garnett has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times.