Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett joined the Nets franchise this past July, waiving his near-unique NBA no-trade clause (only Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, and Dirk Nowitzki had one as well) to leave the Boston Celtics and join the Nets. Garnett needed Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to join him to make him comfortable, but that one Nets piece was key to him staying.
“Reggie Evans had to be on the roster,” Garnett told reporters at Monday’s morning shootaround. “That was a huge key for me coming here. … I’ve been a super-fan of his for a long time.”
Evans was originally involved in the deal that shipped Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, a signed-and-traded Keith Bogans, three future first-round draft picks, and the right to swap a fourth first-round pick to the Celtics for Garnett, Pierce, and Terry, but was later switched out of the trade for guard MarShon Brooks.
Evans relished in playing against Garnett throughout his career (they’ve gone against each other in the regular season 30 times in Evans’s 11 years), and was effusive in his praise of his teammate on media day, citing him as someone he could learn from and improve against every day. “I’m so thrilled, I’m so happy. … We just have a mutual respect for one another on the court. So by us going hard with each other, we talk a lot of noise to each other. There’s no letups.”
Evans is known almost exclusively for his rebounding (and his suddenly-mysterious beard) set an NBA record last season in that department, pulling down 26.7% of all available rebounds when he was on the floor last season. That’s a higher percentage than any player (minimum 50 games) in NBA history. He also set an NBA record in defensive rebounding percentage, pulling down a ridiculous 38% of all defensive rebounds available, and led the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage.