The NBA’s never had anyone quite like Kevin Garnett, one of the first and most successful players to make the jump from high school to the pros.
Since he joined the NBA, he’s been the source of countless, sometimes unverifiable anecdotes. Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, with help from his colleagues, tracked down close to two dozen of Garnett’s former teammates, coaches, agents, and others close to him to produce an oral history on Garnett’s career.
In the oral history, Nets center Mason Plumlee called Garnett “a little nuts.” The piece has the anecdotes to prove it.
Consider the time Garnett headbutted a hole into a wall in his house because he didn’t think the person he was watching on “Making The Band” was intense enough:
Tyronn Lue: A lot of people do all their howling on the court and they’re faking just for attention, but what he does is genuine. So one day we were at his house and we were watching Puff Daddy’s show ‘Making the Band,’ and in one of the scenes, some new guys came in and were trying to sing and were trying to compete against the guys who had been there. And KG just got so hyped, ‘Motherf—-r, you’ve got to stand up for yours! You’ve got to fight! Motherf—-r, you’ve got to come together!’ He’s going crazy, he’s sweaty. And he just head butts the wall and put a hole in the wall of his house.
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Consider the veteran Garnett muttering to himself “I’m in timeout” while in a quiet coach’s room to calm himself down before an NBA Finals game:
Doc Rivers: Before Game 6 in the (2008) Finals when we beat the Lakers, I walked in the locker room, and Kevin gets [hyped] up to where sometimes he goes over the line. You could see it. I had him come in my office and sit. He’s sitting there five, 10, 15 minutes. I don’t say a word. I just go back to work. He’s moving around and finally he says, ‘I’m in a timeout. I’m in timeout.’ I didn’t even respond. You could hear him: ‘Phew’ (exhaling). But you think about a guy who has been in the league that long and is still that jacked up for a game that you literally have to calm him down. That’s my favorite story.
There’s little about Garnett’s Brooklyn days in the oral history beyond a couple of comments from Plumlee, and it seems fitting: Garnett grew into the player he was in Minnesota, cemented his legacy in Boston, and returned home to the Timberwolves. Garnett’s time in Brooklyn, though impactful to the franchise while he was here, will likely be little more than a brief note in his illustrious career.
Consider reading the full two-part history below.
Bleacher Report — A Man in Full: An Oral History of Kevin Garnett, the Player Who Changed the NBA
Bleacher Report — KG, the Oral History, Part 2: Glory in Boston, Quirky Traits and Returning Home