Minnesota Nice is at it again. First the Vikings drafted Randy Moss and he becomes a superstar. The fans love him; he packs the Metrodome year after year, establishing himself as one of the all-time best. Then he is traded away, and after several years in New England and Oakland the Vikings trade to bring Moss back.
The Twins draft Torii Hunter — what a player and leader in the clubhouse, a big star and fan favorite. Then the team trades him away, and after several years in Los Angeles and Detroit on playoff teams, you guessed it, the Twins bring him back in 2015, signing him as a free agent.
The Timberwolves, not to be out-done, follow suit. Kevin Garnett, drafted in 1995 with the fifth pick of the first round, grows up and leads the team to the playoffs a franchise-record eight years in a row and captures NBA MVP honors in 2004.
Now in his 20th season and clearly in the twilight of his future Hall-of-Fame career, Garnett is back as a Timberwolf. One of the NBA’s biggest stars, Garnett will play his first game Wednesday, February 25 vs. Washington at Target Center.
The Timberwolves believe Garnett will help lead several of the team’s younger players to a better understanding of what it takes to compete night in and night out in the rugged Western Conference of the NBA. “We are excited to have Kevin Garnett back in Minnesota and playing for the Timberwolves. When people think of the Timberwolves, they think of KG,” said Coach Flip Saunders.
“He had some great years for us and our organization, and fans really respect what he’s done here in Minnesota and throughout his NBA career. KG will bring his usual strong work ethic and leadership and be a positive influence for our young team,” said Saunders
The Wolves reacquired forward Garnett from Brooklyn in exchange for forward Thaddeus Young, who was part of the deal coming to the Wolves in the off-season deal that sent All-Star Kevin Love to Cleveland. In his heyday with the Timberwolves, Garnett, drafted in the first round, was nicknamed the Big Ticket.
His return certainly should tease and generate some excitement among loyal fans who have suffered long and hard with this franchise and its struggles over the last 11 years missing the playoffs.
The big questions are how much does Garnett have left and how long will he play? And why would he give up his exclusive no-trade clause to return to a young team with 42 losses that could lose 60 games. Maybe to become a future part owner?
Garnett has been playing about 22 minutes a game for the Nets this season. He has always been one of the game’s great competitors and plays with passion and a love for the game. For this he has established himself as a future Hall-of-Fame player.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to email@example.com, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.