Kevin Garnett has officially announced his retirement after 21 seasons in the NBA. Garnett said farewell in a message on Instagram late Friday afternoon:
Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reported Friday that Garnett had reached an agreement with the Wolves to leave the team and that retirement was imminent. ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported earlier this week that the 40-year-old and the Wolves were in advanced discussions on a buyout of the contract that was set to pay him $8 million in 2016-17.
Garnett began his lengthy NBA career in Minnesota after being selected out of high school with the No. 5 pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. He quickly developed into one of the best power forwards in the league, but the Wolves only made it out of the first round once during his 12-year first stint with the team.
Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007, and he teamed up with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to lead the Celtics to the 2008 NBA title. The big man also won Defensive Player of the Year that season. He and the Celtics returned to the NBA Finals in 2010, but they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
Garnett and Pierce were traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal in 2013, but KG only lasted in Brooklyn for a season-and-a-half before returning to Minnesota in a trade at the 2015 deadline after waiving his no-trade clause. He’d reportedly hoped to team up with the late Flip Saunders to buy the Wolves from Taylor, but Saunders’ tragic death last year nixed those plans.
Injuries limited Garnett to just 43 games during his second stint with the team, although he was a key mentor to Karl-Anthony Towns in his superb rookie season. Towns seems to have been hit hard by the news:
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) September 23, 2016
“The Big Ticket” joins Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as fellow NBA legends to hang up the sneakers after the 2015-16 season. That’ll make for one heck of a Hall of Fame class.