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After 21 seasons in the NBA, Kevin Garnett is calling it a career, finishing with career averages of 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Kevin Garnett accomplished a lot in his career. He won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics, was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois in 1995, and he put the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise on the map. He is without question a first ballot hall of fame player and one of the best players of his generation.
When looking back on Kevin Garnett's career, what stands out the most is the passion that he played with every night. Kevin Garnett had an almost psychotic approach to the game of basketball. He was obsessed with giving it his all on every play and never backed down to anybody. If an opponent took a shot after the whistle, Garnett would still block the shot and prevent it from going through rim.
Kevin Garnett could not allow himself to give his opponents one iota of confidence and did everything he could to get in their heads. He was the king of trash talk and on court swagger to the point that it absolutely annoyed you if he was playing against you. At the same time, if he was on your team, he fired you up and made you believe you could win. He was absolutely a guy who you wanted in your corner when the chips were down. He put his teammates first and was willing to die for them if needed.
Kevin Garnett was old school in that he really played for the love of the game. He didn't play for the money, the fame, or the personal recognition. He played the game of basketball because he loved it and had a solemn dedication to it that is seldom seen. He never disrespected the game or took it for granted. Every minute he was on the floor he cherished and he gave it his all. He recognized that he had a talent and a gift that few people had and he did not want to waste it for even a moment.
Just like how there will never be another Kobe Bryant or another Tim Duncan, there will never be another Kevin Garnett. I'm not sure we will ever see another player who plays with quite the same amount of fervor and vigor that Kevin Garnett played with. He loved the game and it showed in every moment that he was on the floor. Even when he was at the end of his career, he still had a desire to reunite with the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise and mentor the next generation of NBA players. His heart has always been in the right place and the game of basketball has been richly blessed because of it. Kevin Garnett, you will be missed.