The team that gave Kevin Garnett the lone championship of his career will recognize him as one of the all-time greats to put on the famous green uniform. The Boston Celtics will retire Garnett’s No. 5 jersey next season.
Garnett played for the Celtics from 2007, when he was traded there from the Minnesota Timberwolves, to 2013. In that span, he made five All-Star games, picked up three All-Defensive First Team honors, one All-Defensive Second team honor, one All-NBA First Team honor, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year award and an NBA Championship. The big man got his first and only ring after Boston defeated the Lakers 4-2 in the 2008 NBA Finals. After the Game 6 victory that sealed the title, he famously screamed “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE” in his postgame interview.
Over 396 games in Boston, Garnett averaged 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 steals and one block per game while shooting 52 percent from the floor and 82.7 percent from the line. He remained consistent throughout the postseason with his playoff stats being very reminiscent of what he put up in the regular season. Of course, in terms of playoff accomplishments, the numbers probably mean a lot less than the fact that he was a leader on the squad that knocked LeBron James out of the playoffs in 2010, which factored into his decision to move to the Heat.
Shortly after the announcement of his jersey retirement in Boston, Garnett released the following statement.
Garnett and the Celtics made the NBA Finals one more time in 2010, where they took the Lakers to seven games before blowing a third quarter lead in Game 7. In 2013, Garnett was traded to the Nets alongside championship teammate Paul Pierce. He was honored with a video tribute in early 2014 during his first game back to TD Garden.
It’s no surprise that Boston ended up retiring his number before Minnesota, where he became a household name in the league, did. Not only did the Celtics take KG to the promise land, they also have a better relationship with the 43-year-old than the team that originally drafted him does. The retirement of Garnett’s number in Minnesota is very likely due to ongoing friction between the big man and franchise ownership. Back in Oct. 2018, he said owner Glen Taylor “doesn’t know shit about basketball.”