Kevin Garnett ‘should’ve’ gotten to Celtics sooner

Andy Hart
April 08, 2020 - 9:46 am
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Kevin Garnett’s affinity for his time with the Celtics and in Boston has been well-documented.

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Conversely, the man who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame later this summer alongside the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and others, also has a deep distaste for the Minnesota Timberwolves, specifically that team’s owner, Glen Taylor.

Garnett rehashed both feelings in a recent interview with The Athletic.

“Super appreciative of them,” Garnett told The Athletic when asked about his grattitude for his Celtics’ teammate and personnel. “Danny Ainge, the ownership there, Wyc (Grousbeck) and Pags (Steve Pagliuca), Doc Rivers. Celtic nation, man. Anybody who understands the Celtics culture, it’s a nurturing culture, it’s a real fraternity, and it supports each other. To be part of it is something special. I’m glad I’m part of it, and I’m glad I was able to experience the better way of the NBA and seeing how winning franchises really do things. That left a huge, huge impression on me that I’ll take to my grave. I’ll be forever appreciative to the city of Boston, the ownership and everything Celtic nation. I’m honored.”

Elsewhere in the interview, after noting that he tries not to “play the should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” mental game, Garnett did admit he wishes he’d gotten to Boston sooner in his career.

“If I could actually go back and change anything, I would’ve left Minnesota a little earlier, knowing that the management wasn’t as committed as I was. Or wasn’t committed at all. I probably would’ve went to Boston or changed the situation earlier,” Garnett said. “I would’ve been a little younger and that means less wear and tear on the body. Teaming up with Paul (Pierce), I should’ve done that earlier. Who knows — I’m probably sitting here with another ring or two.”

As for Taylor and the Timberwolves, Garnett made his feelings emphatically clear when asked about the franchise potentially retiring his jersey, the way Boston is planning with his No. 5. Garnett actually returned to Minnesota late in his career in 2015 and had a positive relationship with Flip Saunders, then president and coach of the team. When Saunders died following a battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma, Garnett believes promises made to him regarding his future in the organization – and a possible ownership stake – were reneged on by Taylor.

“Glen and I had an understanding before Flip died, and when Flip died, that understanding went with Flip. For that, I won’t forgive Glen,” Garnett declared. “I won’t forgive him for that. I thought he was a straight up person, straight up business man, and when Flip died, everything went with him.

“There’s no reason to complain. Just continue to move on. My years in Minnesota and in that community, I cherish. At this point, I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him. I love my Timberwolves, I’ll always love my guys, I’ll always love the people who fuck with me there. I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart. But I don’t do business with snakes. I don’t do business with snake mu’f---as. I try not to do business with openly snakes or people who are snake-like.”

Related: Report: Kevin Garnett to be a 2020 Hall of Fame inductee