After winning virtually every achievable personal award in the NBA, while in Minnesota, Kevin Garnett approved his trade to the Boston Celtics in late summer of 2007. Of course, it wasn’t nearly that simple but save that story for another time
Kevin Garnett’s impact on the Celtics was immediate and profound. In 2008, KG added NBA Defensive Player of the Year to his personal trophy case while sharing the NBA’s ultimate award, the Larry O’Brien Trophy with his teammates and the entire city of Boston.
Looking back at Kevin Garnett’s greatest moments, highlights and impacts of his time in Boston leaves fans and historians with much to discuss and still yet discover. Kevin Garnett is without a doubt one of basketball’s all-time greats, but what is his legacy in Boston? Is he worthy of having his number retired on Sunday? Let’s find our answers by looking back at his accomplishments during his time in Beantown
Garnett came to Boston as a championship-starved veteran who had given everything he had to the Timberwolves organization for 12 years.
Garentt’s most iconic Boston moments came in the NBA Finals In Game 6, with the Celtics leading by 30+ points, Garnett hit jump shots, pivot play, over the rim, in the paint all while at the expense of Pau Gasol. Teammate Paul Pierce was named NBA Finals MVP but Garnett’s contributions started on day 1, renewing the rich championship culture of the Celtics organization. It was Garnett’s unwavering belief in that culture and in Celtics Tradition that fueled the C’s to seal the the championship for Boston, their 17th flag. Another title, another Lakers loss.
The basketball world was back to normal.
Game 6 of the Finals offered The image of Garnett pumping his fist in celebration and crying on camera proclaiming, “Anything is Possible,” a phrase that will live on forever in Celtics history and lore.
Earlier that season, Kevin Garnett was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He became only the second player in Celtics history to win the award, and he did it in style, with a record number of votes. NOTE: the DPOY Award was not yet created during the Bill Russell era.
KG averaged over 17 points per game on 52% shooting that season, but his defense, unselfishness and all out passion/desire to win that set him apart from the competition. His combination of strength, agility, athleticism and intelligence made him one of the best defenders in NBA history.
Kevin Garnett’s truly bought in to the tradition that Red Auerbach had created and his teammates responded immediately by also embracing those traditions. Even the younger players like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins looked up to KG as a role model, the ultimate alpha and proud Celtic. Perkins has even said that Garnett is the best teammate he’s ever had. Rondo refers to him as his “big brother.”
Though the Celtics reached the NBA Finals twice during Garnett’s tenure, they only managed to win the title in 2008. Despite their inability to win a second, Kevin Garnett left behind a legacy as one of the all-time great Celtics players. What follows are some of his most iconic moments while donning green.
KG’s time in Boston was truly special, and his legacy will last for years to come. Thanks for everything, KG!