Timberwolves fans, we put together a list of the most rewatchable moments in their 30-year history. This is part of an 11-part series at SKOR North. We’ve decided to roll out the games/events in chronological order.
Let’s forget for a second about all the negative things Kevin Garnett has said recently about the Glen Taylor and just reflect on all the great memories KG has given us.
This includes his return to Minnesota after the 2015 trade deadline, when Flip Saunders brought Garnett back home. The Timberwolves traded Thaddeus Young to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for KG, who waived his no-trade clause to return back to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
At this point in time, there was no doubt that Thaddeus Young was the more superior player compared to a 38-year-old Garnett, but that didn’t matter. This move was about bringing back the face of the franchise for so many years, a player who meant so much to nearly every Minnesotan, and, as the basketball operations department considered, an essential part to the growth of the young Wolves. There was a goal in mind beyond pleasing Timberwolves fans and that was this: Be a leader and role model for the young guys.
The Wolves were building an athletic roster with unlimited potential, built around youngsters Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. They were in the middle of a lost season, hoping and expecting to gain another top pick in the NBA Draft that upcoming summer. Spoiler alert: they ended up with the #1 pick in the draft and selected the next franchise-changer, Karl-Anthony Towns. Having Garnett around to help develop these players, motivate them, and help them reach their star potential was so important to Flip.
Let’s fast forward from the time of the trade to one whole week later when KG was set to face the Wizards in his first game back. The Timberwolves had only 12 wins on the season at this point, and yes, it was February. Of course, this game was sold out. Fans arrived hours before tip-off to wait in the line to get into the arena. Kevin Garnett jerseys were everywhere.
That night was special in so many ways, from the Wolves having a “homecoming” video for Garnett play on the big screen, to the sight of Flip and KG back together again, to the emotion and energy brought back to a team who had been struggling since the day Garnett left in 2007, and to Jiggly Boy dancing and capturing the attention of a smiling Garnett.
It didn’t matter that Garnett only scored five points on 2-7 shooting. It didn’t matter than his first field goal came with only about three and a half minutes left in the first half. It also didn’t matter that he only played in five games for the Timberwolves over the rest of that season. The energy level and the excitement in Minnesota on February 25th, 2015 was incredible.