Kevin Garnett joined perhaps one of the most star-studded Hall of Fame classes in basketball history, joining Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as the headliners of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class that was officially announced on Saturday.
Joining those legends will be Tamika Catchings, along with a number of legendary coaches including Eddie Sutton, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Rudy Tomjanovich and former FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann.
Garnett enters the Hall of Fame a one-time MVP (2004), nine-time All-NBA first-team selection and a 15-time All-Star over his 21-year career. He spoke with former teammate Paul Pierce on ESPN after the official announcement was made about his election.
“You put countless hours into this. You dedicate yourself to a craft. You take no days off. You play through injury...This is the culmination,” Garnett said on ESPN Saturday. "All those hours of everything you’ve ever put up for it all, this is what you do it for right here. To be able to be called a Hall of Famer is everything."
Garnett later added: “I’m glad to be going in the class with Timmy, I’m very honored to be going in the class with the great Kobe Bryant, Tamika Catchings, others, this is the culmination for me, though. All the hard work, this is what you do it for.”
Garnett’s official enshrinement won’t come until September in Springfield, MA but with six of the most memorable seasons of his career coming in Boston, let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember the best of Kevin Garnett in Boston, featuring some of his top moments on and off the floor.
Dancing During Gino Time
No player in Celtics history has probably enjoyed the Celtics’ dancing victory cigar more at the end of games than the power forward. Garnett would gleefully dance with teammates to the American Bandstand video at the end of games during timeouts. During his last visit to the Garden as a Timberwolves to 2015, the Celtics fans chanted for him and cheered him on the Jumbotron as the song was played one final time with him as an active player in the building.
KGino Time pic.twitter.com/bUv6495UDW
— Kyle George (@kyoo) December 22, 2015
Barking at Jerryd Bayless
The first thing you will hear when talking to anyone in the Celtics organization about Garnett was how he brought a different level of intensity to everything he did in a Boston uniform. Celtics fans saw that firsthand in his debut season when Garnett surprised Portland guard Jerryd Bayless by barking at him as he brought the ball up the floor, a clip that set the defensive attitude for how the 2008 eventual champions played that whole season.
Making Big Baby Cry
Glen Davis was actually a key member of the 2007-08 Celtics as a rookie but he was not ready for the intensity that Kevin Garnett brought to the table on some nights. After Davis and other reserves blew a sizable lead to the Blazers (same game as the barking) in the fourth quarter, Garnett gave Big Baby an earful on the bench during a timeout. The end result? Davis was spotted crying at the end of the bench by cameras afterward.
Telling Craig Sager to Burn His Suit
Garnett always had entertaining back-and-forth interviews with TNT reporter Craig Sager on the sidelines but this exchange from All-Star weekend in 2009 stands out from the pack. Garnett didn’t show off his sense of humor too much in the public limelight but he was clearly in his comfort zone on this one.
The Knuckle Pushups