15x All Star, 2004 MVP, 2008 DPOY, 1x NBA Champion
There are some players that you can pick out any lineup, and automatically choose them as a #1 draft pick. Some basketball players just contain all of the assets that you can build a team around. Kevin Garnett was not the number one pick in his draft, not even the second. He was without the doubt however the best of his class. A rail thin teenager out of the West Side of Chicago via Mauldin, South Carolina started his career at the 3 slot, only to help revolutionize the power forward position in ways that are still prominent 24 years after he first entered the league. People don’t talk enough about how much of a freak this guy was because he played so big with his back to the basket, but Garnett in his prime could switch to guard multiple positions from forward to guard, could handle the ball in space, and could jump out the gym. There was no lob he couldn’t catch. And he could shoot. He consistently dragged big men out the paint with his jumpshot from 18 feet out. This made him essentially unguardable. One could imagine how many total points he would have if he played in this era and stretched that jumper out to the three point line, seeing that he never attempted more than 1 a game in his entire career.
What KG at this point has to be most famous for is his intensity, and though much of his behavior was goofball antics, the numbers supported it. The dude won the rebounding title four straight years in the 2000s. The narrative of him toiling away in Minnesota has been talked about over and over by this point. So the fact that he was able to average 5 assists for six straight seasons with the talent that was around him, from the power forward position, speaks to either his unselfishness or the fact that he probably got trapped like crazy every night. He was a rarity in the fact that he got better after a monster contract. Here are his averages from 99-07 after signing for 6 years 126 million: 22.4 points per game, 12.6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Things also of note: was so black you couldn’t see his tattoos, held up a contract negotiaion listening to a Janet Jackson album, and after spending one year on the West Side of Chicago became the most famous athlete to claim Vice Lord in NBA history. (Those that know know.) The Big Ticket will live forever. Shoutout to Kevin Mchale giving him his shot at basketball immortality by sending him to the Celtics in 2008.