As every NBA trade deadline approaches, teams often make interesting moves just before the cutoff.
This season was nothing new – Philadelphia moved along one of its young stars in Michael Carter-Williams despite being openly committed to acquiring young talent.
Phoenix – laden with quality guards – sent Goran Dragic (and his brother Zoran) to Miami in exchange for a set of steak knives, thus allowing the Heat to keep the core of its group whilst acquiring an All-Star performer.
Oklahoma City rid itself of grumpy big man Kendrick Perkins to Utah in a seemingly lopsided trade for Enes Kanter.
Kanter has already provided the Thunder with good service whilst Perkins’ contract was bought out in Utah and he eventually signed with the powerhouse Cavaliers in Cleveland.
However the trade that caught many peoples attention was one that will have little impact on the playoffs.
Yet, for a struggling, small market franchise lingering in the Western conference cellar, it was a major move.
The Minnesota Timberwolves re-acquired a player who is the overall leader in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals and minutes played.
Kevin Garnett spent his first twelve seasons in a Timberwolves uniform, breaking all franchise records, winning the 2004 NBA MVP and leading his squad to numerous deep playoff runs against powerful teams like Sacramento (think Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovich, Mike Bibby, Vlade Divac) and the LA Lakers (Kobe and Shaq anyone?)
Today, the ‘Wolves aren’t any good – they are probably most relevant right now for having Zach LaVine, who stole the show on All-Star weekend with his slam dunk contest performance.
55 games into the season, Minnesota had only managed to chalk up a dozen victories.
So clearly, Garnett is not heading back to the freezing Minneapolis for a shot at the title.
KG is well past his best, rarely contributing more than 20-minutes per game nowadays and offering little on offence when he was once a lock for 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
But, as the interview below shows, KG invested his heart and soul into playing for the ‘Wolves.
In American pro sports, we often hear the saying, ‘it’s a business.’
That is often true, with private ownership models, teams regularly cut players – particularly in the NFL – to save money.
Loyalty and goodwill are rarely apart of the NFL, NBA or MLB and understandably so.
That is why the Garnett trade is such a feel good story for the fans of the NBA.
We all know KG can no longer carry his Timberwolves to win after win across a gruelling 82-game schedule but no one cares.
All anyone cares about is the opportunity for Garnett to end his illustrious career with the team he joined right from high school way back in 1995.
KG – known as a ferocious competitor – can mould his young team mates into proven NBA performers who can be the next generation to carry Minnesota to an elusive playoff berth.
I grew up a Garnett fan and if nothing else, I am thrilled I can update my #21 Timberwolves jersey and see him finish his Hall of Fame career in the jersey he should finish it in.