Kevin Garnett’s beef with Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is well documented.
But with his pending enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has come renewed talk of having his jersey retired by the Timberwolves.
He’s not having it. At least as long as Taylor is still around.
‘I’m not entertaining it’
Garnett spoke about his induction into the Hall with The Athletic’s Shams Charania when the topic of retiring his Timberwolves jersey came up. Time has not thawed his relationship with team ownership.
“Glen knows where I’m at,” Garnett said. “I’m not entertaining it. First of all, it’s not genuine. Two, he’s getting pressure from a lot of fans and, I guess, the community there.”
Garnett’s No. 5 jersey with the Boston Celtics is scheduled to be raised to the rafters next season. But the No. 21 he wore in Minnesota is the jersey he donned when he made himself a Hall of Famer.
Easily the best player in the history of the franchise, Garnett played 13 of his 22 NBA seasons in Minnesota, where he earned 10 of his 15 career All-Star nods and won the 2004 MVP trophy.
Why is KG mad?
Garnett is upset with Taylor after he says the Timberwolves owner failed to honor a deal they had along with former general manager and head coach Flip Saunders. Garnett says that when he waived a no-trade clause to return to the Timberwolves from the Brooklyn Nets late in his career, it came with an understanding that he would join team ownership and play a front-office role after he retired.
He says Taylor backed out of that arrangement when Saunders died of Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015.
“Glen and I had an understanding before Flip died, and when Flip died, that understanding went with Flip,” Garnett said. “For that, I won’t forgive Glen. I won’t forgive him for that. I thought he was a straight-up person, straight-up business man, and when Flip died, everything went with him.”
‘I don’t do business with snakes’
If the Timberwolves want Garnett’s No. 21 in the rafters, they could conceivably retire it without his blessing. But a jersey retirement ceremony without Garnett’s presence would make for an awkward, bizarre scene.
It’s a shame for Timberwolves fans, whom Garnett makes clear he holds no ill-will with. He just doesn’t want to be in business with Taylor.
“I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart,” Garnett said. “But I don’t do business with snakes. I don’t do business with snake motherf------. I try not to do business with openly snakes or people who are snake-like.”
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