When the Minnesota Timberwolves kick off their 2015-16 campaign on Oct. 28, it will mark the beginning of Kevin Garnett‘s 21st season in the NBA. If things go according to plan, Garnett will be on the floor for the opening tip against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
It’s the first of several milestones the future Hall of Famer is likely to come across this year. Here’s the complete list of NBA players to spend 21 seasons in the league:
ALSO ON HOOPSHABIT: NBA Power Rankings: Best 30 SF of All-Time
That’s it. Garnett will be the third. If KG plays out his contract and also suits up for 2016-17, he’ll become the first 22-year veteran in NBA history.
Garnett is currently tied with Willis for fifth place on the all-time games played list with 1,424. Once he logs his first minute of action in 2015-16, Garnett will hold that honor all to himself.
A pair of Utah Jazz teammates sit directly ahead of Garnett in the third and fourth positions for most career games. KG trails Karl Malone (1,476) by 52 contests, and is likely to top the “Mailman” for fourth place sometime next spring. Garnett would need a remarkable run of good health at age 39 to reach the No. 3 spot this year–John Stockton (1,504) leads him by 80 games.
Minnesota’s 15-time All-Star is fifth on the all-time minutes played list as well, with 49,862. Garnett should pass both Elvin Hayes (50,000) and Jason Kidd (50,111) for third place in either November or December. That’s as high as KG will climb though, considering he’d need to average more than 30 minutes per game for more than two full seasons to catch Malone (54,852).
Garnett is also near the top of the league’s most prestigious stat list, the all-time leading scorers. With 25,949 points, he ranks 15th in NBA history. Unfortunately for KG, Tim Duncan is still going strong in 14th place. Chances are Garnett will actually drop to No. 16 before he calls it quits, as Paul Pierce trails him by just 50 points.