Ranking the 50 greatest NBA players of all time

The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images /

22. Kevin Garnett

  • Resume: 21 seasons, 1 NBA championship, 1 regular season MVP Award, 9-time All-NBA selection, 15-time NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP, 1 Defensive Player of the Year Award, 12-time NBA All-Defensive Team, 4-time NBA leader in rebounding, Minnesota Timberwolves’ all-time leading scorer
  • Stats: 17.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.4 BPG,1.3 SPG, .497/.275./.789 shooting splits, 22.7 career PER, 191.4 win shares

Kevin Garnett is one of the greatest NBA personas of all time. His pre-game ritual was banging his head against an NBA stanchion. His Adidas campaign back in his prime with the Minnesota Timberwolves was “Impossible is nothing,” and most people believed him. He may have told Carmelo Anthony that his wife tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios. Ladies and gentlemen, one of the most insane competitors in NBA history!

Don’t let that description make you think KG’s a bad guy though. Just because those traits usually come with the territory of being uber-competitive, the Big Ticket’s biggest flaw for the majority of his career was that he was too nice. Not on the court, of course, because he was an absolutely terrifying two-way force who played with the utmost passion. But his loyalty to the Timberwolves despite their inability to put a competent team around him cost him his golden years and probably chances at multiple titles.

He toiled away in Minnesota, putting up MVP numbers with lackluster supporting casts. Prime KG vs. Prime Duncan was an argument until you brought team success into the conversation. Finally, he was mercifully traded to the Celtics, joining Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to form the Boston Three Party. The Celtics won the title their first year together with KG anchoring the defense and providing the toughness and veteran leadership.

After that, Garnett’s career slowly began to wind down. His final years brought his career numbers way down, but suffice it to say there are PLENTY of people who still remember his days of dominance, like his 2003-04 MVP season when he averaged 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

Plus, his “ANYTHING IS POSSIBBBLLEEEE!” interview after finally winning a championship is one of the all-time greats. Not just because tears of laughter streamed down my face when it happened live, but also because it showed just how much love he put into the game.