Another Boston Celtics great will be enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a part of the Class of 2020.
Kevin Garnett will join Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan among the 2020 player inductees into the Hall of Fame.
A 21-year NBA veteran and 15x NBA All-Star, he was widely regarded for his passion and intensity on the court. He is ranked 4th in all-time minutes played (50,418). We congratulate NBA Champion Kevin Garnett. #20HoopClass pic.twitter.com/oplbzNdDNR— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) April 4, 2020
Garnett played 21 NBA seasons after being the fifth overall pick in the 1995 draft. He spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he developed into a star, winning the league MVP after the 2003-04 season and establishing himself as a perennial All-Star.
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“You put countless hours into this. You dedicate yourself to a craft. You take no days off. You play through injury...This is the culmination,” Garnett told ESPN (transcribed by MassLive.com's John Karalis) after his election was announced on Saturday. "All those hours of everything you’ve ever put up for it all, this is what you do it for right here. To be able to be called a Hall of Famer is everything."
In the summer of 2007, Garnett was famously traded to the Celtics to team with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen as a new "Big Three" in Boston. In their first season together, the team beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals to give Garnett his first and only title. He spent six years with the C's before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets and ending his career where it started, with the Timberwolves.
“Playing with Paul, playing with Ray, coming to Boston, was a huge, huge, huge, huge, huge, huge challenge in my life,” Garnett told ESPN. “It was probably one of the biggest decisions I’ve made in my career and I’m glad I made it. We should have got together a couple of years earlier, right? We’d probably be sitting on two or three more rings.”
Garnett averaged 17.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in his career. He was a 15-time All-Star, made the NBA All-Defensive Team 12 times, was an All-NBA player nine times, led the league in rebounds four times, and took home a Defensive Player of the Year Award with the Celtics in 2007-08. He certainly is a worthy Hall of Famer given the accolades he received, his longevity, and the leadership he displayed throughout his career.
Duncan and Bryant are worthy Hall of Fame inductees as well. Duncan averaged 19.0 points and 10.8 rebounds in a 19-year career that saw him earn 15 All-Star nods, two MVPs, and five NBA titles.
Bryant, who tragically died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, was one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. He averaged 25 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game and spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers. He made 18 All-Star appearances, won five titles, received the 2007-08 MVP award and lead the league in scoring twice.