Wednesday, April 3, 2002
Updated: August 1, 12:15 PM ET
KG steals show at 2003 All-Star Game
By Bob Carter
Special to ESPN.com
Feb. 9, 2003 - The first All-Star Game to go into double overtime
became the Kevin Garnett show. The Minnesota Timberwolves forward scored a
game-high 37 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the West to a 155-145
victory over the East in Atlanta and spoil Michael Jordan's last All-Star
Playing in his sixth All-Star Game, Garnett hit three straight jumpers and scored the first seven points of the second overtime. His dunk with 47 seconds remaining sealed the victory.
"I didn't want to be in a position where I was taking too many shots," said Garnett, who shot 17-for-24 from the field. "I never want to be perceived as a ball hog. It was a situation where I was either at the basket for a dunk or had a jumper."
Garnett's 37 were the fourth most in All-Star history and the highest since Jordan's 40 in 1988.
Odds 'n' Ends
In winning MVP honors at the 1995 McDonald's All-America Game, Garnett scored 8 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
He was a Parade magazine All-American as a senior when he averaged 25.2 oints, 17.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 6.5 blocks for Farragut Academy. He was voted Illinois' Mr. Basketball.
His four-year high school totals, including the three years at Mauldin (S.C.) High: 2,533 points, 1,807 rebounds and 739 blocks.
Garnett is thought to be an inch or two taller than 6-foot-11, but doesn't want to be listed as a 7-footer with the Timberwolves for fear he might be switched to center.
He and guard Stephon Marbury, a prep All-American from Brooklyn, became phone pals while still in high school. After Garnett moved to Chicago for his senior year, the two finally met and played together in a pickup game. On their first possession, Marbury fed Garnett for an alley-oop dunk.
In his rookie NBA season, Garnett started the final 42 games, averaging 14 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks over that span. His 131 blocks that season ranked 15th in he league.
Veteran Sam Mitchell started at small forward in the season's first half. "Then I went to the coach and told him that Kevin should be starting," Mitchell said. "The reason was simple: He was better."
Garnett's scoring high that season was 33 points against Boston, two shy of Christian Laettner's rookie club record.
In his first All-Star Game in 1997, Garnett played 18 minutes and had a team-high nine rebounds for the West.
Before he arrived in Minnesota, the T-Wolves had suffered 60 or more losses in each of the previous four regular seasons. Their record in the first six seasons with Garnett: 233-227. That included a 26-56 mark in his rookie year.
He has been a durable player, appearing in all but 18 regular-season games in his first 11 seasons. A sprained foot kept him out of five games in 1996-97.
In that second season, Garnett had eight blocks in each of back-to-back games in January, at Boston and at Milwaukee.
He started all 82 games in 1997-98, the third player in Minnesota history to do so after Tyrone Corbin and Pooh Richardson. His all-around game showed: He was 10th in the NBA in rebounds (9.6), 13th in blocks (1.83), and among forwards was third in assists (4.2) and fourth in steals (1.7).
He got his first career triple-double against Denver on Jan. 3, 1998: 18 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Against Houston on April 12, 1999, Garnett had a career-high 11 assists. He also had 21 points and nine rebounds, the third time he had missed a triple-double by one rebound.
In the 2000 All-Star Game, Garnett played more than anyone (35 minutes) and had 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in helping the West to a 137-126 victory over the East.
Garnett broke his own club record of 23 rebounds in a game when he grabbed 24 on Nov. 7, 2002 in a 114-110 win over Milwaukee.
His nicknames have included The Kid, The Big Ticket and the most popular, KG.
He was fifth in the league MVP voting in 2001 after a season in which he averaged 22.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.79 blocks and 1.37 steals.
In his first Game 7, Garnett - on his 28th birthday - had 32 points, 21 rebounds and five blocks in leading Minnesota to an 83-80 victory over Sacramento in the 2004 Western Conference semifinals.
Garnett has a foundation, called 4XL, that has helped open computer labs in two Minneapolis high schools and strives to make technology available to all students.
In 2006, Garnett was awarded the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, an honor given annually for outstanding community service. He donated $1.2 million toward Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and participated in other projects related to the storm.
On July 31, 2007, Garnett was traded to Boston for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, a 2009 first-round draft pick and a return of Minnesota's conditional first-round selection obtained in a previous deal between the teams.
Garnett then signed a three-year contract extension worth about $60 million through the 2011-2012 season.