If there’s any former player who deserves a stake in the ownership of a franchise he helped build, it’s Kevin Garnett. But unfortunately, the Minnesota Timberwolves don’t see it that way.
Garnett had been seeking an ownership stake in the team he put on the map, one that has not been relevant for any sustainable period since. According to his Instagram story, which is still active at the time of this writing, Garnett says that the process of trying to get into the game is over. Mainly it highlights that players are still limited when it comes to acquiring ownership stakes, even for teams they have influenced as much as KG in Minnesota.
“I guess it’s time to focus elsewhere,” Garnett noted, mentioning Seattle and Las Vegas. He later added, “The players who helped build these fuxin franchises like a home, but can never own them, just rent them,” as well as “Fux, doe, your loss.”
Garnett has had long-standing issues with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, going as far as saying he didn’t want his number withdrawn by the organization spent 14 seasons with.
“Glen knows where I am. I’m not entertaining him, ”he told The Athletic last April. “First of all, it is not genuine. Two, it’s getting pressure from a lot of fans and, I guess, from the community there. Glen and I had an understanding before [former team president] Turn around [Saunders] died, and when Flip died, that understanding was with Flip. For that, I will not forgive Glen. I won’t forgive him for that. I thought he was a sincere person, a straightforward businessman, and when Flip died, everything went with him. “
And in July, it seemed that the KG was willing to put the past behind him and reach a resolution with Taylor, which obviously did not translate.
It would also be up to a predominantly black league to have, you know, a black owner. In the NBA, there is only Michael Jordan, who is at least possibly the best athlete the sport has ever produced. Point out that the bar for black ownership in most Negro leagues means you have to be the best of all, which, regardless of the optics, doesn’t make any sense either.
Taylor himself, like most NBA and professional sports owners, donate money primarily to the Republican party, and awkwardly requested that advocates of social change protest “peacefully” throughout your stat from Minnesota. It’s the same state where Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on camera.
For NBA teams, if not a KG-like figure, who? For Minnesota especially, if not KG, then who?
Garnett’s 12-year first career landed just one playoff appearance that lasted beyond the opening round, which remains the only one in its 32-year history. In all, the Timberwolves made eight consecutive playoff appearances between 1996 and 2004, only reaching the playoffs in their franchise history in one other instance: the 2017-18 club led by Jimmy Butler. Garnett was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year and, although he became a champion in Boston, he is by far the closest thing to a champion the Timberwolves franchise has produced. It’s not even close. Consider number 2 on that list: Kevin Love? Karl-Anthony towns? Consider that KG had only one Minnesota All-Star teammate: Sam Cassell in 2003-04, Garnett’s MVP season.
It’s embarrassing that Minnesota owners won’t let Garnett have a seat at the table, but given all we know, it’s not very surprising.