There's no doubt that Kevin Garnett had one of the strongest characters in the history of this game. There was no getting into his face, there was no giving less than 110% if you were his teammate.
Garnett was always a bit of an intimidating person. You knew you couldn't mess with him, and he was going to let you have it if you weren't doing your job.
That's why it was so important for the Minnesota Timberwolves to do whatever they could to keep their franchise player at ease, out of the respect they had for his job ethic and competitive nature.
As you may know by now, most NBA players and athletes tend to be a little superstitious. They have their amulets and don't exactly enjoy when their pre-game routine is altered or some of their equipment is missing or replaced.
The Big Ticket wasn't the exception to that rule, so it wasn't a surprise to find out one of the craziest Kevin Garnett stories yet, as told by Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
Apparently, during a road game vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, staff members had forgotten to put his finger sleeves on his right shoe as per usual. Garnett didn't like that but took the blame, even though he was clearly disgruntled.
The locker room was dead silent for 30 minutes, up to the point where they actually got one of Sam Cassell's friends to pick up one of Garnett's finger sleeves at Minnesota, drive to the airport to give them to a pilot that was flying to Memphis, and then had someone from the team pick them up at the airport right before tip-off.
Crazy as it may seem, Garnett was pretty happy about them going the extra mile, torched the Grizzlies for 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks; and credited his good-old finger sleeve for it.
That's just the good-old Kevin Garnett, an intimidating guy in the locker room that would always give you 100% percent on the floor, and that's why it was so important for the Timberwolves organization to bring him back to mentor their young core.
Garnett spent the final passage of his career with younger players like Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Andrew Wiggins, trying to inspire them and show him his competitive mindset.
Then again, it seems like that didn't pan out as expected, as Krawczynski told in a hilarious story of Garnett trying to inspire the young guns with the movie 'Gladiator', just to find out that Andrew Wiggins hadn't even heard about it:
"In the locker room there used to be a couch and TV next to the kitchen, so we walk in and KG’s there. It looks like he’s been there. He’s watching the movie “Gladiator.” It’s the final scene where Russell Crowe is fighting for his life. He sees me and Andrew (Wiggins) and he’s like, ‘Come here, come here.’
So we walk over there. He’s real into the movie. “You see this shit right here, this is what this shit’s about. You die for what you believe in. You die for your boys. This is that mentality we need to have going into the game. It’s about war. It’s about going down with your boys. I love this shit. This shit gives me goosebumps.”
I look, and he actually has goosebumps. I’m a big KG guy and I’m like “Yeah, I’m with you man. This is how we gotta play.” He’s like “right, Zach. You feel me Wiggs?”
Andrew Wiggins says “I don’t know even know what ‘Gladiator’ is, I’ve never heard of this movie.” The look on his face was like perplexed. Not anger, but just like get out of my face. So he just looks at us and says, “Y’all go get ready for the game, man.”
Chances are that Garnett knew right there that Wiggins wasn't going to make history for the Timberwolves, and maybe that's when he said 'Ok, it's time to retire'.