Kevin Garnett’s Top 10 plays of his career

Zach Harper —  February 12, 2013 — 14 Comments

The NBA’s YouTube page is releasing the top 10 plays of a bunch of All-Stars’ careers and Kevin Garnett was one of the first guys they did. I know it’s not totally cool to still love KG because he barks at people and he was mad at Glen Taylor and stuff, but he’s still probably my favorite NBA player of all time. I love watching him even to this day and have a great time seeing the highlights from his career with the Wolves.

Nine of these plays by KG involve the Wolves, one of the plays was in the title clinching game in 2008, and eight of them are in a Wolves uniform. Here are my quick thoughts of remembrance for each play: 

10. Game-winning steal against the Wolves: I remember this one hurting because it was a surreal experience seeing KG playing against the Wolves in another uniform. In fact, it’s still a little tough getting used to from time to time. But looking back at this highlight and seeing a lineup at the end of a close game consisting of Sebastian Telfair, Rashad McCants, Marko Jaric, Ryan Gomes, and Al Jefferson just made my eye begin to twitch. I mean… Antoine Walker couldn’t even get some burn at the end of that game? WHAT AM I SAYING?!

9. Game-winning shot against the Pistons: I don’t have many memories of this game, but the contesting of the jumper by Jerry Stackhouse was incredible. Watching a lot of his play with the Nets now and over the past couple years, sometimes you forget the older guys used to be hyper-athletic. It’s like when I remind people that Clarence Weatherspoon and Allan Houston were in the NBA Dunk Contest once.

8. Acrobatic shot to help bury the Lakers in title-clinching game: I was really worried about the Lakers coming back and winning that series in 2008. We saw that very few leads were safe amongst those two teams because they were so good at grabbing momentum. But when KG made that shot over Lamar Odom and got the foul, I felt pretty confident the Celtics were going to close out the game and get Garnett his first title. Needless to say, I lost my excrement when he hit this shot.

7. Backcourt steal and alley-oop against Tim Duncan: He wasn’t the first and he definitely won’t be the last, but Garnett was one of the rare defenders in NBA history that was a threat to make a play for the entire 94 feet. His quick reactions were just astounding to see on a play-by-play basis, especially back when he still had his elite athleticism. The most surprising part of this play isn’t KG’s part so much as it’s Tim Duncan seemingly being unaware of a potential lob from Marbury. He looked lost on defense there, which may be one of five times in his career you could say that.

6. Kevin Garnett murders Shawn Bradley, avoids charges being pressed by the DA: MURKED. Shawn Bradley has been killed more times than Freddie Krueger. And I love the call so much. “I feel you, young fella!” That phrase has repeated in my head so many times when someone gets dunked on. It’s just burned into my brain.

5. KG blocks Drew Gooden’s dunk attempt: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Mike Tyson. I wonder what Drew Gooden’s plan was here and how much thought he put into the physics of trying to dunk over 2004 Kevin Garnett.

4. Insane tip-dunk by KG against the Rockets: I still remember being blown away by this follow dunk. He catches it at his waist and dunks it in one motion! AT HIS WAIST!

3. Game-winner against the Blazers: There weren’t many good days in the 2006-07 season. The team struggled and you could see it killing KG on a nightly basis. Not to mention, Kevin had never been that great in the clutch with shooting the ball and had a stigma of being afraid of the big moment, which turned out to be ludicrous. He hit this shot in late March against the Blazers. Remember the starting lineup for that stretch? It was KG, Mark Blount, Ricky Davis, Trenton Hassell, and Mike James. That was the last season KG spent here and he still fought through it the best he could.

2. Insaner (that could be a word) tip-dunk by KG against the Kings: It’s rare that you are able to get a tip-dunk three feet from the basket, but KG found a way against the Kings. This is probably the most memorable dunk of KG’s career for me (but we’ll go over a few in a second). Mainly because I think I was watching the game with friends in Sacramento and they’re all Kings fans. So I was probably talking a lot of feces when he did that.

1. Young KG with the block and the finishI guess Eldridge Recasner didn’t read the paper that day. You don’t bring it in young KG’s house and expect to walk away with a lovely parting gift. I didn’t get to watch many Wolves games back in those days (for those of you don’t know, I grew up in Sacramento), so I had to rely on SportsCenter highlights (rarely happened), box scores, columns from national newspapers, Wolves at Kings games, and the occasional satellite feed from some friend’s giant dish in their yard. I remember seeing this highlight on SportsCenter the night it happened and going crazy. The first kid out of high school in forever doing this type of stuff? And he didn’t move like a big man is supposed to move. That was a special, special time of excitement. Haven’t felt that kind of wonderment until Rubio’s rookie season.

I loved this compilation of KG’s career highlights. But there were a few I was hoping would find their way in (although I’m not sure which ones I’d eliminate):

KG dunks on Nene and then catches him

KG cups the ball and dunks on Stromile Swift

KG dunks on the Spurs’ frontcourt

KG dunks on Antoine Carr

KG crossover against Brad Miller

Also, I can’t find highlights specifically of them, but I do remember KG crossing up Walter McCarty, a Stephon Marbury to KG feed that resulted in a dunk on Antonio McDyess or somebody from the Nuggets, and a few others. Any that I missed?

Zach Harper

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14 responses to Kevin Garnett’s Top 10 plays of his career

  1. Two obvious exclusions. They are (in my book) the top 2 plays of his career and they were from the same game.
    I can’t decide which is #1, but they’re from Game 7 against Sacramento.

    KG crosses up Chris Webber and dunks on the Kings.

    With the shot clock winding down and the Kings clawing at the lead, KG nails a three pointer with two defenders pressuring him.

    I’d also throw the back-to-back three pointers he hit to force overtime early in the 03-04 season against Sacramento in there.

    Those are my top 3.

    Follow dunk against Kings is #4.

    All the Kings plays.

  2. This is an excellent collection. That Rockets game in KG’s rookie year and also the Wolves first playoff series had at least 5 worthy highlights. There’s one where KG grabs a rebound over Olajuwon and then windmills for no apparent reason. One of my favorites. The Denver dunk could have been over Ervin Johnson.

    On #2, that KG/Sac tip dunk happened the night they unveiled Malik Sealy’s banner. There was speculation as to KG’s pointing to the rafters.

  3. How about the Game 7 crossover and dunk against C-Web and the Kings in 2004? More or less set the tone for the rest of the game. Easily one of my top 3 KG moments.

    It’s at about the 6:46 mark:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhCOECOX_-M

  4. Game 7 vs. the Kings! Especially 6:36 of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1VtZht_8t4

  5. My favorite athlete of all time ever. Thanks for this post.

  6. pagingstanleyroberts February 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Two come to mind: his drive and dunk on C-Webb in Game 7, and his 2 contested 3s in the final 30 seconds to send a game in Sacto to OT. Suddenly, it’s much weirder that Rick Adelman is the Wolves’ coach.

    It surprises me how easily people turn on KG for crimes of sportsmanship (the Villanueva comments notwithstanding, which were clearly in bad taste). Sorry if I don’t feel the need to stick up for pro athletes who can either do that for themselves or have teammates send a message.

  7. I personally love the put-back dunk on Pau Gasol in Game 1 of the 2008 finals. I know it really bums me out that everyone has such short memories here in Minnesota, and boo him every time he’s here playing the Wolves. The man gave his heart and sole to the organization but most importantly to the fans. He has never said ill will about the fans here in Minny, just the overall management. But can you necessarily blame him? But thanks for the post, brings back a lot of good memories.

  8. Man, I remember #1. The Twin Cities media was going crazy after that game because that was the moment when they realized just how special he could be.

  9. Against the Spurs, KG was holding the ball in one hand on the 3 pt line as he liked to do. As he held it, the crowd started to get louder. He looked at the crowd, shushed them with his other hand, then drained the 3. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

  10. I honestly can’t remember the circumstances – or the team – but early in Garnett’s career, when he was still coming off the bench and/or getting limited minutes, he grabbed a contested rebound and then stood there and forgot he wasn’t playing NBA Jam.

    He proceeded to secure the rebound by windmilling the ball around in circles one handed as fast as you or I could windmill a baseball. These were the moments when you were getting legitimately giddy for his potential

  11. After rereading Howl City’s post – it occurs to me that we probably are alluding to the same play. Only he can illustrate his memories with names, faces and facts.

    Also – any time when Steph caught the ball on the right wing/corner and Garnett would post hard on the right block. There was some Jedi signal only the two of them could ascertain that would make Steph fake the entry pass and throw a lob while a split second later Garnett would seal his man and spin for the Oop.

  12. It wasn’t his most flashy dunk, but in the playoff series against the Kings KG had gone into beserker mode and got a step on C-Webb and threw one down. Not flashy but helped seal a win in the best (and most important?) playoff series in Wolves History.

  13. Also reminds me that I miss Trent Tucker. His enthusiasm, along with Garnett’s – what a great combination.

  14. With less than 30 seconds left against the Kings Dec. 5, 2003, the Wolves are down 6. KG hits a top of the key 3, followed by a quick foul. Brad Miller misses both free throws and KG hits another 3 to send the game into overtime (a Wolves win). Oh yeah, he also had a Wolves record 25 boards in the game.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/playbyplay?gameId=231205023&period=4

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