The ex-Celtics big man also is one of the NBA's greatest motivators who continued to check up on his former team after leaving Boston.
Jaylen Brown certainly can attest to that. During an interview with ESPN's Ros Gold-Onwude, Brown explained how KG would send voice memos to the team during the season, often with strongly-worded (and NSFW) messages.
WYD? w/ Jaylen Brown 🖥🗣🖥@fchwpo shares how a special message from @KevinGarnett5KG to @IsaiahThomas helped inspire the @Celtics during their emotional & unforgettable 2017 playoff run. @espnnba— Ros Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) July 1, 2020
➡️ Full convo on KG, Tatum, & breakout seasons: https://t.co/Sr6d81nn02 pic.twitter.com/Ajg3eLvNug
One of those messages came during Brown's rookie season in 2016-17, when Garnett chewed out the young wing for displaying poor body language.
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"I was at the end of the bench with my head down," Brown said, "and he sent a voice message through my strength coach over the phone like, 'You better pick your mother------- head up!'
"He was cursing me out. He was like, 'You've got to carry yourself a certain way.' So, he told me to pick my head up and fix my body language, right the f--- now."
Brown took KG's colorful message to heart and has blossomed into a confident two-way star for Boston in his fourth season.
The 23-year-old also recalled the poignant voice memo Garnett sent the Celtics during their 2017 first-round playoff matchup with the Bulls. Boston trailed 2-0 to No. 8 seed Chicago and was reeling from the tragic death of Isaiah Thomas' sister, Chyna.
"He spoke so much life into our team," Brown said. " ... It was probably the most OG message you will ever hear in your entire life. It was dope.
"I remember him saying, 'There's two ways you can go. Either you can go backward or go forward. I feel everybody's emotions. Channel it out there and hit them in the mouth.' "
The Celtics did just that, winning four straight games to win the series and rallying behind Thomas to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
So, when Garnett's number gets raised to the TD Garden rafters in the near future, remember that his legacy with the Celtics goes far beyond his on-court performance.