Kevin Garnett's stunning return to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the NBA's February trade deadline brought with it a fresh injection of excitement for a franchise in the midst of a youth-movement-led rebuilding effort. The reintroduction of the greatest player in franchise history after eight years in the East carried with it a powerful nostalgia, a sense of a career come full circle and, as we saw during Garnett's first game back in Minneapolis, a significant surge of energy that showed Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and the rest of the young Wolves just how electric the Target Center can become during big moments.
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While the 38-year-old Garnett isn't nearly as live a wire as the 19-year-old version that stormed the Twin Cities straight out of Farragut Academy, or nearly as complete a player as the 27-year-old model who won league MVP honors while carrying the Wolves to the 2004 Western Conference finals, he's an inarguably thrilling character who can still clean the glass and direct a defense while acting as a magnetic mentor for the Pups. He's another major reason to show up and watch the games ... and that's very literally true for Monday's matchup with Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kevin Garnett, the Big Ticket, has bought 1,000 tickets to give away to Timberwolves fans for Monday’s home game at Target Center vs. the Los Angeles Clippers as a way to say thanks to fans for their warm welcome upon his return to the team last week.
“The response and support I’ve received from Wolves fans since my return to Minnesota has been nothing short of amazing. It’s been unbelievable,” Garnett, acquired in a trade with Brooklyn, said in a statement released Sunday morning by the team. “As a gesture of thanks, I would like to treat some fans to Monday night’s game against the Clippers. Love you all, and thanks for the love. Enjoy the game on me.”
Those tickets, as you might expect, went quite quickly, according to the Wolves:
Thank you for your support of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Earlier this morning, the 1,000 tickets purchased by Kevin Garnett were claimed in under 3 minutes.
But for Wolves fans who came up short on snagging those KG freebies but share an age group with the team's bright-future pieces, Minny decided to offer another low-cost option for checking out the Clippers contest:
Hey students! Join us tonight for a BONUS College Night at Target Center as the Wolves take on the Clippers - tix just $5 at the box office!
— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) March 2, 2015
It remains to be seen whether Garnett's return will energize the Wolves' base to the point of packing the gym for the remainder of this lottery-bound season, or whether the team will continue to look for cost-cutting methods of lowering the barrier to entry for fans who might have turned away since Garnett last stalked the hardwood in Minnesota. This sure does seem to represent a nice start, though, one in keeping with KG's vocal gratitude at his reception by the Minneapolis faithful against the Washington Wizards last Thursday night.
"I've been back before and I never paid attention to how much love is here still for me because I'm too busy being focused on the game," Garnett said after the win, according to Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press. "And tonight it was just over the top. I did not know the city missed me like this. I don't think that you can ever wish or ever think the city loves you like this. But to see it is reality and I'm very appreciative."
And, clearly, he's more than willing to show a pretty significant token of his appreciation.
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