The return of Kevin Garnett to the Minnesota Timberwolves has been one of the top stories in the NBA since his trade from the Brooklyn Nets last Thursday. With all the anticipation, the reintroduction of the best player in franchise history after an eight-year absence did not disappointment.
The 38-year-old Garnett started the first game of his Wolves return on Wednesday night vs. the Washington Wizards at Target Center. The franchise went all out for his intro, pausing after the announcement of rookie Andrew Wiggins to show a highlight video of Garnett highlights from his first 12 seasons in Minnesota. Garnett was then announced to raucous applause from the fans.
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Take a look at the scene here (via The Cauldron):
Unfortunately, the emotion of KG's return may have had an adverse effect on the Timberwolves to start the game. The Wizards took an 11-1 lead over his first five minutes of action as the Wolves committed four turnovers and Garnett missed his first two shots, both jumpers a few feet inside the three-point line.
Garnett returned in the second quarter and scored his first points on a free throw shortly thereafter. His first field goal came roughly a minute later on this jumper off a pass from Wiggins:
The Wolves were pretty terrific after the slow start and ended the night with a highly impressive 97-77 win to extend the Wizards' run of losses to five straight. Garnett finished with five points (2-of-7 FG), eight boards, two blocks, two assists, and a steal in 19 minutes. Perhaps more importantly, his mere presence energized the arena. It was easy to feel the positivity surrounding the Wolves throughout the night.
Of course, Garnett's second stint with Minnesota may be about much more than on-court performance. He told Yahoo's own Marc Spears in November that he has plans to buy the franchise some day, and those reports have resurfaced elsewhere in the days since the trade.
- - - - - - -