If NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett gets his wish, he will soon become something that the league he once played for desperately needs: another Black owner.
ESPN reports that Glen Taylor, the majority owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has secured the services of a global merchant bank as he explores potentially selling the team.
“I was recently approached by The Raine Group to discuss the future of our franchise,” he wrote in a statement. “From the time I bought the team in 1994, I have always wanted what’s best for our fans and will entertain opportunities on the evolution of the Timberwolves and Lynx ownership structure.”
Should the 79-year-old decide to sell the team, he refuses to bend on one stipulation.
“Everybody’s been told it has to stay in Minnesota,” Taylor told The Athletic.
That won’t be a problem for most of the interested parties that have emerged as potential suitors, but in looking at their resumes and accomplishments, one person, in particular, stands out from the pack—and that’s 15-time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett.
Garnett, who spent 14 years playing for the Timberwolves and is easily its most celebrated player ever, is part of a group that’s determined to purchase the team and revitalize the moribund franchise.
“My passion for the Minnesota Timberwolves to be a championship team is well known but I have a deeper affection for the city of Minneapolis. I once again want to see Minneapolis as the diverse and loving community that I know it is,” Garnett tweeted on Tuesday. “No two people love the city more than myself and Glen Taylor and I look forward to trying to work with him to achieve my dream.”
But in what should be a fairytale ending, with Garnett possibly returning as owner to the same franchise that he saved from the brink of extinction back in 1995, is a bit more...complicated. Because under regular circumstances, Garnett and Taylor would be more inclined to exchange obscenities than friendship bracelets.
Simply put: They hate each other.
The origin of their ire is difficult to pinpoint, but there are two specific issues that have seemingly made their relationship irreparable.
Despite the fact that Garnett dragged a cast of dilapidated parts to the playoffs year after year, Taylor accused him of exaggerating a leg injury and quitting on the team during the final five games of the 2006-2007 season.
“KG tanked it,” Taylor said. “I think the other guys still wanted to play. But it sure changed the team and didn’t make us (as strong).”
Harsh words, yes, but the death knell in their relationship came years later. Prior to the 2015 trade deadline, with Garnett in the twilight of his career, he returned to the Timberwolves via a trade with the Brooklyn Nets under one condition: that after his retirement, he would be promised a front-office role within the organization.
This agreement, facilitated by then-coach Flip Saunders, went to complete shit after Saunders succumbed to Hodgkin’s disease soon after. Taylor then hired Tom Thibodeau
to destroy the franchise as head coach and president of basketball operations, leaving Garnett assed out—and pissed off.
In response, Garnett has refused to retire his jersey in Minnesota and emptied out the clip during a recent interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic.
“I don’t want any dealings with Glen Taylor or Taylor Corp. or anything that has to do with him,” he snapped. “I love my Timberwolves, I’ll always love my guys, I’ll always love the people who fuck with me there. I’ll always have a special place for the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in my heart. But I don’t do business with snakes. I don’t do business with snake mu’fuckas.”
I guess it’s safe to say that he’s had a change of heart.
Hopefully, the two are able to set their differences aside and do what’s best for both the city and the franchise. Because if there’s anyone who deserves the opportunity to salvage the Timberwolves, it’s Kevin Garnett.