This episode of Beef History details the feud between the greatest player in Minnesota Timberwolves history, Kevin Garnett, and the billionaire who owned the franchise for Garnett’s whole profession, Glen Taylor. It’s a grim, heartbreaking history that illustrates how the basketball quality that makes players millionaires makes franchisees billionaires, how essential it is to surround a star with other excellent gamers, and how a third party’s existence or lack can modulate a fight (rest in peace, Flip Saunders). I’m pleased we made this episode. It’s an useful enhance to the Wolves Collapse That said, this wasn’t the Beef History I set out to produce.
I initially started researching the fight between Garnett and his longest-running, many productive co-star in Minnesota. I’ll give you a minute to try to keep in mind who that was.
Wally Szczerbiak. Yeah. Because Minnesota leadership made ghastly moves and cheated their method into losing a bunch of draft picks, Wally World is probably the second-best Wolf of the KG era. Or a minimum of he was the most constant second-best Wolf, since guys like Stephon Marbury, Tom Gugliotta, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell didn’t stay for long. Szczerbiak was Garnett’s teammate for six and a half seasons, most of KG’s very first Minnesota stint.
Szczerbiak got here as a 1999 lottery choice, right after Garnett’s record-setting contract extension and the dissolution of Garnett’s original supporting cast. Wally was an excellent 2nd scorer, genuinely outstanding shooting from outside, and actually made one Dream team in2002 He wasn’t sufficient, however, and he didn’t exactly agree Garnett, beginning with a practice confrontation in Szczerbiak’s 2nd season that almost boiled over into a full-fledged battle
Considering That Garnett and Szczerbiak invested a lot time as teammates, I wondered how their relationship unfolded after that blow-up. These remarks, originally published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, appear to sum up the vibrant in between two coworkers who certainly didn’t like each other, however probably didn’t dislike each other as much as some might think:
” We’re two completely various people from two absolutely various parts of the earth,” Garnett stated Friday prior to Minnesota’s video game at Houston against the Rockets. We spoke every day, said what’s up, had actually conversations, split jokes, simply like any other colleague in here.
The viewed rift in between the gamers has actually been scrutinized since Garnett and Szczerbiak had a scuffle in the group’s training room in November 2000.
However they existed together agreeably for many years. Garnett invited Szczerbiak to the U.S. Open tennis champion last summertime in New York.
” I have actually never had (a) beef with World,” Garnett said. “Personally, we were teammates. We understood that. I understood that. As the primary (alternative) on this team, I felt it was my duty to have the ball come through me, and I consolidated and dispersed to everyone. I don’t understand if World was bothered by that.”
Those quotes come from the week in 2006 when Minnesota traded Szczerbiak to the Celtics, which is of course exactly what they ‘d make with Garnett in2007 Garnett initially balked at being traded to the Celtics, and you can find rumors from the era recommending KG’s negativeness had something to do with Wally being in Boston. I’m not persuaded those reports were precise, however it didn’t matter anyhow, because the trade that assisted encourage Garnett to accept the Celtics trade– Boston’s acquisition of Ray Allen– also sent out Wally to Seattle. It was a hell of a thing for Garnett to sign up with Allen AND Paul Pierce after a years throughout which the second most productive Timberwolf was Wally Szczerbiak.
Szczerbiak vs. Garnett wasn’t completely done. Szczerbiak ended up being a media man after retiring as a player, and made headlines in 2012 with a dumbass, later-deleted tweet declaring his former teammate did not have the “clutch gene”, which is one of the dumber fake-serious ideas in sports. Wally kinda recanted a week later, although his extra remarks were just as ridiculous.
Wally’s story works much better as an information in the grander war in between Garnett and his shitty employer, Glen Taylor. Absolutely an odd relationship, though, and an important one, when you think about Szczerbiak’s relative prominence on those Timberwolves of the 2000 s.