Wolves' Owner Accuses KG of Tanking
HOUSTON - Celtics forward Kevin Garnett is considered by many one of the most intense players in the NBA. But yesterday, his old boss in Minnesota questioned Garnett's desire during his final season with the team.
In comments to Minneapolis reporters, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor accused Garnett of "tanking" the last five games of the 2006-07 season. Taylor's comments came after he was asked about the Wolves having a reputation for tanking games in recent seasons to aid their draft position.
Garnett missed the last five games last season with a sore right quadriceps, but Taylor questioned the truth of that claim.
"It was more like, I'd say, KG tanked it," Taylor said.
"The other guys still wanted to play, but it sure changed the team and didn't make us as [good]."
The Celtics were in Houston to play the Rockets last night, and Garnett was not available for comment prior to the game.
However, Celtics guard Sam Cassell, who played with Garnett in Minnesota from 2003-05, said his teammate wasn't paying Taylor's comments any mind. Cassell said Garnett was focused on the game against the Rockets.
"It's personal right now," Cassell said. "Kevin's Kevin. Ask anyone in this organization if Kevin tanks anything. Games? Practice? I wish he did tank a couple practices.
"I was there. I know the goings-on there. I hear the pains and what they say about Kev. I know what Kevin Garnett meant to that community. The good things that Kevin did for that community was outrageous."
Minnesota finished 32-50 last season, tied for 12th in the 15-team Western Conference. The Timberwolves lost their last seven games. The Golden State Warriors finished eighth, earning the final playoff berth in the West, at 42-40.
The Wolves wound up with the seventh overall pick in the draft and selected Florida swingman Corey Brewer.
Garnett played with Minnesota from 1995-2007 and is the Wolves' all-time leader in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. He was an 11-time All-Star and the 2004 NBA MVP with them.