Kevin Garnett

Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Garnett is considered one of the greatest power forwards of all time.[1] He is one of four NBA players to win both the Most Valuable Player and the Defensive Player of the Year awards.[n 1] In high school, Garnett was a 1995 McDonald's All-American at Farragut Career Academy and won a national player of the year award.[2][3] He entered the 1995 NBA draft, where he was selected with the fifth overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves and became the first NBA player drafted directly out of high school in 20 years.

Garnett made an immediate impact with the Minnesota Timberwolves, leading them to eight consecutive playoff appearances. In 2004, he led the Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals and won the NBA MVP Award. Garnett has been named to 15 All-Star Games, winning the All-Star MVP award in 2003, and is currently tied for third-most All-Star selections in NBA history.[n 2] He was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2007–08, and has been selected nine times for All-NBA Teams and 12 times for All-Defensive Teams.[4] Garnett also holds several Timberwolves franchise records.

In 2007, after 12 seasons with the Timberwolves, Garnett joined the Boston Celtics in a blockbuster trade. In his first year with the Celtics, he helped lead them to the NBA championship, while also finishing in third place for the MVP award.[5] In 2013, Garnett was included in a second headline trade that sent him to the Brooklyn Nets with longtime Celtic Paul Pierce. In 2015, Garnett was traded back to Minnesota. He announced his retirement from professional basketball in September 2016.

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett 2008-01-13
Garnett with the Boston Celtics in January 2008
Personal information
BornMay 19, 1976 (age 43)
Greenville, South Carolina
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school
NBA draft1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Playing career1995–2016
PositionPower forward / Center
Number21, 5, 2
Career history
19952007Minnesota Timberwolves
20072013Boston Celtics
20132015Brooklyn Nets
20152016Minnesota Timberwolves
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points26,071 (17.8 ppg)
Rebounds14,662 (10.0 rpg)
Assists5,445 (3.7 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Early life and high school career

Garnett was born on May 19, 1976, in Greenville, South Carolina, to Shirley Garnett. He was the second of his mother's three children.[6] Garnett's mother never married his father, O'Lewis McCullough, with their relationship ending shortly after his birth. Garnett grew up with his mother and stepfather, Ernest Irby, with whom he didn't get along, and two sisters.[7]

Garnett fell in love with the sport of basketball while attending Hillcrest Middle School, although he did not play organized basketball until high school. In his first three years of high school, Garnett attended Mauldin High School in Mauldin, South Carolina and played on the school's basketball team. However, during the summer before his senior year of high school, Garnett was in the general vicinity of a fight between black and white students. Although not directly involved, Garnett was one of three students arrested for second-degree lynching, a charge that was expunged through a pre-trial intervention.[8] Due to the racially charged incident and fearful of being a target, Garnett decided to leave Mauldin High[9] and transferred to Farragut Career Academy in Chicago, for his senior year of high school.

He led Farragut to a 28–2 record and was named National High School Player of the Year by USA Today. He was also named Mr. Basketball for the state of Illinois after averaging 25.2 points, 17.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 6.5 blocks while shooting 66.8% from the field. In four years of high school, Garnett posted an impressive 2,553 points, 1,809 rebounds and 737 blocked shots. In high school, Garnett played alongside Ronnie Fields, who also became a professional basketball player. Garnett was named the Most Outstanding Player at the McDonald's All-American Game after registering 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocked shots, and then declared himself eligible for the 1995 NBA draft.[10] To mark the 35th anniversary of the McDonald's All-American High School Boys Basketball Game, Garnett was honored as one of 35 Greatest McDonald's All-Americans.[3]

Garnett's decision not to play college basketball was influenced in part by his failure to score well enough on the ACT to meet NCAA requirements for freshman eligibility.[11] Garnett told Student Sports Magazine in 1995 that if he had attended college he would have chosen to play college basketball for the University of Maryland.[12]

Professional career

Minnesota Timberwolves (1995–2007)

Early years (1995–1997)

Garnett was drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and became the first player to be drafted directly out of high school since 1975.[13] Since joining the NBA for the 1989–90 season, the Timberwolves had not won more than 29 games in any season.[14] In Garnett's rookie season, the Timberwolves were in the midst of a transition phase; they replaced Bill Blair with Flip Saunders as head coach early in the season, and made several trades. Garnett initially came off the bench in his rookie year, but moved into the starting lineup soon after Saunders became head coach. In his rookie year, Garnett and fellow newcomer Tom Gugliotta carried the scoring load. Garnett did not immediately leap to stardom as later prep-to-pro prospects such as Amar'e Stoudemire, LeBron James and Dwight Howard would, but he did have a very respectable rookie year. He averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game and was voted to the All-Rookie Second Team.[4] Despite having some promising players, the Timberwolves suffered through their seventh consecutive sub-30 win season and failed to make the playoffs. At the time, Garnett was the youngest NBA player in history at 19 years and 11 months of age.[10]

Before the 1996–97 season, the Timberwolves made a draft-day trade for point guard Stephon Marbury of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. During the season, Garnett posted improving averages of 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.7 steals.[4] He also had two games where he registered eight blocks.[10] With a 40–42 record, the Timberwolves made their first playoff appearance in franchise history, Garnett and Gugliotta made their first All-Star appearances, and Marbury established himself as a valuable young lead guard. However, the Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, and Charles Barkley, proved to be too much as the Timberwolves were swept 3–0 in the first round of the 1997 NBA Playoffs.

Franchise player (1997–2001)

During the 1997–98 NBA season, the Timberwolves and Garnett agreed on a six-year contract extension that was worth an unparalleled $126 million.[10] The contract was considered a risky move and many analysts speculated that the deal would make it impossible for the Wolves to sign new players or even keep their own. The enormous size of Garnett's contract was considered, by numerous sports writers, a major cause of labor tensions between players and owners that led to a lockout which shortened the 1998–99 NBA season. Despite the furor over his new contract, Garnett continued to improve, averaging 18.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.7 steals per game. Again, he was an All-Star, and the Timberwolves finished with their first winning record in franchise history (45–37 for the season). For the second consecutive year, the young Timberwolves bowed out of the playoffs in the first round, this time losing 3–2 to the Seattle SuperSonics and superstar point guard Gary Payton. The two wins against the Sonics marked the Wolves' first-ever playoff game wins. The off-season started poorly for the Timberwolves though as 20-point per game scorer Tom Gugliotta left for the Phoenix Suns.

Kevin Garnett with the Minnesota Timberwolves dunking, 2007
Garnett as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves (2007)

In the lockout-shortened season that followed, Garnett broke through as a superstar. Putting up stats of 20.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 blocks per game,[4] he was named to the All-NBA Third Team. However, midway through the season, Stephon Marbury was traded to the New Jersey Nets. Although the Wolves received two-time All-Star Terrell Brandon in return, they were not able to overcome the discord and limped into the playoffs as the eighth seed with a 25–25 record. The Wolves were defeated in the first round again, this time losing 3–1 to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs who were led by young superstar and eventual NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan. In the 1999–2000 NBA season, Garnett continued his notable play, averaging 22.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. Garnett also made the first of his four All-NBA First Team appearances and came in second place in the MVP voting.[4] Assisted by sharpshooting rookie forward Wally Szczerbiak and steady veteran Terrell Brandon, the Wolves posted a franchise-best 50–32 record, but succumbed in the first round to the Portland Trail Blazers 3–1.

On May 20, 2000, Timberwolves' guard and Garnett's close friend Malik Sealy was killed by a drunk driver shortly after celebrating Garnett's 24th birthday.[15] Later that year, the NBA ruled that the free agent signing of Joe Smith was illegal. The league punished the team for the illegal signing by stripping them of three first-round draft picks, fining Glen Taylor (the owner of the team) $3.5 million, and banning general manager Kevin McHale for one year. In the 2000–01 NBA season, Garnett led the Wolves to a 47–35 record and made the All-NBA Second Team, but again, the Wolves did not survive the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Spurs 3–1.

MVP and division champions (2001–2004)

In the 2001–02 season, Garnett posted another notable season, his averages of 21.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals per game enough for another All-NBA Second Team nomination. However, the Timberwolves bowed out in the first round for the sixth consecutive time, this time getting swept 3–0 by the Dallas Mavericks led by Michael Finley, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki. Garnett's next season was one of the best of his career, his 23.0 ppg / 13.4 rpg / 6.0 apg / 1.6 bpg / 1.4 spg season earning him his second All-NBA First Team nomination and second place in the MVP voting.[10] The Timberwolves posted a good 51–31 record, but for the seventh consecutive time, they did not make it out of the first round, this time losing to the Los Angeles Lakers 4–2.

In the 2003–04 season, things finally seemed to come together for Garnett. In past years, the Wolves had practically been a one-man show, but now, the Timberwolves had made two valuable acquisitions: highly talented but volatile swingman Latrell Sprewell and the seasoned two-time NBA champion Sam Cassell, who supplanted Troy Hudson at point guard. In addition, defensive center Ervin Johnson complemented the inconsistent Michael Olowokandi. Powered by the best supporting cast in his career, Garnett averaged 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals per game for the season. Having recorded career-highs in points, rebounds, blocks and leading the league rebounds, Garnett was named the league Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career.[4] With a franchise-record 58 wins, the Wolves stormed into the playoffs, and finally conquered their playoff bane by defeating the Denver Nuggets 4–1 in the first round. After disposing of the strong Sacramento Kings 4–3 in the Western Conference semi-finals, Garnett and the Timberwolves met the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. There, playmaker Cassell went down with a back injury. With reserve point guard Hudson also injured, the Timberwolves alternated between third playmaker Darrick Martin and shooting guard Fred Hoiberg at the "one", or even running Garnett himself as point forward or a real point guard. The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a 4–2 victory in the series.

Frustration (2004–2007)

In the 2004–05 season, Garnett was named to the All-NBA Second Team,[4] but the Timberwolves failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years with a record of 44–38. The 2005–06 season brought more frustration for Garnett. Sprewell turned down a three-year, $21 million extension, and the Wolves wary of his injuries and age, traded Cassell for the much less effective Marko Jarić, and the team's record for 2005–06 fell to 33–49. Despite Garnett's play, the team logged the second worst record since Garnett joined the franchise. Garnett subsequently earned All-NBA Third Team honors.

During the 2007 off-season, Glen Taylor admitted that although he had planned on retaining Garnett, he would finally listen to trade offers.[16] Garnett's name was mentioned in various trade rumors involving the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.[17][18][19][20]

Boston Celtics (2007–2013)

Kevin Garnett
Garnett in Game 4 of the 2008 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks.
KG with a Massive Dunk
Garnett dunking a ball in a game against the Washington Wizards.

On July 31, 2007, Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, cash considerations, Boston's 2009 first-round draft pick (top 3 protected), and the 2009 first-round pick which Minnesota had traded to Boston in the Ricky DavisWally Szczerbiak trade of 2006.[21] The 7-for-1 deal constitutes the largest number of players traded for a single player in league history.[22] At the time of the trade, Garnett had the longest current tenure of any player in the NBA with one team, having played for the Timberwolves for his first 12 seasons (a total of 927 games). Garnett said that he was proud to be a part of the Celtics, and hoped to continue its proud tradition and basketball success.[23][24][25] On the day the trade was announced, Garnett signed a three-year, $60 million contract extension that would start after his prior deal ran out in 2009. On August 1, the day after signing with the Celtics, Garnett threw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park prior to a Red SoxOrioles game.[26]

The trade for Garnett had many experts speculating that the Celtics would have a resurgence during the 2007–08 season.[27] The combination of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Garnett were almost automatically nicknamed "The Big Three" by the media, after the Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish trio.[28] Garnett wore jersey number 5 for the Celtics since his number with the Timberwolves, number 21, was retired by the Celtics, previously worn by Bill Sharman. He made his Boston debut with a strong performance against the Washington Wizards, with 22 points and 20 rebounds.[29] He also led all players in voting for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. Garnett received 2,399,148 votes, the sixth highest total in NBA All-Star balloting history.[30] However, Garnett was unable to play due to an abdominal strain, and Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace was named to replace him.[31][32][33] Garnett passed 20,000 points for his career, becoming the 32nd player in NBA history to reach the mark,[34] with a layup in the second quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 8.[35] On April 22, Garnett was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2007–08 season.[36][37] It was the only major award a Celtic player had not claimed since the franchise's foundation in 1946.[38] Garnett said it was a team effort which helped him win the award.[39] Garnett was also third in MVP voting for the year, behind only Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul.[40] Garnett helped the Celtics to their 17th NBA Championship, with 26 points and 14 rebounds in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. During that championship season, Garnett and Celtics legend Bill Russell developed a relationship, which Garnett credited as a major influence in helping him succeed during his first season as a Celtic.[41] On June 18, 2008, Garnett and Ray Allen appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, soon after winning the championship.[42]

In the 2008–09 season, Garnett started all of the 57 games he was able to suit up for. He averaged 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. On October 31, 2008, Garnett became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 1,000 career games, at 32 years and 165 days.[43][44] Garnett earned his twelfth consecutive All-Star Game start on February 15, 2009. Following the All-Star Game, during a game against the Utah Jazz, Garnett strained his right knee late in the second quarter. The injury occurred on February 19, 2009, while attempting to go up for an alley-oop.[45] He was forced to miss the next 14 games. Upon his return from the injury, he averaged 9 points and 4.5 rebounds in four games before being shut down for the season permanently, missing the final 25 games of the regular season, as well as the 2009 playoffs due to a right knee sprain.[46] Without Garnett, the Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, but were eliminated by the Orlando Magic.

In the 2009–10 season, Garnett and the Celtics, joined by newly signed free agent Rasheed Wallace, struggled with injuries and inconsistency throughout much of the regular season and earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Garnett was selected to play in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game (his 13th All-Star Game selection). Despite being written off by nearly every major sports analyst, the Celtics elevated their play and consistently, and dominated opponents much as they did during their 2008 championship run. They eliminated the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Orlando Magic to advance to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals. The 2010 Finals went to a decisive seventh game in Los Angeles, where the Celtics led well into the third quarter before the Lakers mounted a comeback and held on for the victory.[47]

In the 2010–11 NBA season, Garnett and the Celtics started strong, winning 23 of their first 26 games. On December 30, 2010, Garnett injured his right knee after he tried to dunk. He missed two weeks with the injury. Garnett returned on January 17, 2011 to face the Orlando Magic.[48] The Celtics ended the regular season third in the Eastern Conference behind the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat.[49] Garnett averaged under 15 points, under 9 rebounds, and a career low 0.8 blocks per game. After sweeping the New York Knicks in the first round, they faced the Heat in the semi-finals. After losing the first two games of the series, Garnett's playoff high 28 points helped the Celtics take Game 3. However, the Heat won the next two games, winning the series 4–1.[50]

In the lockout shortened 2011–12 NBA season, Garnett and the Celtics started off slowly, being below .500 with a 15–17 record by the All-Star break. Garnett was not selected for the All-Star game for the first time in 11 years. After, however, Boston quickly became one of the best teams in the league, finishing the second half of the season with a 24–10 record, entering the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 39–27 record. Boston made a deep run in the playoffs, going all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. They faced the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, defeating them in six games. Boston then defeated the Philadelphia 76ers after a challenging seven-game series. Boston made the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in five years, and faced another superstar trio in Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James of the Miami Heat. The Celtics lost the first two games, but came back strong to win the next three games. However, the Heat were too strong in Games 6 and 7, defeating the Celtics 4–3. Garnett found a resurgence in the playoffs, averaging 19.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

On June 30, 2012, Garnett agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Celtics worth an estimated $34 million.[51][52] On January 17, 2013, it was announced that Garnett had been voted to start in the 2013 All-Star Game in Houston.[53] On February 7, 2013, Garnett recorded his 25,000th point in a 116–95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.[54][55]

Brooklyn Nets (2013–2015)

On June 28, 2013, the day of the NBA draft, the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets reached a deal to trade Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry for future first-round picks in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 drafts, as well as Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans.[56] The deal was finally completed on July 12, with Brooklyn also receiving D. J. White.[57] Garnett chose to wear number 2 to honor his former Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Malik Sealy.[58][59]

On December 13, 2013, Garnett surpassed 14,000 career rebounds, becoming only the tenth player in NBA history to do so. In reaching the milestone, Garnett also joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as the only players to reach 25,000 points, 14,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists. He reached the milestone in the third quarter of a 103–99 road loss to the Detroit Pistons.[60] The Nets cherished Garnett's leadership and passion.[61] Despite boasting a starting line-up of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Paul Pierce, and Garnett, the Nets were unable to advance past the second round of the playoffs, while Garnett finished his 19th NBA season with career low averages of 6.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.[62]

On November 1, 2014, Garnett had arguably his best game for the Nets as he recorded 18 points and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes of action in the Nets' 102–90 win over the Detroit Pistons.[63] Six days later, he recorded five rebounds in a 110–99 win over the New York Knicks and by doing so, passed Walt Bellamy for ninth place on the all-time rebounding list.[64]

Return to Minnesota (2015–2016)

KGsReturnToMN2015
Garnett's first game back with the Timberwolves in 2015.

On February 19, 2015, Garnett agreed to waive his no-trade clause in order to be traded back to Minnesota in exchange for Thaddeus Young.[65] Six days later, he made his return for the Timberwolves against the Washington Wizards at the Target Center, recording five points on 2-of-7 shooting with eight rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes in his first game for Minnesota since 2007.[66] He appeared in just five games for the Timberwolves in 2014–15, before sitting out the team's final 21 games of the season due to a nagging knee injury.[67]

On July 11, 2015, Garnett re-signed with the Timberwolves to a two-year deal.[68][69] On November 15, 2015, against the Memphis Grizzlies, Garnett became the fifth player in NBA history to play at least 50,000 minutes, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd and Elvin Hayes.[70] On December 1, against the Orlando Magic, Garnett surpassed Kidd (50,110) for third on the NBA's career minutes list.[71] Four days later, in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, he became the 15th player in NBA history to surpass 26,000 career points.[72] On December 11, Garnett passed Malone as the NBA's all-time leader in defensive rebounds during Minnesota's 111–108 overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets. He finished the game with four defensive boards to give him 11,409 for his career, three ahead of Malone.[73] Garnett appeared in 38 of the team's first 45 games of the season before missing the entire second half of the season with a right knee injury, the same knee that kept him out of 25 games in 2008–09 when he was playing for Boston, as well as much of his post-trade time in Minnesota during the 2014–15 season.[74]

On September 23, 2016, Garnett announced his retirement after 21 seasons in the NBA.[75][76] While Garnett did express interest in playing for one more season with the Timberwolves, primarily with the goal in helping the team make it to the playoffs again with its promising young players and new head coach, he also told the team's owner that he wasn't sure that his knees would hold up for one more season.[77]

National team career

In the 2000 Summer Olympics, Garnett won a gold medal as a member of the United States national team. In his first and only FIBA tournament, Garnett averaged 10.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.[78]

Post-playing career

In October 2016, Garnett joined the crew on TNT's Inside the NBA.[79] The following month, he became the host of his own segment, Area 21.[80] In January 2017, Garnett joined the Los Angeles Clippers as a consultant.[81] He also consulted with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2016–17 season.[82]

Personal life

In July 2004, Garnett married his longtime girlfriend Brandi Padilla during a private ceremony in California. Due to the wedding, Garnett did not take part in the Athens Olympic Games.[83] The couple has two daughters.[84] On July 12, 2018, Garnett's wife filed for divorce, asking for custody of the children.[85][86]

Garnett is the half-brother of former basketball player Louis McCullough. Another professional basketball player, former Los Angeles Laker Shammond Williams, is his cousin.[87]

His nicknames include "The Big Ticket", "KG", "The Kid" and formerly "The Franchise" (after being known as the Minnesota Timberwolves' franchise player).[10] Before games, he mentally prepares himself by banging his head against a padded basketball stanchion.[88] Although Garnett is officially listed as 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) by the NBA, he is widely accepted to be at least 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) tall.[89][90] During the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, Garnett admitted in an interview with Craig Sager to be "6 ft 11 in and some quarters" tall.[91] Measurements from the 1995 NBA draft show the 19-year-old Garnett measured 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) tall barefoot.[92] In 1997, Garnett was measured by Minnesota Timberwolves training staff as 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall in his basketball shoes.[93]

In December 2011, Garnett agreed to become a limited shareholder of American-owned Italian Serie A football team A.S. Roma.[94]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes season in which Garnett won an NBA championship
* Led the league

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1995–96 Minnesota 80 43 28.7 .491 .286 .705 6.3 1.8 1.1 1.6 10.4
1996–97 Minnesota 77 77 38.9 .499 .286 .754 8.0 3.1 1.4 2.1 17.0
1997–98 Minnesota 82* 82* 39.3 .491 .188 .738 9.6 4.2 1.7 1.8 18.5
1998–99 Minnesota 47 47 37.9 .460 .286 .704 10.4 4.3 1.7 1.8 20.8
1999–00 Minnesota 81 81 40.0 .497 .370 .765 11.8 5.0 1.5 1.6 22.9
2000–01 Minnesota 81 81 39.5 .477 .288 .764 11.4 5.0 1.4 1.8 22.0
2001–02 Minnesota 81 81 39.2 .470 .319 .801 12.1 5.2 1.2 1.6 21.2
2002–03 Minnesota 82* 82* 40.5 .502 .282 .751 13.4 6.0 1.4 1.6 23.0
2003–04 Minnesota 82* 82* 39.4 .499 .256 .791 13.9 5.0 1.5 2.2 24.2
2004–05 Minnesota 82* 82* 38.1 .502 .240 .811 13.5* 5.7 1.5 1.4 22.2
2005–06 Minnesota 76 76 38.9 .526 .267 .810 12.7* 4.1 1.4 1.4 21.8
2006–07 Minnesota 76 76 39.4 .476 .214 .835 12.8* 4.1 1.2 1.7 22.4
2007–08 Boston 71 71 32.8 .539 .000 .801 9.2 3.4 1.4 1.2 18.8
2008–09 Boston 57 57 31.1 .531 .250 .841 8.5 2.5 1.1 1.2 15.8
2009–10 Boston 69 69 29.9 .521 .200 .837 7.3 2.7 1.0 .8 14.3
2010–11 Boston 71 71 31.3 .528 .200 .862 8.9 2.4 1.3 .8 14.9
2011–12 Boston 60 60 31.1 .503 .333 .857 8.2 2.9 .9 1.0 15.8
2012–13 Boston 68 68 29.7 .496 .125 .786 7.8 2.3 1.1 .9 14.8
2013–14 Brooklyn 54 54 20.5 .441 .000 .809 6.6 1.5 .8 .7 6.5
2014–15 Brooklyn 42 42 20.3 .455 .167 .829 6.8 1.6 1.0 .3 6.8
2014–15 Minnesota 5 5 19.6 .581 .000 .500 5.2 1.6 1.0 .8 7.6
2015–16 Minnesota 38 38 14.6 .470 .000 .667 3.9 1.6 .7 .3 3.2
Career 1,462 1,425 34.5 .497 .275 .789 10.0 3.7 1.3 1.4 17.8
All-Star 14 11 20.5 .511 .000 .875 6.3 2.9 1.1 .8 11.3

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1997 Minnesota 3 3 41.7 .471 1.000 1.000 9.3 3.7 1.3 1.0 17.3
1998 Minnesota 5 5 38.8 .480 .000 .778 9.6 4.0 .8 2.4 15.8
1999 Minnesota 4 4 42.5 .443 .000 .739 12.0 3.8 1.8 2.0 21.8
2000 Minnesota 4 4 42.8 .385 .667 .813 10.8 8.8 1.3 .8 18.8
2001 Minnesota 4 4 41.3 .466 .000 .833 12.0 4.3 1.0 1.5 21.0
2002 Minnesota 3 3 43.3 .429 .500 .719 18.7 5.0 1.7 1.7 24.0
2003 Minnesota 6 6 44.2 .514 .333 .607 15.7 5.2 1.7 1.7 27.0
2004 Minnesota 18 18 43.5 .452 .313 .776 14.6 5.1 1.3 2.3 24.3
2008 Boston 26 26 38.0 .495 .250 .810 10.5 3.3 1.3 1.1 20.4
2010 Boston 23 23 33.3 .495 .000 .839 7.4 2.5 1.1 .9 15.0
2011 Boston 9 9 36.3 .441 .000 .759 10.9 2.6 1.9 1.0 14.9
2012 Boston 20 20 36.9 .497 .250 .813 10.3 1.5 1.2 1.5 19.2
2013 Boston 6 6 35.3 .500 .000 .941 13.7 3.5 .8 1.0 12.7
2014 Brooklyn 12 12 20.8 .524 .000 .739 6.3 1.3 .8 .4 6.9
Career 143 143 36.9 .478 .273 .789 10.7 3.3 1.2 1.3 18.2

Achievements and records

Garnett has a long list of achievements and records, including:[4]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ David Robinson, Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon are the other three.
  2. ^ Garnett is tied with Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan. They trail Kobe Bryant (17 selections) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19).

References

  1. ^ "Ranking the 25 greatest players in NBA history". FOX Sports. October 20, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  2. ^ "Before they were stars: Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett". ESPN. June 8, 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Wilkins Honored as One of 35 Greatest McDonald's All Americans". NBA. January 31, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kevin Garnett Statistics". Basketball-reference.com. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  5. ^ NBA.com - Kobe Bryant Wins Most Valuable Player Award
  6. ^ Frank Sinton, Steven Michaels (executive producers) (2003). Beyond the Glory (Television production). Fox Sports Network.
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External links

2003 NBA All-Star Game

The 2003 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game which was played on February 9, 2003 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Hawks. This game was the 52nd edition of the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game and was played during the 2002–03 NBA season.

The West defeated the East 155-145 in double overtime, with Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves winning the Most Valuable Player. Garnett scored 37 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and had 5 steals. Allen Iverson led the East with 35 points.

This was the first All-Star Game to be transmitted on cable television, through TNT. This was also the 14th and final All-Star Game that Michael Jordan participated in, as a result of his final retirement after the 2002–03 season.

The 2003 game is the last NBA All-Star Game to be decided in overtime.

2003–04 NBA season

The 2003–04 NBA season was the 58th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4–1 in the 2004 NBA Finals.

2004 NBA playoffs

The 2004 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2003–04 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. Chauncey Billups was named NBA Finals MVP.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, after missing the playoffs their first seven seasons and losing in the first round the next seven, won their first two playoff series in 2004 before losing to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Timberwolves would not make the playoffs again until 2018.

The Indiana Pacers made the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since their NBA Finals run in 2000, after which they significantly changed the makeup of their team (yet still made the playoffs every year). Game 2 of the series with the Pistons was pivotal, as Tayshaun Prince blocked a lay-up by Reggie Miller late in the game to preserve the victory; the Pistons won 4–2.

The 2004 playoffs was the first appearance for the Memphis Grizzlies in their 9-year history which began in Vancouver. However, they failed to win a single game in their first 3 playoff appearances (2004, 2005, 2006), before earning their first playoff game and series victories in 2011.

This was the last playoff appearance for the New York Knicks until 2011, when they would be swept in the first round.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz missed the playoffs for the first time since 1982 and 1983, respectively.

This was the Denver Nuggets' first playoff appearance since 1995.

The New Orleans Hornets made their final postseason appearance as a member of the East. They would not make the playoffs again until 2008, as a member of the West (the result of a realignment with the addition of the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004–05 NBA season). Their playoff series with the Miami Heat, led by Dwyane Wade, was the last playoff series where the home team won all 7 games until 2008's Boston–Atlanta and Boston–Cleveland playoff series.

2004 was the first time in 14 years that all Texas teams made the playoffs, and the second time (first in 10 years) that all former ABA teams made the playoffs.

The Rockets returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. They lost to the Lakers in five games of the opening round. This was Steve Francis' only career playoff appearance.

2007–08 Boston Celtics season

The 2007–08 Boston Celtics season was the 62nd season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). This marked the season powered by the acquisitions of perennial All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the offseason, the Celtics finished with a record of 66–16 and posted the best single-season turnaround in NBA history. They finished first in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, and achieved the league's best record. The 66 wins were also the third-most in franchise history, behind the 1972–73 Celtics’ 68 wins and the famous 1985–86 Celtics’ 67 wins including 40 at home. Kevin Garnett was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year, while Danny Ainge, who executed "the most dramatic NBA turnaround ever", was named NBA Executive of the Year. The Celtics also sold out all 41 regular-season home games.

Their two-year absence from the playoffs came to an end as they met the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs. Eventually, they advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1987, where they met the Los Angeles Lakers, reigniting their storied rivalry. The Celtics won 4–2, capturing their first championship since 1986, and seventeenth in franchise history, the most in NBA history. However, they had a far more difficult path to this championship, playing 26 games, the most any team had ever played in a post-season.

2008 NBA playoffs

The 2008 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2007–08 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Paul Pierce was named NBA Finals MVP.

The playoffs were noted for the Atlanta Hawks' return after 9 years, taking the #1 seed Celtics to 7 games before bowing out. Also notable was the debut of the Chris Paul-led Hornets in the playoffs after Hurricane Katrina and their 7-game series against defending champions San Antonio Spurs, and the Lakers and Celtics' revitalization of their franchises, most especially after key trades during the preseason and regular season. The Celtics ended up playing 26 playoff games (2 games short of a full length postseason of 28), breaking the 25 game record of the 1994 Knicks and 2005 Pistons by 1 game for the most playoff games in a single season played by 1 NBA team. The Knicks, however, only played a Best-of-5 First Round, and so had 2 fewer games to accomplish that feat. Also, the top seeds from each Conference met in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2000. The 2008 Finals was also the first since 1998 to feature neither Shaquille O'Neal nor Tim Duncan.

The Golden State Warriors won 48 games, more than 5 of the 8 playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. However, all eight qualifiers in the Western Conference finished with at least 50 wins, thus leaving the Warriors out of the postseason.

2008–09 Boston Celtics season

The 2008–09 Boston Celtics season was the 63rd season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). They started the season as defending NBA champions, where they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals, winning their seventeenth NBA championship, as well as marking their ninth series victory over the Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Celtics started the season 27–2, which surpassed a mark set by the 1966–67 Philadelphia 76ers for the best two-loss start in NBA history. This run also included a 19-game winning streak, which improved a Celtics franchise record set in 1981–82. However, the Celtics lost seven out of the following nine games, and eventually finished with a 62–20 record.

The team's star power forward Kevin Garnett suffered a season-ending injury in February. Without Garnett, they lost to the Orlando Magic in the Conference Semifinals in seven games, eliminating them from the playoffs. The Magic would go on to the NBA Finals, their second NBA Finals appearance, only to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

2009–10 Boston Celtics season

The 2009–10 Boston Celtics season was the 64th season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Celtics finished with a record of 50–32, a 12 win drop off from the previous season. They finished 1st in the Atlantic Division and 4th in the Eastern Conference.

In the playoffs, the Celtics defeated the Miami Heat in five games in the First Round, then defeated the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the Semifinals, and finally, defeated the Orlando Magic in six games in the Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals for the twenty-first time in franchise history.

The Celtics made it back to the NBA Finals after a one-year hiatus and played against the defending NBA champion and their rival, the Los Angeles Lakers. In a rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals, in which the Celtics defeated the Lakers in six games to capture their seventeenth championship, the Celtics were defeated this time by the Lakers in seven games.

2010–11 Boston Celtics season

The 2010–11 Boston Celtics season was the 65th season of the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Celtics were coming off of an NBA Finals loss to their rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, in seven games.

On June 30, 2010, Doc Rivers announced that he would return to coach the Celtics after speculating that he would resign in order to spend time with his family.

With the off-season acquisitions of former all-stars Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal, the Celtics started the year at 41–14 and were on top of the Eastern Conference standings during the All-Star break. However, after center Kendrick Perkins, who was working his way back from a torn ACL in last year's Finals, was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder mid-season, the Celtics only won 15 of their final 27 games. Still, they managed a 56–26 record and enter the playoffs as the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference.

In the playoffs, they swept the New York Knicks in the first round to advance to the Conference Semifinals, where they faced the Miami Heat. The Celtics had defeated the Heat in five games in last season's First Round, after which the Heat had added LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join Dwyane Wade. The new-look Heat proved too much for the Celtics and easily won the series in five games, knocking Boston out of the playoffs. The Heat would eventually lose against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. Following the season, Shaquille O'Neal retired after playing 19 seasons in the league.

The Big Four of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and coach Rivers represented the Eastern Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

2011–12 Boston Celtics season

The 2011–12 Boston Celtics season was the 66th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Boston Celtics finished the regular season with a 39–27 won-loss record, which was the 4th best in the East, winning their 21st Atlantic Division title. Their longest winning and losing streaks were 5 games. The leading scorer was Paul Pierce, averaging 19.4 PPG. The leading rebounder was Kevin Garnett (8.2 RPG). Rajon Rondo led the team and the league in assists per-game with 11.7. The regular season was reduced from its usual 82 games to 66 due to the lockout. The Celtics made a relatively deep playoff run, where they defeated the Atlanta Hawks in six games in the First Round, and the Philadelphia 76ers in seven games in the Semifinals, eventually challenging the Miami Heat, the team who defeated them in last season's Semifinals, in the Eastern Conference Finals. They ultimately lost the series in seven games to the eventual NBA champion.

Following the season, Ray Allen departed via free agency for the eventual champion Miami Heat, effectively ending the Big 3 era in Boston. During his 3 years as a Heat, Allen would help them win a second-straight title the following year over the San Antonio Spurs, and appear again in the 2014 Finals.

It was also the NBA's first time without Shaquille O'Neal since 1991-92, as he retired in May 2011 and played his final season as a Celtic.

2012–13 Boston Celtics season

The 2012–13 Boston Celtics season was the 67th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Boston Celtics finished the regular season with a 41–40 won-loss record, which was the 3rd best in the Atlantic division, bringing an end to the 5-year run as Atlantic Champs and 7th best in the East. Their longest winning and losing streaks were 7 and 6 games respectively. The leading scorer was Paul Pierce, averaging 18.6 PPG. The leading rebounder was Kevin Garnett (7.8 RPG). Rajon Rondo led the team and the league in assists per-game with 11.1 despite only playing 38 games due to ACL injury. The Celtics only played 81 games as their April 16 game was cancelled in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and was not rescheduled because it would not have changed any part of the final Eastern Conference standings anyway. The Celtics would go on to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Knicks in six games, marking the first time the Celtics were eliminated in the First Round of the playoffs since the 2004–05 season.

This season would mark the end of the Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett era in Boston as they were traded to the Brooklyn Nets during the 2013 off-season.

2013–14 Brooklyn Nets season

The 2013–14 Brooklyn Nets season was the franchise's 47th season, its 38th in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and its 2nd season playing in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

After making the playoffs for the first time in six years during the 2012–13 season, the Nets had a busy off-season which featured the hiring of Jason Kidd (who played for the then-New Jersey Nets from 2001 to 2008 and led the Nets to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003) as the head coach. The Nets also traded Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and three future draft picks to the Celtics for all-stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry. These transactions led to the Nets having the largest payroll in the NBA, and high expectations heading into the season. Defeating the Raptors in 7 games would be the Nets most recent playoff series win as of the 2017–18 NBA season. However, in the Semifinals, the Nets would go on to lose to the defending two-time NBA champion Miami Heat in five games.

Following the season, Kevin Garnett was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves (the first NBA team for which he had played) and Paul Pierce signed with the Washington Wizards.

2014–15 Brooklyn Nets season

The 2014–15 Brooklyn Nets season was the franchise's 48th season, its 39th season in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and its 3rd season playing in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The Nets finished the regular season with a 38–44 record, securing the eighth seed. In the playoffs, the met the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the First Round, losing in six games.

The Nets would not make another playoff appearance until the 2018–19 season.

Brothers in Arms (video game series)

Brothers in Arms is a tactical shooter video game series by Gearbox Software, consisting of ten individual games. The core series consisting of the first-person shooters Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005), Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood (2005), and Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (2008). The storyline is set against the backdrop of the liberation of Western Europe during World War II. It has mainly been released for Windows and MacOS platforms as well as sixth and seventh generation consoles and some mobile devices.

Highest-paid NBA players by season

The highest-paid NBA players by season has recently eclipsed $40 million. Larry Bird was the first player to earn $5 million or more with a salary of $7,070,000 in the 1991-92 season. Magic Johnson became the first player to earn $10 million or more in the 94-95 season with a salary of $14,660,000. Patrick Ewing became the first player to earn $15 million or more in the 95-96 season with a salary of $18,724,000. Michael Jordan was the first NBA player to sign a contract worth over twenty million and in fact it succeeded thirty million dollars as well in a season, this was a record he had held for 15 years. During the 1997–98 season, Jordan earned $33,140,000, which still stands as the most any NBA player has earned on a 1 year contract, Jordan also holds the record for the second largest 1 year contract at $30,140,000 in the 1996-97 season. Kobe Bryant become just the second player to reach this milestone when the 2013–14 season began. LeBron James became the third in the 2016–17 season. Stephen Curry became the first player to eclipse $40-Million per year when he signed a record 5-year contract worth $201-Million in 2017, starting with $34,682,550 in the 2017-18 season and ending with the largest earnings in the 2021-22 season with a record payout of $45,780,966.

Beginning in the 1984–85 NBA season, the NBA's first salary cap was introduced. The NBA salary cap is the maximum dollar amount each NBA team can spend on its players for the season. However, the NBA uses a "soft" salary cap, which means that significant "salary exceptions" allow NBA teams to exceed their allotted amount in order to sign players. The salary cap is determined during the offseason, but as stated earlier, it is liable to change.An exception is necessary to sign a player for a contract that would exceed the salary cap threshold of the "soft cap". The Larry Bird exception, more commonly known as Bird Rights, allows teams to re-sign a current player only if he has played for that particular team for a minimum of three years. Another exception known as the mid-level exception allows for teams that are over the salary cap to sign one or more players as long as they do not exceed the total amount of the average NBA salary. Next, the bi-annual exception can be used by teams every other year to sign a free agent(s) for up to two years at an amount set by the NBA. Finally, the rookie player exception allows any NBA team to sign their first-round draft pick to a contract based upon a scale previously set forth by the NBA. Another option for teams would be to assign players to a league-assigned minimum salary contract for a maximum of two years.

According to 2010–11 NBA season game performance, the league's best players were not its highest-paid players. Each year there are ten players selected to one of the two All-NBA Teams. Out of those ten players chosen that year, Kobe Bryant was the only player that was also among the game's ten highest-paid during the 2010–11 NBA season.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves (also commonly known as the Wolves) are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. Founded in 1989, the team is owned by Glen Taylor who also owns the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. The Timberwolves play their home games at Target Center, their home since 1990.Like most expansion teams, the Timberwolves struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA draft, the team qualified for the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons from 1997 to 2004. Despite losing in the first round in their first seven attempts, the Timberwolves won their first division championship in 2004 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals that same season. Garnett was also named the NBA Most Valuable Player for that season. The team then went into rebuilding mode for more than a decade after missing the postseason in 2005, and trading Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007. Garnett returned to the Timberwolves in a February 2015 trade and finished his career there, retiring in the 2016 offseason. The Timberwolves ended a 14-year playoff drought when they returned to the postseason in 2018. The Wolves have never won a NBA championship.

Minnesota Timberwolves accomplishments and records

This page details the all-time statistics, records, and other achievements pertaining to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

NBA All-Defensive Team

The NBA All-Defensive Team is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) honor given since the 1968–69 NBA season to the best defensive players during the regular season. The All-Defensive Team is generally composed of ten players in two five-man lineups, a first and a second team. Voting is conducted by a panel of 123 writers and broadcasters. Prior to the 2013–14 NBA season, voting was performed by the NBA head coaches, who were restricted from voting for players on their own team. The players each receive two points for each first team vote and one point for each second team vote. The top five players with the highest point total make the first team, with the next five making the second team. In the case of a tie at the fifth position of either team, the roster is expanded. If the first team consists of six players due to a tie, the second team will still consist of five players with the potential for more expansion in the event of additional ties. Ties have occurred several times, most recently in 2013 when Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah tied in votes received.

Tim Duncan holds the record for the most total selections to the All-Defensive Team with 15. Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant follow with 12 total honors each, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has 11 total selections. Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, Garnett and Bryant share the record for most NBA All-Defensive first team selections with nine. Scottie Pippen, Bobby Jones, and Duncan made the first team eight times each. Walt Frazier, Dennis Rodman and Chris Paul made the All-Defensive first team seven times.When the coaches were responsible for voting, there were occasionally inconsistencies between the All-Defensive Team and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, which has been voted on by the media. On four occasions, the Defensive Player of the Year winner was not voted to the All-Defensive first team in the same year. Player of the Year winners Alvin Robertson (1986), Dikembe Mutombo (1995), Tyson Chandler (2012), Marc Gasol (2013) were instead named to the second team.

NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award

The NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1982–83 NBA season to the best defensive player of the regular season. The winner is selected by a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points, second-place voted are worth three points, and a third-place vote is worth one. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.Since its inception, the award has been given to 21 different players. Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace have each won the award a record four times. Dwight Howard is the only player to have won the award in three consecutive seasons. Sidney Moncrief, Mark Eaton, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwon, Alonzo Mourning, and Kawhi Leonard have each won it twice. The most recent award recipient is Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Although five of the first six winners were perimeter players, the award has traditionally been given to big men who rebound and block shots. Only seven perimeter players have been honored: Moncrief, Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, Ron Artest (known now as Metta World Peace), and Kawhi Leonard. Payton is the only point guard to have won. Jordan, Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett are the only Defensive Player of the Year winners to have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) during their careers; Jordan and Olajuwon won both awards in the same season. In Olajuwon's case, he is the only one to have also won the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award and the NBA championship in the same season. On four occasions, the Defensive Player of the Year recipient was not voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in the same year. Robertson in 1986, Mutombo (1995), Tyson Chandler (2012), and Marc Gasol (2013) were instead named to the second team. Whereas the Defensive Player of the Year is voted on by the media, the All-Defensive teams were voted on by NBA coaches prior to 2014.Frenchman Rudy Gobert is the only winner who was trained completely outside the U.S. Out of the other three winners born outside the U.S., Mutombo and Olajuwon both played U.S. college basketball, and Gasol played U.S. high school basketball. Joakim Noah, who has played for the French national team, was born in New York City and played both high school and college basketball in the U.S.

Paul Pierce

Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player who played 19 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is currently an analyst on ESPN's NBA Countdown.

Pierce was a high school McDonald's All-American and earned consensus first-team All-America honors in his junior year at Kansas. After being chosen by the Boston Celtics with the 10th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft, Pierce spent the first 15 years of his career with Boston. Pierce's nickname, "The Truth", was given to him by Shaquille O'Neal in March 2001. He starred as captain of the Celtics, earning 10 All-Star selections and becoming a four-time All-NBA team member. Pierce combined with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007 to form a "Big Three" that led Boston to two NBA Finals and an NBA championship in 2008. Pierce was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 2008. Along with Larry Bird and John Havlicek, Pierce is one of only three players to have scored more than 20,000 career points with the Celtics.

In July 2013, Pierce was traded to the Brooklyn Nets along with teammates Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry. He signed with the Washington Wizards as a free agent in 2014. After one season with the Wizards, Pierce reunited with former Celtics coach Doc Rivers and signed with the Clippers. He spent two seasons with the Clippers before retiring in 2017. On July 17, 2017, the Celtics signed Pierce to a contract, enabling him to retire as a member of the organization with which he spent his first 15 NBA seasons.

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