Oct. 1, 2003: Timberwolves Sign Garnett To Contract Extension
Oct. 1, 2003 — Timberwolves Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Kevin McHale today announced the team has signed forward Kevin Garnett to a contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"This is a great day for Minnesota Timberwolves fans," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "I'm thrilled to know that we'll have the best player in the NBA playing on our team and here in Minnesota for many years to come. Kevin's development over the past eight seasons has been tremendous and with each season, he has taken his game to a higher level. Obviously, he's the cornerstone of our franchise, and we believe he's someone who can lead us to a championship.
"Kevin's signing culminates an extremely productive and exciting offseason for our organization and our fans," added Taylor. "With the acquisitions of Sam Cassell, Latrell Sprewell and Michael Olowokandi, as well as the return of Troy Hudson and Wally Szczerbiak, Target Center will house some of the best basketball in the entire NBA this season."
"I'm proud to call Minnesota my home and I'm excited about remaining here in the Twin Cities," said Garnett. "I'd like to thank Glen Taylor, Kevin McHale and the entire organization as well as all the Timberwolves fans for the past eight seasons. The team that Glen and Kevin have assembled really has me energized for the upcoming year, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to help lead this team to a NBA championship."
Garnett was selected fifth overall by the Wolves in the 1995 NBA Draft out of Farragut Academy High School in Chicago. The 27-year-old was named All-NBA First Team in 2000 and 2003, Second Team in 2001 and 2002 and Third Team in 1999. He has been named to the NBA's All-Defensive First Team the past four seasons and either the All-Interview First or Second Team the last four campaigns as well. Additionally, he finished second in last season's Most Valuable Player voting and third in Defensive Player of the Year balloting.
After earning Western Conference Player of the Month honors in both February and April last season, Garnett has earned that award four times in his career. He has been named Western Conference Player of the Week eight times, including three times during the 1999-2000 season.
Minnesota's all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocked shots, assists, steals, minutes and games started, Garnett was a member of the gold medal-winning 2000 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team. The 6-11 forward made his sixth All-Star appearance last season, tallying 37 points, nine rebounds and five steals en route to being named MVP of the 52nd NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta on Feb. 9.
Garnett finished his eighth NBA campaign in 2002-03 by averaging career highs of 23.0 points, 13.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 40.5 minutes per game in starting all 82 contests. It marked the fourth consecutive season in which he tallied at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game, joining Larry Bird as the only players in league history to achieve that feat. Garnett posted a franchise-record and league-best 68 double-doubles, in addition to tallying an NBA-high six triple-doubles. He also ranked ninth in scoring, second in rebounding and 13th (first among forwards) in assists. He became the first player since Bird in 1989-90 to rank among the league's top 15 in all three categories. Additionally, he led Minnesota in scoring 60 times, rebounding on 69 occasions and assists 35 times.
Garnett led the Wolves to a franchise-record 51 regular-season victories last season after 50-win seasons in 2001-02 and 1999-2000. Minnesota advanced to the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season and earned the team's first-ever homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Over his eight-year career, Garnett has averaged 19.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.39 steals, 1.72 blocks and 38.0 minutes per game in 611 regular-season games.
"We're extremely excited to have Kevin Garnett as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the next six years," said McHale. "Kevin is among an elite class of players in the NBA. He has an unmatched passion for the game, and has a drive to get better every season. He has proven time and again that he is our MVP. Once again, this demonstrates Glen's [Taylor] commitment to Kevin, the fans, the organization and to the goal of bringing a championship to Minnesota."
Previously, Garnett signed a multi-year contract with the team on Oct. 2, 1995 and then signed a multi-year contract extension on Oct. 1, 1997.