April 25, 2004: Garnett, Cassell Named All-NBA
April 25, 2004 — Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett was named to the 2003-04 All-NBA First Team while guard Sam Cassell was named to the All-NBA Second Team. Garnett finished as the only unanimous All-NBA First Team selection, as he was named on all 123 voters' first team ballots.
Garnett finished his ninth NBA campaign by averaging career highs of 24.2 points and 13.9 rebounds, in addition to posting 5.0 assists, 2.17 blocks and 39.4 minutes per game in starting all 82 contests. It marked the fifth consecutive season in which he tallied at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists per game; he joins Larry Bird as the only players in league history to achieve that feat. He registered 1,987 points and 1,139 rebounds, becoming just the fifth player in NBA history (and the first in 29 years) to lead the league in both categories.
During the 2003-04 regular season, Garnett set 11 single-season franchise records, including points, rebounds, point/rebound double-doubles (71), 20-point games (67) and blocked shots (178). He reached double figures in scoring in all 82 contests, extending his streak to 164 consecutive games. Garnett topped the Wolves in scoring 50 times and led the team in rebounding on 74 occasions and in assists 27 times. Garnett was named Western Conference Player of the Month four times (December, January, February, April), becoming the first player in the award's 25-year history to accomplish that feat. He led the NBA in Efficiency Rating (33.13) and ranked third in scoring, first in rebounding, and 11th in blocks, minutes, and field goal accuracy.
Garnett, who was named All-NBA Third Team in 1999, First Team in 2000 and 2003 and Second Team in 2001 and 2002, earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors on four occasions in 2003-04. The 6-11 forward made his seventh All-Star appearance this season, tallying 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in Los Angeles on Feb. 15.
In his 11th NBA season and first with Minnesota, Cassell earned his first all-league honor. He averaged a career-high 19.8 points (18th in NBA), 7.3 assists (fifth) and 3.3 rebounds in 35.0 minutes per game in 81 contests during the 2003-04 NBA season. The 6-3 guard also posted career bests in field goal percentage (.488, first among guards and 15th overall) and three-point field goal accuracy (.398, 18th in NBA), while ranking 11th in the league in free throw percentage (.873). Cassell made his NBA All-Star Game debut with four points and a team-high seven assists on Feb.15 at Staples Center. He was named Western Conference Player of the Week for Dec. 22-28.
Cassell, Minnesota's leading scorer in 20 games, erupted for a season-high 36 points vs. Memphis on April 4. It was one of his seven 30+ point efforts on the year. The Florida State product registered 18 point/assist double-doubles on the season, while handing out 10+ assists on 20 occasions and topping the club in assists 58 times. He posted his third career triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists vs. San Antonio on March 23. Over his last 68 games, Cassell shot 50.4% from the field (124-for-246) in the fourth quarter.
The 123-member voting panel of writers and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada consisted of national media members and members from each of the league’s 29 teams who regularly cover the NBA. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.
2003-04 All-NBA teams
Photo galleries: Garnett | Cassell
NBA.com playerfiles: Garnett | Cassell
KG is Player of the Month: December | January | February | April
Cassell is Player of the Week: Dec. 29
Garnett feature story: A Leader In All Respects
Cassell feature stories: Gaining Recognition | Passionate Point Man