May 3, 2004: Garnett Named NBA’s Most Valuable Player

Garnett finished his ninth NBA campaign in 2003-04 by averaging career highs of 24.2 points (.499 FG%, .791 FT%) and 13.9 rebounds, in addition to posting 5.0 assists, 2.17 blocks, 1.46 steals 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. Garnett led the league in double-doubles this season with 71, the most in the NBA since Hakeem Olajuwon registered 72 during the 1992-93 campaign with Houston. 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.

Garnett set 11 single-season franchise records, including points, rebounds, point/rebound double-doubles (71), 20-point games (67) and blocked shots (178). Garnett reached double figures in scoring in all 82 contests, extending his streak to 164 games. He topped the Wolves in scoring 50 times, 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), the first player in the award's 25-year history to be so honored. The 6-11 forward also earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors on four occasions in 2003-04. He made his seventh All-Star appearance this season, tallying 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in Los Angeles on Feb. 15. 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.

The first player in the 15-year history of the Timberwolves to be voted the winner of the MVP Award, Garnett led Minnesota to a team-record 58 wins en route to the franchise's first Midwest Division title. The award marks the first time in 27 years that a Minnesota professional athlete has won a league MVP Award; the Twins' Rod Carew was named the American League MVP in 1977.

Garnett scored 20 or more points in 67 games and recorded 30 or more points in 12 games during the 2003-04 season. He recorded six 20-point and 20-rebound outings and was one of only four players in the league to record 100 blocks and 100 steals this season. With seven assists on March 21 vs. Denver, Garnett surpassed the 3,000-assist plateau, becoming the 17th NBA player with career totals of 13,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists. He scored his 13,000th point on Feb. 1 vs. Philadelphia and grabbed his 7,000th rebound Feb. 3 vs. Orlando.

In addition to being named the NBA's MVP for 2003-04, Garnett was named All-NBA First Team and NBA All-Defensive First Team this postseason. Garnett has earned All-NBA First Team honors on three occasions (2000, 2003, 2004), All-NBA Second Team twice (2001, 2002), All-NBA Third Team once (1999) and NBA All-Defensive First Team five times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004). He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1996.