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Kevin Garnett said he was almost a Laker in 2007

Sep 1, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT

NBA Finals Game 3: Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics Getty Images

Because it resulted in a ring and because Kevin Garnett is now almost a Boston icon, we forget that he almost didn’t go there.

Garnett was being traded in the summer of 2007, having essentially forced his way out of Minnesota as they were going young and he was wildly unhappy. There were plenty of teams interested in Garnett but he was hesitant to go to Boston (until they added Ray Allen, then with Paul Pierce that team started to look like a contender).

Among the teams interested — the Los Angeles Lakers. And Garnett told Dan Patrick today he almost became a Laker:

“I was pretty close [to going to LA] to be honest,” Garnett said. “What disturbed me about the whole Laker situation was Kobe [Bryant] and Phil [Jackson] at the time. They was pretty bad. That situation was something I didn’t want to get into. It was my choice. There was a lot going on and I didn’t want to be a part of it.”

Are you hearing the Hallelujah Chorus too? That was Celtics fans after reading that quote.

Remember that the summer of 2007 was the summer of Kobe’s discontent. He didn’t believe in Andrew Bynum and he didn’t expect that anyone could turn Kwame Brown into a quality player by trade. Nobody did. Kobe was asking for a trade (which the Lakers never were going to grant, not really, but they went through the motions).

You can see why KG would have been hesitant to go Wst. And maybe it worked out best for everyone this way (at least it did for Pau Gasol).

But can you imagine KG in the high post of the triangle with Andrew Bynum on the front line and Kobe? That would have been a contending team instantly.

  1. zblott - Sep 1, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Garnett is up next in the “It’s All About the W’s” series that looks at how much current greats have affected their teams’ W-L records over time. This week, Kobe:

    • anotheryx - Sep 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

      Regardless content, blatant advertising own blog like this is very distracting and distasteful. Post like this should be against comment guideline, not to mention common decency, and should be removed by moderator.

  2. wvan10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Any blog that infers that the best player on the team of the last decade didn’t have a positive effect on the team is pure garbage. Thanks for wasting the last 3 minutes of my life. Based on some of your previous posts, its pretty clear you’re just one in a long line of Kobe haters. Stop drinking the Haterade please!

    • kikosmom - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:54 PM

      Let me remind you that this author used to write on the respected blog With that said I don’t regard it as hatred except for one “sick and tired” post back in 07. Anyways, I still regard him as one of the early bloggers especially back from 04 dog days of the Lakers.

  3. wvan10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Regarding KG. He’s an all time great player and teammate but I’d take Kobe, Pau, Lamar, and Bynum and company over Kobe, KG, and supporting players any day.

  4. dmo84 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Don’t you think Bynum would have been part of the deal sending Garnett to the Lakers? I don’t think the Wolves would have wanted Lamar Odom. Probably the reason why Garnett was traded to Boston(Al Jefferson was better than anything the Lakers could have offered not involving Bynum). Besides that, the Wolves were worried about Bynum being injury prone. Plus the Wolves got their 1st round pick back that they owed Boston along with Jefferson.

    • wvan10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      Odom and Bynum were offered by the Lakers along with filler for KG and filler. Minnesota didn’t end up doing the deal with the Lakers for a myriad of reasons, but it wasn’t because Bynum wasn’t in the deal. He was offered at the time for KG. The biggest reason was Kevin Mchale hooking up Danny Ainge along with Minny’s interest in Jefferson and as mentioned in the blog above KG’s unwillingness to go to the Lakers. If KG had said he would only go to the Lakers, he would’ve been a Laker, bottom line. As a Laker fan however, I’m quite glad it ended up the way it did.

      • dmo84 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        If that was the case, then it adds to a long line of blunders by the front office. I would have traded Garnett FOR BOTH Odom and Bynum and not given a $**t about what team Garnett prefers. At the time I remember reading about the Wolves concerns with Bynum. But if Odom was part of the deal than that sounds better than Jefferson(who was blowing up before he blew out his knee) and their 1st rounder back.

      • dmo84 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:55 PM

        My whole point was that in the article it says “imagine Garnett in the high post of the triangle with Bynum on the front line”. That never would have happened because Bynum would have to have been part of the deal to get Garnett.

  5. wvan10 - Sep 1, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    You are correct. That was the writer’s error.

  6. chrisg1310 - Sep 3, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    You ppl must have forgotten the no trade clause in KGs contact, minn didnt choose where he went he did!! SMFH

  7. rreducla1 - Sep 3, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    RESPONSE TO ZACHARIAH BLOTT the guy who posted #1.

    Incidentally, Blott bragged about how he gets a lot of hits from self-promoting here.

    Blott refused to post this on his site:

    Go back and read your last comment with a critical eye; it is clearly slanted, as is the piece itself.

    Your biggest problems are:
    slanting the facts to fit the narrative based on your emotional needs
    bias by omission
    lack of in-depth research
    misunderstanding of sample size
    an inability to deal with the usage/efficiency conundrum
    I could pick about 20 examples, but one of the funniest is your amusing description of the 2007 team:
    Lamar Odom remained great in all facets of the game, Luke Walton’s cerebral play did enough to earn him a huge contract, Smush Parker was about the same as the year before (plus he now averaged more steals than Bryant even though he played 10 less minutes per), Kwame Brown was now shooting a phenomenal 59% from the field, and youngster Andrew Bynum played in every game and recorded 10 double-doubles. Again, not the best supporting cast, but we see plenty of teams with much much worse every year. The Lakers went 39-38 (.506) with Kobe in the lineup and 3-2 (.600) without. Again taking a look at Odom’s numbers, the team was 30-26 (.536) with him and 12-14 (.462) without, including losing 5 straight in March during the only 5 games he missed after January.
    Odom is a very good player, among the best 30-40 in the game, but he is not a franchise anchor–never has been. He lacks a central skill but is pretty good at everything–hence his success as a third option. Given who was backing him up on that team, it is not surprising that the team suffered without him. Actual Laker fans saw Walton’s contract as a mistake at the time, and now, of course, it is the biggest joke in the NBA.
    Kwame Brown did indeed have his best year that year, posting a TS% of .573. Here are his TS numbers before and after the time he played with Bryant:
    .503 with LA in 2008
    .482 with MEM in 2008
    Seems clear Bryant’s selfishness was holding him back.

    WRT Parker, you cherry-pick a stat you like, steals, and ignore this:
    06 13.4/82
    07 11.6/82
    08 7.0/28
    09 OUT OF NBA
    Clearly, a superstar waiting to happen, undermined by Kobe Bryant.
    You left out Brian Cook:
    06 15.6
    07 14.1
    08 (WITH ORL) 9.5
    09 7.6
    10 2.4
    11 11.6

    Like I said, I could go on, easily. It would take too long, though. Bryant’s value to a team is the diversity of his offense, which makes it easier for other guys to score.

    As to what the numbers show–hard to say. Would need a closer look. Simply concluding that Brynat hurts the team is foolishness, though.

    I am a Laker fan, and I know that Kobe is not as good as James, and not nearly as good as Jordan. Shaq was clearly the best player on the 2000-2002 3peat teams. But you, like Henry Abbott, are clearly a guy with an agenda.

    As to the NBC thing, it is frowned upon to self-link–you should know that if you don’t. Your post doing so got 31 dislikes and 5 likes, so you may be getting hits out of it (this will be the last one you get from me) but it is bad form.

    • wvan10 - Sep 6, 2011 at 3:25 AM

      The bottom line is the Lakers are good because of Kobe not despite him. He is a top 10 all time great player. He has grown into a team leader that makes his teammates better and is one of the best winners in the sport. Anybody suggesting otherwise either doesn’t know any better or doesn’t want to know any better, period.

  8. rreducla1 - Sep 3, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    I am challenging Blott to put this on his blog.

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