As Kevin Garnett prepares for his first season with the Brooklyn Nets, he will switch the number on his jersey to No. 2 in tribute to Malik Sealy, who was both his Minnesota Timberwolves teammate and his basketball idol.
Yahoo! Sports recalled that Sealy died in a car crash at age 30 after celebrating Garnett's birthday in 2000. Sealy was driving home when a previously-convicted drunk driver jumped the center line and crashed into Sealy’s SUV. Garnett was the last person Sealy saw.
When Garnett joined the Timberwolves, he wore No. 21 in tribute to Sealy, who wore that number while at St. John’s. Garnett was thrilled when the Timberwolves traded for his idol in 1999. The two spent two seasons as teammates before Sealy's death.
Garnett hasn’t commented on the switch, but Yahoo! Sports notes that he has a tattoo with the number. Garnett couldn't wear the number on his Celtics jersey because it was retired in honor of Red Auerbach. Sealy's number was retired by the Timberwolves during the 2000-01 season.