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Kevin Garnett: 'The player who changed the NBA'

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From preps to the pros, Kevin Garnett has established himself as one of the all-time great NBA players. During his 20-year journey, that's taken him from the Twin Cities to Boston to Brooklyn and back to Minnesota, Garnett changed the NBA as we know it today.

Howard Beck, a lead NBA writer for Bleacher Report, put together what might be the most comprehensive piece about Garnett ever written.

Beck tells interesting stories about Garnett's journey to the NBA straight out of high school, a famous pre-draft workout he had in Chicago, Garnett's huge contract that nearly broke the NBA's foundation, the intensity and brashness with which he played, the trade that paved the way for a championship with the Celtics, and many other compelling stories.

But the main point of the story is how Garnett changed the NBA. He was the first of his kind, the type of player who had the height, athleticism and skill to do almost everything on a basketball court. Spurs coach Greg Popovich summed up his thoughts about Garnett when he first saw him in 1995.

"I think back then, you started to think about how big, how tall these guys were with those skills, and is that going to be the norm?" Popovich tells Beck. "Are we going to have more guys like this come along that can do that? That's what I thought of when I first saw him. It was incredible."

Opinions like Popovich's weren't consensus; ESPN's Michael Wilbon, as pointed out by Aaron Gleeman, thought Garnett was making a terrible mistake when he decided to jump from high school to the NBA.

Beck's story was published on Monday, one day before Garnett's 39th birthday.

Another part of the comprehensive notes on Garnett's career, as pointed out by Pro Basketball Talk, is that Wolves owner Glen Taylor nearly traded Garnett to the Lakers for Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum in 2007. Ultimately, Garnett was dealt to Boston for Al Jefferson and more.

Multiple reports say Garnett will return to the Timberwolves next season, but only time will tell.

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