http://www.nba.com/2015/news/09/28/timberwolves-garnett/index.html?ls=iref:nbahptsMINNEAPOLIS — Flip Saunders brought Kevin Garnett back home to help turn a young, impressionable Minnesota Timberwolves roster into a group that can pull the franchise out of a decade of futility.
Now that Saunders is on leave from the team while battling cancer, Garnett's return has never been more important.
"I see a lot of myself in some of these guys," Garnett said on Monday in his first public comments since signing a two-year, $16.5 million contract earlier this summer.
Garnett spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota, cementing himself as the lone iconic player in the franchise's 26 years in the league. He was traded to Boston in 2007, but Saunders engineered a deal with Brooklyn in February to get Garnett back to Minnesota, knowing his truly dominant days as a player were behind him yet still believing he could make an impact by showing young players like Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng what it takes to succeed in the NBA.
The parting with Minnesota eight years ago wasn't pretty, which led Garnett to believe a homecoming would never be in the cards. But Saunders, who coached Garnett more 10 of his 12 years in Minnesota, helped to broker the deal.
"Minnesota was the last place that I would think I would end up," Garnett said. "Although I did keep my home here. I do enjoy living here. I enjoy the people here. I enjoyed my time here so much that this is where I live. I am a Minnesotan. I never rule out any possibilities. I knew Flip and I have a great, great, great relationship."