'The Big Ticket' Garnett bids adieu after 21 seasons

Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:06pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons on Friday, leaving behind a legacy of ultimate intensity and defensive prowess.

Garnett brought down the curtain on his career via a farewell video on Instagram.

"I'm just thankful man, I can't ever ever put that into words," the 40-year-old said. "I'm just thankful to everybody and the love. I never would've thought that people would love me like this. For it to be a reality is just something else."

Garnett's departure is the latest in a year which also saw future Hall of Fame players Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan bid adieu to the NBA.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Garnett, who was signed for $8 million this season, had reached a contract settlement with the Timberwolves earlier on Friday.

"It has been a real joy to watch KG come into the league as a young man and watch him develop his skills to become one of the very best in the NBA," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement.

"I have treasured the opportunity to see him grow as a leader. I wish him continued success in the next chapter of his life. His Minnesota fans will always cherish the memories he has provided."

Garnett, easily the most productive player in franchise history, spent 13 1/2 of his 21 NBA seasons with Minnesota.

He was drafted out of high school in 1995 and his success helped usher in an era of players foregoing college to leap into the NBA – LeBron James and Bryant chief among them.   Continued...

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett (21) smiles and waves to fans in the second half against the Washington Wizards at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 97-77. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports