It’s funny how a minor detail can change the course of history forever. A call, a text, a message has often made a player or star change their minds on a potential career-altering decision, and that’s what happened to Kevin Garnett when he joined the Boston Celtics.
The Minnesota Timberwolves failed to surround Garnett with elite talent and his title window was closing in. He had a no-trade clause in his contract and was only going to wave it to join a contending team. And, according to Ray Allen, that team was the Los Angeles Lakers.
Allen revealed in James Posey’s podcast that Garnett actually wanted to team up with Kobe Bryant and wear the purple and gold, so Danny Ainge told him to call KG and try and convince him to join the Celtics instead:
“Kevin Garnett had a no-trade clause and he was planning on going to the Lakers and teaming up with Kobe. But Danny Ainge came up to me later in the summer saying we might have something brewing with KG. So I got on the phone with Kevin and I was like ‘we would love you here, this is a great situation and I’m excited’. It helped him because we knew each other growing up and he knew it was going to be a new situation for all of us,” Allen said.
KG obviously ended up joining Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, and the aforementioned Ray Allen. Together, they made it to a couple of NBA Finals, winning one. Garnett was also named Defensive Player of the Year and became a Celtics legend.
Had he chosen the other path, perhaps Kobe Bryant would have retired with 6 or 7 rings instead of 5. He made it to three straight Finals from 2008 to 2010, winning the last two. That minor detail could have changed the entire course of history and maybe they would have even ranked Kobe ahead or at the same tier as Michael Jordan.