OTD (2004): Kevin Garnett Gets Ready for War

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez - Star Tribune (@CarlosGphoto - X)

The Minnesota Timberwolves dominated the Denver Nuggets last night in game 6 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals, forcing only the second game 7 in franchise history and the first in 20 years.

That’s right, it’s been two decades since the Wolves have played in a deciding game 7 of an NBA Playoffs series. And the last time it happened was pretty memorable. And the memories from that historic matchup begin with a locker room conversation between reporters and superstar Kevin Garnett two days before game 7 actually took place.

OTD in Minnesota Timberwolves History (2004): Kevin Garnett gets ready for war vs Sacramento Kings

You’ve heard the sound clip for sure, and you’ve probably seen the video too. It’s one of the greatest athlete + reporter moments in Minnesota sports history. KG, Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell were hosting Chris Webber and the Sacramento Kings for a chance to go to the Western Conference finals vs Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

When asked what’s at stake, in the Target Center locker room a couple days before the game, Garnett (fresh off being named 2003-04 NBA MVP) gave us a glance into his mindset, at the time. In his head, KG was preparing for war.

“This is game 7, man. This is it, it’s for all the marbles. I’m sittin in the house, I’m loading up the pump, I’m loading up the uzi. I got a couple M16s, couple nine’s, I got a couple joints with some silencers on ’em. I’m just loading up clips. Couple grenades, gotta missile launcher with a couple, you know, missiles. I’m ready for war.”

Kevin Garnett before game 7 vs the Sacramento Kings in 2004 NBA Playoffs

The Minnesota Timberwolves would end up defeating the Kings in game 7, two days later and KG had to deal with some repercussions over his now famous locker room back and forth with reporters, criticism that would be 100x worse in 2024 than it was back then.

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Not that KG would have cared. His rant, of course, was a metaphor for how he was preparing for game 7 mentally, which was a war mindset. He was entering that game looking for any way to metaphorically kill his opponents. He was walking into that game 7 with a take-no-prisoners mindset.

And if you remember how crazy that game was, he and the 2003-04 Minnesota Timberwolves needed every drop of it to prevail and move on that night. Garnett finished with a game-high 32 points and 21 rebounds in a 83-80 defensive clinic.

Every time Sacramento pulled the game within five points, Minnesota answered with a big shot. A three-pointer from KG that stretched the lead to 77-70 was pretty much the dagger.

So now, on the 20th anniversary of the day that Kevin Garnett sat down with reporters and prepared for war with the Sacramento Kings, it’s time for Anthony Edwards to do the same thing. He might have to dig even deeper. This edition of the Timberwolves won’t have the Target Center crowd cheering it on.

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Game 7 on Sunday is in Denver and it isn’t against a young, rising small market team like Sacramento. It’s against the reigning champion Nuggets. Oh, and they have the newly-minted MVP on their team, this time, too. Better get out a couple more uzis and at least one more missile launcher this time around.

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