Should We Be Upset About KG’s Flip Memorial No-Show…. and Who’s to Blame?

Flip Saunders talked shop with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, General Manager Kevin McHale and a 19-year-old Kevin Garnett in 1995. (Star Tribune File Photo)

Flip Saunders talked shop with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, General Manager Kevin McHale and a 19-year-old Kevin Garnett in 1995. (Star Tribune File Photo)

With the All Star Game looming, Minnesota will ride their 119-111 win over the Lakers until February 25th. Appropriately, the break from Timberwolves action gives us ample time to digest everything that came with Thursday’s Flip Saunders Night.

From a fan’s point of view, the commemorative evening appeared to be a massive success. I’ll even go as far as saying it was damn near perfect. However, in order for Flip Saunders Night to have been considered a 10 of 10, Kevin Garnett needed to be at Target Center.

Despite viewing his appearance as a necessity for Flip Saunders Night to reach perfection, the fact KG was a no-show didn’t bother me. As you saw by the above poll results, that stance is in the slight minority. Damnit! Apparently, I chose the wrong answer.

Before we dive into the feud between the future Hall of Famer and the Glen Taylor owned organization, I want to convey that Thursday was the Timberwolves way of dedicating an evening to Flip. In no way do I feel that KG not being present was disrespectful to his former coach. The 9x NBA All-Star has honored Saunders in his own ways.

A couple of months ago we posted an article that discussing Big Ticket’s unwillingness to accept the Wolves’ invitation to retire his number 21. That piece broke down the two main sources of Garnett’s animosity towards the Wolves. 

First of all, rumors from 2015 and 2016 that suggested, upon KG’s retirement, he would slide into some sort of ownership and/or front office role with the club never came to fruition. We don’t exactly know why. As unfortunate as Flip’s death was, from Minnesota’s perspective, the show had to go on. We were forced to move in a different direction. Our team handed Tom Thibodeau the keys to the car and the rest is history.

On the other side of the fence, if I was KG, I’d be pissed, too. His emotions are what we call human nature. Have you ever felt like an employer or potential employer screwed you over? How’d it make you feel?


Okay. Geeze. I was just trying to help.

The banner that was hoisted on Thursday night directly relates to what our November article described as Garnett’s second source of frustration. With the below quote coming from the spring of 2017, KG probably wasn’t doing backflips over the Flip banners February, 2018 hoisting:

Don’t get me wrong. The hostility between the two sides is like watching a couple you’re with get into an absolute meltdown of an argument. It’s awkward and you want it to end, but you rode with them and you just hope it ends amicably before it’s too late. With that said, I fully understand KG’s convictions. On top of that, I appreciate how firm he stands in them. The greatest player in franchise history hasn’t lost his passion from his days in a NBA uniform.


……… but it’d sure be nice to see his jersey up in the Target Center rafters VERY soon. Unfortunately, I’m guessing Boston sees a 5 looking over them before we see a 21…

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan

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