He was the second of his mother's three children. Garnett grew up with his mother and stepfather, Ernest Irby, with whom he didn't get along, and two sisters. In his first three years of high school, Garnett attended Mauldin High School in Mauldin, South Carolina and played on the school's basketball team. However, during the summer before his senior year of high school, Garnett was in the general vicinity of a fight between black and white students.
Although not directly involved, Garnett was one of three students arrested for second-degree lynching , a charge that was expunged through a pre-trial intervention. He was also named Mr. Basketball for the state of Illinois after averaging In four years of high school, Garnett posted an impressive 2, points, 1, rebounds and blocked shots. In high school, Garnett played alongside Ronnie Fields , who also became a professional basketball player.
Garnett was named the Most Outstanding Player at the McDonald's All-American Game after registering 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocked shots, and then declared himself eligible for the NBA draft. Garnett initially came off the bench in his rookie year, but moved into the starting lineup soon after Saunders became head coach.
In his rookie year, Garnett and fellow newcomer Tom Gugliotta carried the scoring load. Garnett did not immediately leap to stardom as later prep-to-pro prospects such as Amar'e Stoudemire , LeBron James and Dwight Howard would, but he did have a very respectable rookie year.
At the time, Garnett was the youngest NBA player in history at 19 years and 11 months of age. During the season, Garnett posted improving averages of The enormous size of Garnett's contract was considered, by numerous sports writers, a major cause of labor tensions between players and owners that led to a lockout which shortened the —99 NBA season.
Despite the furor over his new contract, Garnett continued to improve, averaging Again, he was an All-Star, and the Timberwolves finished with their first winning record in franchise history 45—37 for the season.
For the second consecutive year, the young Timberwolves bowed out of the playoffs in the first round, this time losing 3—2 to the Seattle SuperSonics and superstar point guard Gary Payton. The two wins against the Sonics marked the Wolves' first-ever playoff game wins. The off-season started poorly for the Timberwolves though as point per game scorer Tom Gugliotta left for the Phoenix Suns. Garnett as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves In the lockout-shortened season that followed , Garnett broke through as a superstar.
Putting up stats of Although the Wolves received two-time All-Star Terrell Brandon in return, they were not able to overcome the discord and limped into the playoffs as the eighth seed with a 25—25 record. In the — NBA season , Garnett continued his notable play, averaging On May 20, , Timberwolves' guard and Garnett's close friend Malik Sealy was killed by a drunk driver shortly after celebrating Garnett's 24th birthday.
MVP and division champions — In the —02 season , Garnett posted another notable season, his averages of However, the Timberwolves bowed out in the first round for the sixth consecutive time, this time getting swept 3—0 by the Dallas Mavericks led by Michael Finley , Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki. Garnett's next season was one of the best of his career, his In the —04 season , things finally seemed to come together for Garnett.
In past years, the Wolves had practically been a one-man show, but now, the Timberwolves had made two valuable acquisitions: In addition, defensive center Ervin Johnson complemented the inconsistent Michael Olowokandi.
Powered by the best supporting cast in his career, Garnett averaged Having recorded career-highs in points, rebounds, blocks and leading the league rebounds, Garnett was named the league Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career.
There, playmaker Cassell went down with a back injury. With reserve point guard Hudson also injured, the Timberwolves alternated between third playmaker Darrick Martin and shooting guard Fred Hoiberg at the "one", or even running Garnett himself as point forward or a real point guard.
The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a 4—2 victory in the series. Frustration — In the —05 season , Garnett was named to the All-NBA Second Team,  but the Timberwolves failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years with a record of 44— The —06 season brought more frustration for Garnett. Despite Garnett's play, the team logged the second worst record since Garnett joined the franchise.
During the off-season, Glen Taylor admitted that although he had planned on retaining Garnett, he would finally listen to trade offers. Garnett dunking a ball in a game against the Washington Wizards.
Garnett said that he was proud to be a part of the Celtics, and hoped to continue its proud tradition and basketball success. He made his Boston debut with a strong performance against the Washington Wizards, with 22 points and 20 rebounds. During that championship season, Garnett and Celtics legend Bill Russell developed a relationship, which Garnett credited as a major influence in helping him succeed during his first season as a Celtic. On October 31, , Garnett became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 1, career games, at 32 years and days.
Following the All-Star Game, during a game against the Utah Jazz , Garnett strained his right knee late in the second quarter. The injury occurred on February 19, , while attempting to go up for an alley-oop. Upon his return from the injury, he averaged 9 points and 4. In the —10 season , Garnett and the Celtics, joined by newly signed free agent Rasheed Wallace , struggled with injuries and inconsistency throughout much of the regular season and earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Despite being written off by nearly every major sports analyst, the Celtics elevated their play and consistently, and dominated opponents much as they did during their championship run. The Finals went to a decisive seventh game in Los Angeles, where the Celtics led well into the third quarter before the Lakers mounted a comeback and held on for the victory.
On December 30, , Garnett injured his right knee after he tried to dunk. He missed two weeks with the injury. Garnett returned on January 17, to face the Orlando Magic. After sweeping the New York Knicks in the first round, they faced the Heat in the semi-finals. After losing the first two games of the series, Garnett's playoff high 28 points helped the Celtics take Game 3. However, the Heat won the next two games, winning the series 4—1. Garnett was not selected for the All-Star game for the first time in 11 years.
After, however, Boston quickly became one of the best teams in the league, finishing the second half of the season with a 24—10 record, entering the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 39—27 record. Boston made a deep run in the playoffs, going all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. They faced the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, defeating them in six games. Boston then defeated the Philadelphia 76ers after a challenging seven-game series.
The Celtics lost the first two games, but came back strong to win the next three games. However, the Heat were too strong in Games 6 and 7, defeating the Celtics 4—3. Garnett found a resurgence in the playoffs, averaging In reaching the milestone, Garnett also joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as the only players to reach 25, points, 14, rebounds and 5, assists.
He reached the milestone in the third quarter of a —99 road loss to the Detroit Pistons. On February 19, , Garnett agreed to waive his no-trade clause in order to be traded back to Minnesota in exchange for Thaddeus Young.
Garnett played a season-high He finished the game with four defensive boards to give him 11, for his career, three ahead of Malone. Due to the wedding, Garnett did not take part in the Athens Olympic Games.