Isiah Thomas Revealed Why He Wanted Kevin Garnett To Join Raptors in ’95

Paul Pierce Kevin Garnett Celtics

Garnett and Allen (not pictured) joined Pierce in Boston in 2007 (Getty)

Kevin Garnett is going to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Minnesota Timberwolves‘ fifth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft out of Farragut Academy High School in Chicago,Illinois.

After 12 seasons in Minnesota, he was traded to the Boston Celtics. He won a championship with the Big 3 era Celtics that included Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.

“Big big big,” Garnett wrote via Instagram story about his Hall of Fame induction.

“Thank you goes out to all the friends, family and fansfor the Hall of fame. Surreal moment due to the current state of the world. But I’m honored and very thankful for it all. Sure appreciate it.”

NBA Hall of Famer, Isiah Thomas was the first general manager of the Toronto Raptors and was apart of the teams initial ownership group.

Thomas immediately transitioned into management following his Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Pistons and was put in charge of building a team for the expansion franchise in Toronto.

During an interview a on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Thomas spent time reflecting on his tenure with the Raptors and explained his thought process behind the teams early draft selections and trades that helped shape the franchise for years to come.

Thomas talked about having conversations with Tex Schramm who was the Dallas Cowboys original president as well as legendary San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh who explained to him that expansion rules are set up for him to fail and that the only way for him to succeed in Toronto was by beating the bushes and to use unconventional methods to find talent.

Thomas spoke about his initial blueprint for the Raptors franchise. “The first guy I scouted was Kevin Garnett,” he told me.

“I wanted to make him the first pick for the Toronto Raptors franchise.”

Thomas thought Garnett would still be available with the seventh pick in the 1995 NBA draft because he felt that other teams would be hesitant to draft a skinny kid straight out of high school.

Shortly before the draft, his old friend Kevin McHale (who was then VP of the Minnesota Timberwolves) called to ask what he thought about the young Garnett.

Thomas told McHale: “If you don’t draft him, I will.”

Kevin Garnett has career averages of 17.8 points, 10 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. The Big Ticket will join hoop contemporaries like San Antonio Spurs legend, Tim Duncan and late great Los Angeles Lakers icon, Kobe Bryant in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.


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