Kevin Garnett Refused Lakers Due to Kobe-Jackson Feud

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said he was anticipating a trade the Lakers when he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2007, but the feud between Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson made him think twice about going to Los Angeles.

“What disturbed me about the whole Lakers situation was just Kobe and Phil at the time,” Garnett told Dan Patrick. “They were at each other pretty bad, and a new situation full of uncertainty wasn’t something that I wanted to get into.”

Garnett instead was traded to the Boston Celtics, who won the 2008 NBA championship, coincidentally against the Lakers. Garnett helped Boston reach the NBA Finals again in 2010, this time also against the Lakers, but Los Angeles prevailed in an exciting 7-game series.

However, according to Kelly Dwyer (@KDonHoops) Garnett wasn’t fully in control of his future NBA team. “Having an issue with the KG-to-LA thing. He didn’t have a no-trade clause in 2007. And he wasn’t a free agent. What, again, was his call?”

The Timberwolves could have shipped Garnett to whatever team they wanted to, so is it fair to say Garnett could have landed in L.A. if Kobe and Jackson weren’t fighting? Yes, Garnett could have swayed the Minnesota front office with his opinion, but at the end of the day the team would have made the trade that benefited them the best.

One area where Garnett did hold some leverage was his willingness to sign an extension with whatever team acquired him. Many teams were wary of trading away some of their top young players without the guarantee that Garnett would stick around for an extended stay. Garnett’s decision not to sign an extension with the Lakers certainly could have influenced Los Angeles’ decision to trade for him.

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Frank Vogel Thinks Taking 2018-19 NBA Season Off Allowed Him To Grow As Head Coach

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was not one of the big names many saw taking over the job when it became…

Lakers Rumors: Tom Thibodeau No Longer Considered A ‘Viable Candidate’

[new_royalslider id=”289″] As the Lakers coaching search continues to move forward slowly,…

Lakers News: Kobe Bryant Leads International Jersey Sales

The NBA released its annual list of top-selling jerseys today, but with…

Lakers News: Luke Walton Doubts Kobe Bryant Truly Enjoys Winning Oscar Award More Than Championships

Not long after his “Dear Basketball” animated film was named to the shortlist for an Oscar, Los Angeles Lakers legend…