At the end of the 2018-19 NBA season, Moritz Wagner saw his minutes increase and hit double-digits in the Los Angeles Lakers’ nine final games.
Wagner showed flashes of why the Lakers selected him with the No. 25 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft with an impressive offensive skillset and endless energy.
That passion and energy made Wagner stand out and considering who his favorite player was growing up, it all makes sense.
Even though the assumption would be that Wagner idolized Dirk Nowitzki while growing up in Germany, it was actually Kevin Garnett who was his favorite player as he admitted to Mike Trudell of Lakers:
Not until later (for me). It took a little while until I got into that so serious that I was saying, ‘OK, the NBA is it.’ But the Celtics, to be honest … with Kevin Garnett, to say that as a Laker is a little bit … but as a kid, Kevin Garnett was my favorite player. I don’t know why, because he’s crazy probably. He was my absolute favorite. I got a jersey for Christmas, and that’s when the fandom started and I got into the NBA. My first basketball magazine was actually when LeBron lost in the Finals to the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. I read that one magazine (“Basket”) eight times back and forth.
Garnett is definitely not someone who endeared himself to fans over the years, especially when the Lakers-Celtics clashed constantly a decade ago. However, Garnett was known for always giving 100% at all times and Wagner has clearly adopted that.
It is something that stood out for Wagner as he was helping Michigan reach the Final Four and has helped him make the NBA. Even though Wagner surely hates the Celtics now that he is wearing the purple and gold, his admission won’t do anything to make Lakers fans turn against him.