Not many saw Kevin Garnett’s work ethic and intensity up close and personal like former Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce did.
So, on the same day Garnett was named among the Basketball Hall of Fame honorees, Pierce told ESPN’s Rece Davis on SportsCenter what made his former teammate, and friend, so special on the court.
“I mean, everybody knows his intensity and this is something I can attest to that this did not start in the NBA,” Pierce said Saturday. “I had a chance to play with him on the high school level, we were juniors in high school and I’ve never seen someone just so passionate for the game. Every second he stepped on the court it meant something, he went as hard as he could.
“He never cheated the game,” Pierce continued. “You know, you see some talents in the game with great potential. But that’s one thing you can say about Kevin Garnett is he never, ever cheated one second in practice, in the game. He gave everything he could every single second. And you got to respect that. There’s so many lost talents that we see never reach their potential like he did every single night.”
Pierce, who will be up for the Basketball Hall of Fame next year, expressed how happy he is for the fellow 2008 NBA Champion and 15-time NBA All-Star.
“I’m just happy I had the honor to play with this guy, win a championship with him,” Pierce said of Garnett, who he played with for six years in Boston. “We knew each other in high school, we won a big tournament in high school and to see it come full circle to the NBA and then now he’s being enshrined in the Hall of Fame. This is unbelievable — just to be able to say I blessed the same court with him.”
Garnett will be inducted to the Basketball Hall of fame along with fellow stars Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan as well as Tamika Catchings, Patrick Baumann, Barbara Stevens, Kim Mulkey, Eddie Sutton and Rudy Tomjanovich.
The Big Ticket and the Class of 2020 will be enshrined Aug. 29 in Springfield, Mass., at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.