Kevin Garnett, An NBA Icon
Kevin Garnett, who announced his retirement from the NBA in late September after 21 seasons in the league, was a revolutionary player who shaped basketball history in important ways. In 1995, he ushered in the preps-to-pros era by declaring for the draft straight out of high school; in 1997, he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves for what was, at the time, the richest contract in professional sports history (six years, $126 million).1 He even created the archetype of the modern big man — dominating with athleticism, length, skill and versatility rather than plodding bulk. In my mind, KG stands out as the first superstar of basketball’s Analytics Era. He was a great player whose legacy was further enhanced because we had better tools with which to measure his greatness.