Kevin Garnett announced his decision of retirement via a video on his Instagram account on Friday after 21 seasons in the NBA.
"I'm just thankful. I can't even put that into words," the 40-year-old Garnett said. "I'm just thankful. I'm just thankful for everybody and the love. I never would have thought that people love me like this. But, for it to be reality is just something else, man. Man."
Garnett entered the 1995 NBA draft, where he was selected with the fifth overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves and became the first NBA player drafted directly out of high school in two decades.
In 2004, Garnett led the Timberwolves to the Western Conference Finals and won the NBA MVP Award. After 12 seasons with the Timberwolves, Garnett teamed with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in the Celtics in 2007 and he helped lead them to their first NBA championship (2008) since 1986. Garnett played six seasons in Boston, and then spent one and a half season with the Brooklyn Nets. In 2015, Garnett was traded back to Minnesota.
"Kevin Garnett is one of the fiercest competitors our league has ever seen," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement released by the league. "He held himself to the highest standard of preparation and performance for a remarkable 21 seasons. On behalf of the NBA family, I thank Kevin for his sustained excellence and the enormous impact he's had on the game."
Garnett, who played a total of 50,418 minutes (third all-time), scored 26,071 points (17th all-time) and grabbed 14,662 rebounds (ninth all-time) in his career. He finishes his career as one of three players with 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists. The others are Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.
Garnett has been named to 15 All-Star Games, winning the All-Star MVP award in 2003, and is currently tied for third-most All-Star selections in NBA history. Garnett was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2007-08, and has been selected nine times for All-NBA Teams and 12 times for All-Defensive Teams. He also made more than $330 million in his career, the most by any player in league history.