NBA great Garnett announces retirement

Kevin Garnett has announced his retirement after 21 years as one of the most influential defensive players in NBA history.

Garnett confirmed in a farewell video that he is hanging up his boots, four days before the Minnesota Timberwolves were due to return for pre-season training.

The 40-year-old had been considering extending his career into a record-breaking 22nd season, but after being plagued by knee injuries over the last two campaigns, he has decided to retire.

To be continued…

A video posted by Kevin Garnett (@tic_pix) on Sep 23, 2016 at 2:42pm PDT

"I'm just thankful. I can't even put that into words,'' Garnett said. 

“I never would have thought that people love me like this. But, for it to be reality is just something else, man. Man.''

Garnett – who made more money than any other player in NBA history –  joined the Timberwolves straight from high-school in 1995 and swiftly turned one of the league’s ailing franchises into a side persistently challenging for the play-offs.

He led the Timberwolves to the Western Conference finals in 2004, before spending six seasons with the Boston Celtics – where he won his only championship ring in 2008.

After an ill-feted 18-month spell with the Brooklyn Nets, Garnett returned to the Timberwolves last year.

"It has been a real joy to watch KG come into the league as a young man and watch him develop his skills to become one of the very best in the NBA," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. 

"I have treasured the opportunity to see him grow as a leader. I wish him continued success in the next chapter of his life. His Minnesota fans will always cherish the memories he has provided."

Garnett finishes his career as one of only three players – alongside Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone – to have registered 25,000 NBA points, 10,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists.