After toiling in Minnesota for 12 largely unsuccessful season, Kevin Garnett became somewhat of a sympathetic figure. He made 10 All-Star games, won an MVP award, but lost in the first round of the playoffs seven years in a row. Finally Minnesota freed him with a trade to Boston where he teamed up with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. They went out and immediately put together the best record in the league and won a championship.
Once they started winning, people no longer felt badly for KG and they started to see him for what he was — one of the league’s biggest trash-talkers, dirty players, and the quintessential love him or hate him player.
Garnett is a polarizing figure. He plays hard, gives his all, and helps his team win, and fans of his team love him. But he also plays head games, uses questionable veteran tactics, and is not very sportsmanlike. For those reasons, opposing fans disgust him.
Regardless of how you feel about Garnett, you have to respect how hard he plays and how badly he wants to win. Because of all that, he says his team loves him and he’s not a dirty player.