“The Big Ticket” has finally decided to call it a career. One of the greatest players to ever play the game, and easily the most intense player in the NBA, Kevin Garnett will leave a gaping whole in the league next season. Garnett was one of the first players to make the jump from high school straight to the NBA, and he did it as seamlessly as anyone before or after him. With a first ballot Hall of Fame resume, Garnett will be part of the greatest Hall of Fame class in history when he is enshrined alongside Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.
Garnett spent a total of 14 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise. He also played six seasons with the Celtics, including his lone NBA Championship season. Garnett also spent two seasons with the New Jersey Nets. In 2004, KG was the league’s Most Valuable Player, an award that many believe he should have won at least one other time as well. During his 19 seasons, Kevin appeared in 15 All-Star Games, and was named to 12 All-NBA Defensive Teams.
The accolades this man received are incredible. What was not so incredible were some of the teammates he was forced to play with during his nearly two-decade long career. Today we will reveal the top 15 worst teammates KG had to play with.
15. Mike Wilks
If you were a fan of the NBA in the 2000s then Mike Wilks likely spent some time playing for your team. Wilks’ career lasted seven seasons, and somehow, he played for 10 teams, and that is not including his stops in Italy and the D-league.
Wilks and KG teamed up for part of the 2003 season when they both played for the Timberwolves. Wilks appeared in 31 games with the Wolves, averaging just over two points and 1.5 assists per game. Mike finally did call it a career after the 2011 season which he spent playing professionally in Poland.
Wilks does get the last laugh though. In 2005 he was part of the San Antonio Spurs team that won the NBA championship, so Wilks will always have that ring to remember his journey through the NBA.
14. Shabazz Muhammad
Muhammad was one of the most highly touted high school players ever. He was expected to be a huge building block for the Timberwolves when they traded for him on draft night in 2013. Muhammad, however, has been a complete bust up to this point, spending most of his young career on the bench and in the D-league.
When Garnett decided to go back and finish his career in Minnesota, the same team that drafted him so many years ago, he wanted to be a leader and a teach for young players like Shabazz. This past season was Muhammad’s first with KG, he says Garnett was a great leader and someone he enjoyed learning from. If Muhammad is ever going to fulfill his potential he could definitely use some of the intensity that Kevin brought to the game.
13. Von Wafer
Talk about a journeyman. Von Wafer has been a professional basketball player for 11 years and has played for 18 different organizations, ranging from NBA, to D-league, and overseas leagues. When Wafer came into the league most scouts were skeptical about his size. He is a slim 6’5″, 200 pound point guard.
Wafer and KG were part of the Boston Celtics team that lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals back in 2011. Wafer played in 58 games that season, starting two of them. Von played only nine minutes per game that season, averaging just over three points per game and less than one rebound and one assist a night. After the season Wafer was not re-signed and some believe it was due to the altercation he and teammate Delonte West got into earlier in the season, I believe it was the three points per game he averaged.
12. Oliver Miller
Miller was drafted in the 1992 draft and had himself a decent little career for about five seasons. The problem with Oliver had always been his weight issues, and in 1997 it appeared he had eaten his way out of the NBA. From 1997-2010 Miller played with 18 different professional basketball franchises.
Included in those 18 franchises was the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2003 the Timberwolves decided to give Miller one last chance at the NBA. Miller had been out of the NBA for three years, playing in China. When the Timberwolves signed him in ’03 he weighed in at 315 pounds. That should have been a red flag from the get go.
In 48 games with the Wolves, Miller averaged just 2.5 points and 2.6 rebounds for the team.
11. Michael Olowokandi
In 1998, Michael Olowokandi was the first overall selection in the draft. He was expected to be a rock for the Los Angeles Clippers franchise who desperately needed someone to help lead them. Olowokandi was not that guy. The Clippers gave Michael five seasons to show them he could be an impact player, but he was unable to show it.
After the 2003 season the Clippers allowed Olowokandi to become an unrestricted free agent, allowing him to sign wherever he decided. The Timberwolves, in desperate need of post help for KG decided to give the Kandi-man a shot. Given the starting Center job for most of his time with the Wolves, Michael was only able to post averages of 5.5 points, and 5.6 rebounds per night.
10. Adreian Payne
Payne was a star college player while with Michigan State University, but everyone knew he would likely turn into a position-less player in the NBA. He was a great post player in college, a post player with the ability to hit mid-range jump shots. As everyone expected, once he got to the NBA his undersized frame and lack of quickness was just too much to overcome for him.
Payne has spent most of his career fighting for a spot at the end of the bench or honing his skills in the D-league. Over the past two seasons, however, Adreian got to spend some time with the Wolves and KG. Last season Payne appeared in over 50 games with the Wolves last season, averaging only 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds. Payne had the final year of his contract picked up and is hoping to build off last season with the knowledge he gained from Garnett.
9. Rasho Nesterovic
In 1998 the Timberwolves used the 17th pick in the draft to get Rasho. Before entering the NBA, Nesterovic played professionally in Greece, Italy, Serbia and Slovenia. His “professional” career began in 1992 when he was only 16 years old. By the time he got to the NBA he was already a grizzled veteran of the professional basketball circuit.
Once he got to Minnesota, however, the expectations grew. Rasho was supposed to help alleviate some of the pressure on KG in the post. Nesterovic lasted four full seasons with the Timberwolves before he became and free agent and left town to join the San Antonio Spurs. Minnesota fans will often lament the time Rasho was with the team. Many fans believe he played too soft, especially when you consider he was a 7-foot, 255 pound monster of a man. Despite the hype and expectation that surrounded Rasho, he ended his NBA career in 2010 with career averages of 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
8. Mark Madsen
“The Mad Dog” Mark Madsen lands at number eight. Madsen will always be remembered for his hideous dance moves at the Los Angeles Lakes championship parade in 2002. After riding the coattails of Shaq and Kobe to the tune of two NBA titles, Madsen landed in Minnesota with KG. Madsen was never asked to do much, so by that standard he sort of lived up to his expectations.
During his four seasons along side the big ticket, Madsen averaged just over two points and two rebounds a game. Madsen was with the Wolves until 2009 when they traded him to the Clippers. The Clippers promptly waived Madsen and that was the end of his playing career. Madsen is now an assistant coach with the L.A. Lakers.
7. Mikki Moore
Mikki Moore bounced around the league like a human pinball. He spent a total of 16 years in the NBA, and during those 16 years he played with 19 different teams, including stops in the NBA, NBA D-league, and overseas.
Moore and KG shared a locker room for 34 games during the 2008-09 season in Boston. Moore was a mid-season pick up for the championship aspiring Celtics who needed help in the interior. Moore was there for the Celtics playoff run as well as the final 24 games of the regular season. During that time, Moore was only able to average four points and four rebounds per game, not much considering he played nearly 18 minutes per game. Moore retired in 2013 once he finally realized the NBA was no longer an option for him.
6. Andray Blatche
During his high school days, Blatche was incredibly dominant. He averaged over 25 points, 16 rebounds, and six blocks during his senior season in high school. But, unfortunately for Blatche, that was the peak of his basketball career.
Andray was part of the Brooklyn Nets from 2012-2014, spending only one season with Kevin Garnett. During that season together, Andray was the starting center for over 50 games. In those games he was only able muster a pathetic six points and six rebounds. To be fair to Andray, he was actually a serviceable player earlier in his career with the Washington Wizards, but as he got older and a little lets agile he became somewhat of a statue on the court. He is currently still collecting a check with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball League.
5. Joe Smith
Smith was drafted first overall in the same draft that saw Kevin Garnett go fifth overall. Joe was drafted by the Golden State Warriors and was a productive young player for them during his three seasons in the bay. As he approached free agency, Smith made it clear to the Warriors that he wanted to play on an east coast team, closer to his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. After three seasons with GS, Smith was sent to Philadelphia. His production dropped drastically and he was not re-signed by the 76ers.
In 1998 Smith was a free agent, and he decided to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a shot. He joined KG, and formed what many thought would be the best front court in basketball at the time. However, Smith was unable to hold up his end of the bargain on that one. He was serviceable, but the Wolves were ready to take the next step and Smith was supposed to be the piece that brought them there. Ultimately Smith moved on from Minnesota, in fact he moved on from 12 different teams during his 16 seasons in the league.
4. Ervin Johnson
This is Ervin Johnson, not to be mistaken for Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Ervin was first round pick in 1993 by the Seattle SuperSonics. His career began a little later than most rookies, he was 26 years old during his rookie season.
By the time he was lucky enough to team up with Kevin Garnett, Johnson was in his late 30s, not that he was much better as a younger player. He and Garnett shared the court for two seasons from 2003-2005, during Garnett’s prime years, including his MVP season. Erving did what most everyone on the Timberwolves at that time did, he took a backseat and watched KG do his thing. For those two seasons, Johnson averaged less than two points per game and less than four rebounds. Johnson finally called it a career after the 2005-06 season when he was unable to get any playing time with the woeful Milwaukee Bucks.
3. Cherokee Parks
The coolest part about Cherokee Parks is obviously his name. He was named in honor of his great-grandmother who was a Cherokee Indian. As for his basketball skills, those were not so cool, and nobody needs to honor the legacy he left on the court.
Parks and Garnett spent two seasons together from 1996-1998. Parks was drafted in the first round of the 1994 draft after winning an NCAA title with Duke University. After one season with the Dallas Mavericks, Parks found himself in Minnesota alongside KG. During their two seasons together Parks was only able to average five points and four rebounds per game, maybe because KG was grabbing all the boards and scoring all the points… Regardless, the Wolves parted ways with the oversized big man after those two seasons, and Parks proceeded to play six more seasons with six different teams.
2. Shaquille O’Neal
Yes that’s right, Shaq is number two. This list is counting down the worst teammates KG had to play with, and during their lone season together, Shaq was.. well let’s face it, Shaq was an old man chasing a ring.
“The Big Shamrock” as he coined himself, didn’t live up to expectations with Boston, even though those expectations were very low. O’Neal was 38 years old, and pretty much broken down when he joined the Celtics in 2010. O’Neal had the worst season of his career in Boston. It was the only season in his career in which he averaged less than 10 points and less than five rebounds per game. It is no knock on Shaq to put him on this list. I am sure he himself would tell you that he should be number one on the list, given the season he had in Boston.
1. Brian Scalabrine
Brian Scalabrine was a very good college basketball player during his career at USC. He even led the team in scoring one season. He entered the NBA as a second round pick by the New Jersey Nets in 2001, but his career didn’t really get interesting until he signed with the Boston Celtics in 2005.
The move to Boston was the greatest thing that could have happened to him. With his bright red hair, goofy last name, and awesome outgoing personality, Scalabrine became a fan favorite with the Celtics faithful. Brian spent five seasons with the Celtics including 2008 when the team won the championship. However, he had very little impact on the games during his time in Boston. In many ways the Celtics used Scalabrine as a player mascot. It got to the point where the fans would chant his name at the end of games in hopes of getting him into the game. It reminded me of the kid on the high school team that never gets to play except when the game is completely out of reach.
Brian ultimately gets the last laugh though, as he has a championship ring and a fan base as big as some NBA superstars, without being a superstar talent.