In a moving tribute during player introductions, the Timberwolves welcomed Kevin Garnett back to Minnesota nearly eight years after trading him away to Boston.
Garnett, a 1995 lottery pick, spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota, earning 10 All-Star selections and the 2004 MVP award. He went on to win the only title of his career with the Celtics in 2008 before moving on to the Nets in 2013. After two seasons in Brooklyn, Garnett was traded back to Minnesota in exchange for Thaddeus Young at last week's trade deadline.
The video tribute included footage of Garnett's NBA draft selection, his MVP presentation and plenty of clips depicting his exceptional intensity. He was shown making a chalk cloud before games, dunking in transition, pounding his hands on the court while playing defense and pumping his fist along with the Target Center crowd.
"It doesn't matter where you've been," the Jumbotron text read, "there is only one home."
After the video concluded, Garnett was announced as the final member of coach Flip Saunders' starting lineup during the Timberwolves' 97-77 victory over the Wizards.
"It's perfect," Garnett said Tuesday of his return to Minnesota, according to the Associated Press. "If you have a story, this is a fairy tale. This is a perfect ending to it. This is how you want to do it."
Garnett, 38, is averaging 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds this season. He is in the final year of his contract but is reportedly interested in extending his career. He told reporters earlier this week that he is interested in joining the Timberwolves' ownership group.
Kevin Martin led the Timberwolves with a game-high 28 points and two rebounds. Garnett finished with five points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes for Minnesota.
Otto Porter paced the Wizards with 13 points. Marcin Gortat added nine points and 15 rebounds in the loss.
Minnesota improved to 13-43. Washington dropped to 33-25.