Kevin Garnett said that the United States men's basketball team had a "million dollar bet" for whoever could dunk on center Yao Ming at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The former Timberwolves star made the revelation during an interview with Yahoo Sports.
Garnett was asked about teammate Vince Carter's legendary dunk over French center Frederic Weis during a preliminary round match. Shortly thereafter, Garnett claimed that there was a "bounty" for a successful slam on Yao, whom at a listed 7'6" is one of the tallest players in NBA history. The U.S. faced Yao's China side in the opening match.
"First of all, people didn’t know, we had a bounty out on Yao Ming," Garnett said. "The whole USA team had a bet. We had a million dollar bet on who was going to be the first person to dunk on Yao Ming. None of us did. We all tried to dunk on Yao, but he would block it or we would miss.
"So, the first thing I thought of when I saw Vince dunk over Frederic was oh s---, you won the million dollars. But then I realized it obviously wasn’t Yao. I pushed Vince, and if you look at the clip, he almost punches me in the face by accident. But my first thought was, oh s---, you won, you got the million."
Carter might not have claimed his million-dollar cut from teammates, but he did help the United States go on to capture gold in Sydney after defeating France in the final.