Chicago, Il, (The Hollywood Times) 02/22/2020 – It has been 25 years since Kevin “The Big Ticket” Garnett was crowned Mr. Basketball of Illinois in 1995 by The Chicago Tribune. What was going to be perceived as a down year for Chicago high school sports, Garnett moved from Mauldin, South Carolina before his senior year and took the Chicago basketball scene by storm and stepped into the national spotlight. At the 1995 NBA Draft in Chicago, Garnett was selected fifth overall, becoming one of the first high school players drafted directly to the NBA.
At this past month’s NBA ALL-STAR Weekend in Chicago, SHOWTIME Basketball celebrated the 25th year anniversary of this landmark decision by announcing a new documentary based on Kevin Garnett’s life.
On SHOWTIME Basketball’s All The Smoke podcast, Garnett was asked about his choice to skip college and enter the draft. “I don’t think the league thought a kid was going to be able to do some of these things,” said Kevin Garnett.
At the time, conventional thinking was that players coming out of high school weren’t developed enough to make the competitive leap to the NBA. Garnett changed that way of thinking by winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award after only his eighth season in the league, and at only the age of 27 years old.
This February has been a very busy month for Garnett. On February 13, the Boston Celtics announced they will be retiring his No. 5 jersey. Garnett helped lead the Celtics to a championship during the 2008 season. The very next day, he was named as one of four finalists nominated for the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame Class.
Photo Credits: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME