The story

David Garnett

David Garnett



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David (Bunny) Garnett, the only child of Edward William Garnett (1868–1937) and his wife, Constance Clara Garnett (1861–1946), was born on 9th March 1892 at Brighton. He was educated at University College School and at the Royal College of Science, where he studied botany.

During the First World War Garnett went to France with the Friends' War Victims' Relief Mission. and afterwards worked on the land. After the war he opened a bookshop in the heart of Bloomsbury with his boyfriend, Francis Birrell. At the time one of his shop assistants described him as being "good-looking, fair-haired, and blue-eyed."

Garnett went to live with his lover, Duncan Grant, and his mistress, Vanessa Bell, the wife of Clive Bell, at Wissett Lodge in Suffolk. Later they moved to Charleston Farmhouse, near Firle. As Hermione Lee, the author of Virginia Woolf (1996), points out: "Vanessa, who had fallen in love with Duncan Grant before the start of the war, was painting in a farm-cottage on the Sussex coast, living in an uneasy triangle with Duncan and his new lover, David (known as Bunny) Garnett. In 1918 Bell gave birth to Grant's child, Angelica Bell. Garnett wrote to Lytton Strachey shortly afterwards, "I think of marrying it. When she is 20, I shall be 46 – will it be scandalous?".

Working in the shop he got to know several members of the Bloomsbury Group, who began meeting to discuss literary and artistic issues. Other members of the group included Vanessa Bell, Clive Bell, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster, Duncan Grant, Lytton Strachey, Frances Marshall, Ralph Partridge, Gerald Brenan, Roger Fry, Desmond MacCarthy and Arthur Waley. Marshall later recalled in her autobiography, Memories (1981): "They were not a group, but a number of very different individuals, who shared certain attitudes to life, and happened to be friends or lovers. To say they were unconventional suggests deliberate flouting of rules; it was rather that they were quite uninterested in conventions, but passionately in ideas. Generally speaking they were left-wing, atheists, pacifists in the First World War, lovers of the arts and travel, avid readers, Francophiles. Apart from the various occupations such as writing, painting, economics, which they pursued with dedication, what they enjoyed most was talk - talk of every description, from the most abstract to the most hilariously ribald and profane."

Garnett's friends, Philip Morrell and Ottoline Morrell purchased Garsington Manor near Oxford at the beginning of the First World War and became a refuge for conscientious objectors. They worked on the property's farm as a way of escaping prosecution. It also became a meeting place for a group of intellectuals that included Garnett. He described Garsington in his autobiography, The Flowers of the Forest (1955): "The oak panelling had been painted a dark peacock blue-green; the bare and sombre dignity of Elizabethan wood and stone had been overwhelmed with an almost oriental magnificence: the luxuries of silk curtains and Persian carpets, cushions and pouffes. Ottoline's pack of pug dogs trotted everywhere and added to the Beardsley quality, which was one half of her natural taste. The characteristic of every house in which Ottoline lived was its smell and the smell of Garsington was stronger than that of Bedford Square. It reeked of the bowls of potpourri and orris-root which stood on every mantelpiece, side table and window-sill and of the desiccated oranges, studded with cloves, which Ottoline loved making. The walls were covered with a variety of pictures. Italian pictures and bric-a-brac, drawings by John, watercolours for fans by Conder, who was rumoured to have been one of Ottoline's first conquests, paintings by Duncan and Gertler and a dozen other of the younger artists."

Garnett lived with Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant at Wissett Lodge in Suffolk. Grant and Garnett worked on the farm as conscientious objectors but in 1916 a government committee on alternative service refused to let them continue there. They therefore moved to Charleston, near Firle, where they undertook farm work until the end of the war.

In 1918 Bell gave birth to Grant's child, Angelica Garnett. His biographer, Quentin Bell has argued: "Despite various homosexual allegiances in subsequent years, Grant's relationship with Vanessa Bell endured to the end; it became primarily a domestic and creative union, the two artists painting side by side, often in the same studio, admiring but also criticizing each other's efforts."

On 30th March 1921 Garnett married Rachel (Ray) Marshall, the sister of Frances Marshall. The couple had two sons. In 1922 Garnett published the highly successful novel, Lady Into Fox. The money he made from this book enabled him to buy Hilton Hall, an early seventeenth-century house near Huntingdon. In 1923 he joined forces with Francis Meynell to establish the Nonesuch Press.

Other books by Garnett included The Sailor's Return (1925), A Rabbit in the Air (1932), Pocahontas (1933) and Beany-Eye (1935). He was also literary editor of the New Statesman from 1932-34 and during the Second World War he joined the Air Ministry with the rank of flight lieutenant Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and later became an intelligence officer in the political warfare executive.

In 1938 Garnett began an affair with Angelica Bell, the daughter of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. This greatly distressed her parents. Garnett's wife died of breast cancer in 1940 and he married Angelica on 8th May 1942 and over the next few years had four children (Amaryllis, Henrietta, Nerissa and Frances).

In 1946 Garnett joined forces with Rupert Hart-Davis, Teddy Young, Eric Linklater, Arthur Ransome, H. E. Bates and Geoffrey Keynes to form the Rupert Hart-Davies publishing company. Garnet continued to write novels and the best-selling Aspects of Love appeared in 1955. Garnett also wrote three volumes of autobiography, The Golden Echo (1953), The Flowers of the Forest (1955), and The Familiar Faces (1962).

His biographer, Frances Partridge has argued: "Garnett's was a large and vigorous output, based on a variety of interests and wide reading. On first starting as a novelist he had taken Daniel Defoe as his model, and the same combination of an imaginative or fantastic premise with a sturdy, objective, and masculine style can be seen in the work of both writers. Many of his plots were markedly original and have attracted the interest of artists in other media."

After parting from Angelica Bell Garnett moved to France and lived at the Chateau de Charry, Montcuq, 25 km outside of Cahors. As one of his friends pointed out: "Here he bottled wine and cooked for his many visitors, and could be seen sitting out of doors under a large straw hat typing away at his latest book."

David Garnett died of a cerebral haemorrhage at his home on 17th February 1981. There was no funeral, and his body was given to a French teaching hospital.

Virginia Woolf was acute, though not altogether informed, about the strain of Vanessa's "left-handed marriage". The pressures of life with Duncan were considerable. Divinely charming, dazzlingly gifted, susceptible, lovable and sexy, completely committed to his work and evasive of other responsibilities, bohemian, idiosyncratic and careless of appearances, the person Vanessa had chosen to love for the rest of her life was the cause of as much pain as pleasure. Since the birth of their daughter Angelica in 1918 they had (probably) not had a sexual life, but instead a companionship of professional, social and domestic collaboration. Duncan stayed in Vanessa's household while having affairs with a series of lovers with whom Vanessa had to make friends, for fear of losing him from her life.

Virginia knew some of these friends of Duncan well, but she seems not always to have been aware of the tensions they caused. When Bunny Gannett and Duncan became lovers during the war, there was an intense triangle of jealousy and attraction. Virginia did not comment on it, though she noticed the friction between them.

The oak panelling had been painted a dark peacock blue-green; the bare and sombre dignity of Elizabethan wood and stone had been overwhelmed with an almost oriental magnificence: the luxuries of silk curtains and Persian carpets, cushions and pouffes. Italian pictures and bric-a-brac, drawings by John, watercolours for fans by Conder, who was rumoured to have been one of Ottoline's first conquests, paintings by Duncan and Gertler and a dozen other of the younger artists.

When the fatal day came, Ralph (Partridge) and I were asleep in our flat in Great James Street, with Bunny (David Garnett) in the room he rented from us on the floor above. The telephone rang, waking us. It was Tom Francis, the gardener who came daily from Ham; he was suffering terribly from shock, but had the presence of mind to tell us exactly what had happened: Carrington had shot herself but was still alive. Ralph rang up the Hungerford doctor asking him to go out to Ham Spray immediately; then, stopping only to collect a trained nurse, and taking Bunny with us for support, we drove at breakneck speed down the Great West Road. We were all completely silent-the thoughts of the others, I imagine, in the same strangulated condition as my own.We found her propped on rugs on her bedroom floor; the doctor had not dared to move her, but she had touched him greatly by asking him to fortify himself with a glass of sherry. Very characteristically, she first told Ralph she longed to die, and then (seeing his agony of mind) that she would do her best to get well. She died that same afternoon.


COMMONWEALTH v. David Garnett, Appellant.

COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. ONE 1990 DODGE RAM VAN. David Garnett, Appellant.

Decided: May 16, 2000

David Garnett appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County which ordered that his Dodge Ram van be confiscated and forfeited to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that title to the vehicle be transferred to the District Attorney and that the District Attorney's Office may either retain the vehicle for official use or sell it.

The factual and procedural history of this matter, as we have been able to glean from the parties' briefs, is as follows. On June 10, 1994, Garnett was convicted of kidnapping and murder in the first degree. The Commonwealth had proven in a jury trial that, on December 16, 1993, Garnett stabbed Dorothy Johnson in the Dodge Ram van. Garnett received a life sentence and, on September 14, 1995, the Superior Court affirmed the judgment of sentence. On August 13, 1997, the Common Pleas Court denied Garnett's request for post conviction relief under the Post Conviction Relief Act (Act). 1 On July 13, 1998, after its first such petition was dismissed without prejudice, the Commonwealth filed a second petition for forfeiture and condemnation of the Dodge Ram van. Garnett did not file an answer to that petition. The Superior Court thereafter affirmed the decision of the Common Pleas Court denying Garnett post conviction relief on September 2, 1998, and, according to the Commonwealth's brief, the Supreme Court eventually denied Garnett's petition for allowance of appeal of his sentence, which he had filed nunc pro tunc.

In the meantime, on September 22, 1998, the Common Pleas Court granted the Commonwealth's forfeiture petition, opining that Garnett had failed to produce any evidence at the forfeiture hearing, and ordered that the title for the van be transferred to the Delaware County District Attorney. Garnett appealed that order to the Superior Court, which transferred the matter to us.

Garnett now raises only one issue for our consideration, and asserts that the trial court erred in granting the Commonwealth's petition for forfeiture of his 1990 van.

Garnett argues that no statutory basis exists to support the condemnation of his vehicle, and that the Common Pleas Court improperly tried to show a specific nexus between the van and his criminal acts. While we agree that the condemnation of his van is not expressly authorized by statute, obviously a specific nexus does exist between the van and Garnett's criminal activities which cannot be denied. Garnett admitted stabbing Dorothy Johnson in his van before he used it to discard her body the van then became wedged in the mud when it slid over her body during Garnett's attempt to drive away. Because it was used in the perpetration of his unlawful acts, Garnett's Dodge Ram is derivative contraband subject to forfeiture. See Commonwealth v. Crosby, 390 Pa.Super. 140, 568 A.2d 233 (1990). 2

While, admittedly, this Court, in Commonwealth v. Cox, 161 Pa.Cmwlth. 589, 637 A.2d 757 (1994), questioned the Superior Court's holding in Crosby that common law forfeitures exist, we held that the Commonwealth's attempt to obtain a forfeiture after Cox filed a motion for return of property 3 failed because the Commonwealth did not file a forfeiture petition or make an oral motion for forfeiture. We explained that “[t]he trial court in essence granted a forfeiture motion which did not exist.” Cox, 637 A.2d at 759.

However, unlike the convicted defendants in Cox and Crosby, Garnett in this case did not file a motion for the return of his van. Moreover, he also failed to answer the Commonwealth's forfeiture petition filed on July 13, 1998. Although Garnett argues that the issue of forfeiture of the Dodge Ram was not cognizable where the Commonwealth filed its petition some four years after his conviction, he knew that his van had been seized in the course of the investigation into the murder and kidnapping of Dorothy Johnson, and that the van has been in Commonwealth custody ever since. Nevertheless, despite this passage of time, he made no attempt to seek the return of his van before the Commonwealth's attempt to condemn it in 1998.

In Commonwealth v. Setzer, 258 Pa.Super. 236, 392 A.2d 772, 773 (1978), the appellant, almost two years after his conviction, filed an application for return of money confiscated from him at the time of his arrest. The Superior Court stated that Setzer's failure to raise the issue of the return of his property in either post-verdict motions following his conviction or at the time of his sentence constituted a waiver of the issue. The Superior Court further explained:

Although Rule 324 does not provide at what point in time a motion for return of property is to be made, ‘[i]t is a fundamental doctrine in this jurisdiction that where an issue is cognizable in a given proceeding and is not raised it is waived and will not be considered on a review of that proceeding.’ Commonwealth v. Romberger, 474 Pa. 190, 196, 378 A.2d 283, 286 (1977), citing cases.

We believe that Garnett has waived the issue of the return of his property by failing to raise it either in post-trial motions or at the time of his sentencing. Further, Garnett does not dispute that he never bothered to answer the Commonwealth's July 13, 1998 motion for forfeiture.

For all of the above reasons, we affirm the order of the common pleas court.

NOW, May 16, 2000, the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County is hereby affirmed.

1. Sections 9541-9546 of the Act, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-9546.

2. In Crosby, the Superior Court held, inter alia, that the appellant's truck, used while he was driving under the influence, was forfeitable under the common law as derivative contraband, although the Court remanded the case for consideration of factors relevant to whether the truck should be forfeited.


David Garnett

David Garnett (9 March 1892 – 17 February 1981) was a British writer and publisher. As a child, he had a cloak made of rabbit skin and thus received the nickname "Bunny", by which he was known to friends and intimates all his life.

Garnett was born in Brighton as the only child of Edward Garnett and Russian translator Constance Garnett. As a conscientious objector in the First World War, he worked on fruit farms in Suffolk and Sussex with his lover, Duncan Grant.

A prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group, Garnett received literary recognition when his novel Lady into Fox, an allegorical fantasy, was awarded the 1922 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. He ran a bookshop near the British Museum with Francis Birrell during the 1920s. He also founded (with Francis Meynell) the Nonesuch Press. He wrote the novel Aspects of Love (1955), on which the later Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical was based.

His first wife was illustrator Rachel "Ray" Marshall (1891�), sister of Frances Partridge whose woodcuts appear in some of his books. He and Ray had two sons, but she died relatively young of breast cancer.

Although Garnett was primarily heterosexual, he had affairs with Francis Birrell and Duncan Grant. He was present at the birth of Grant's daughter, Angelica Garnett (nພ Bell), on 25 December 1918, and wrote to a friend shortly afterwards, "I think of marrying it. When she is 20, I shall be 46 – will it be scandalous?". When Angelica was in her early twenties, they did marry (on 8 May 1942), to the horror of her parents.

They had four daughters (Amaryllis, Henrietta, and twins Nerissa and Frances), but later separated. Their eldest daughter Amaryllis Garnett (1943�) was an actress. Henrietta Garnett, their second daughter, eventually married Burgo Partridge, her father's nephew by his first wife Ray she oversees the legacies of both David Garnett and Duncan Grant. [edit] Death

After his separation from Angelica, Garnett moved to France and lived at the Chateau de Charry, Montcuq (near Cahors), where he died in 1981.


Richard Garnett: Typographer, editor and writer who grew up amid the Bloomsbury group

Richard Garnett came from a distinguished literary lineage and in a long life followed both his father, David's, career as a writer, and his grandfather, Edward's, as a publisher's editor, with equal distinction. His greatest achievements lay in two very different publications. One was the life of his grandmother: Constance Garnett – a Heroic Life. Garnett, who remembered her in her lonely last years, could enter into her life with familiar understanding, and set her translations of great Russian novels, too easily taken for granted, as a truly heroic achievement.

The other was The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Kathleen Coburn and Bart Winer. This vast work made exceptional demands on Garnett's design skill. Coleridge's manuscripts were revised, crossed out and rewritten, his own and others' books covered with notes, printed texts altered in later editions. The editors' apparatus had to account for every change. Several different sizes of type were required, even a second colour for the marginalia, and all laid out so that the different parts aligned with each other. The result was a typographic triumph, all the greater because unobtrusive. The project was finally completed in 34 volumes in 2001 under the imprint of Princeton University Press.

Editors and designers of books get little credit for their work. Garnett neither expected nor demanded it, but hundreds of books and their authors benefited from his work, as did thousands of readers.

Richard was the elder son of David Garnett and Ray Marshall, born in his maternal grandfather's Bloomsbury house while his father sat on the stairs reading Tristram Shandy. Lady into Fox, his masterpiece, had appeared the previous year, winning both the Hawthornden and James Tait Black Memorial prizes in 1923. On the strength of this he bought Hilton Hall, a 17th-century house of and magical beauty, which remained a central feature of his son's life, and latterly his home.

A country childhood of bird-nesting and rabbit-poaching, punctuated by early schooling at Cambridge, came to an end in 1932, when he was sent to Beacon Hill, the progressive school founded by Bertrand Russell and his second wife Dora. Before he arrived, however, Russell had left Dora, and his memories of Beacon Hill, though vivid, were not happy, chief being distrust of authority. Beltane at Wimbledon, his next school, was more congenial he made weekend visits to his grandmother, Constance, at her house The Cearne, in Kent. Always good with his hands, he learned roofing and plumbing when the school was evacuated to a rundown mansion in Wiltshire.

In 1940 he was admitted to King's College, Cambridge, to read mathematics, but after a year he was called up and spent the next five years in the RAF, crewing motor-boats as support for flying-boats, round the coast of Britain and then Sierra Leone. He returned to King's in 1946, graduating in English two years later. After a brief apprenticeship in printing at the Shenval Press, in 1949 he joined Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd, the small publishing firm of which his father was one of the founding directors.

The firm had been launched in 1946 by Rupert Hart-Davis, and the office was above a shop in Connaught Street. In 1947 it had its first bestseller, Stephen Potter's The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship in 1950 came the second, Elephant Bill its success allowed a move to the more commodious 36 Soho Square.

Garnett was now the firm's production manager, and soon an expert editor as well. Heinrich Harrer's Seven Years in Tibet, another bestseller, and the three-volume autobiography of Lady Diana Cooper (Hart-Davis's aunt), exercised both skills. Laurence Whistler's books spurred him to become a glass-engraver. His nautical experience came to the fore with the Mariner's Library of sea classics, and he took charge of the sailing list of Adlard Coles when it merged with Hart-Davis.

But the heart of the firm lay not in these but in scholarly but readable books such as Leon Edel's five-volume life of Henry James, Allan Wade's Letters of WB Yeats and Peter Fleming's imperial sagas. All of these achieved their reputation thanks to the joint expertise of Garnett and Hart-Davis. Not for nothing did one of their admiring beneficiaries call the firm "the university of Soho Square".

But commercial success did not follow. Three times the firm had to be bailed out. Control passed first to Heinemann, then Harcourt Brace and finally to Granada. Hart-Davis himself left in 1963 three years later the firm was merged with MacGibbon & Kee and finally Garnett was sacked. As he left, a water-pipe burst in the attic, leaving him to say "Après moi le déluge".

Fortunately, Macmillan was in need of just his talents, to supervise copy-editing and proof-correction. He soon became indispensable, and took over from me the direction of the new edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music. It was the first major reference work to be compiled for computer-typesetting, which made exceptional editorial and organisational demands. Garnett surmounted them all, and the new edition of 1980 was a great commercial success, spawning subsets on opera and women composers, and then an even larger Grove Dictionary of Art (1996).

But having grown up in the midst of the Bloomsbury group (as a small child, he was scared by Virginia Woolf's lifelike imitation of a wolf), his heart lay in more creative writing. For Hart-Davis he wrote three books for children, beginning with The Silver Kingdom (1956), illustrated by his wife Jane, and based on his own experience of submarine archaeology The White Dragon (1963), about a great Fenland frost, became a Puffin paperback. Gerald Durrell's books owed much to his editing, which verged on authorial, as did the natural history books of Bernard Heuvelmans.

In 1991 came his life of Constance Garnett. Her difficult childhood and later marriage were mediated by early academic success at Newnham, and then fascination with Russia and the revolutionaries, seen at first hand in 1894. This led to her prodigious output of translations: all of Dostoevsky, as well as Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gogol and Turgenev. These were of incalculable benefit to English readers, as was recognised in her lifetime by Joseph Conrad, among others.

At Macmillan he became expert at drawing out Harold Macmillan's memoirs, but his favourite authors were Marie Rambert, whose autobiography Quicksilver (1972) owed much to his skill with a tape-recorder, the Duchess of Devonshire, who dedicated Wait for Me! (2010) to him, and, most of all, Joyce Grenfell, whose Joyce by Herself and Her Friends (1980) he edited with her husband Reggie Grenfell.

Richard Duncan Carey Garnett, editor and writer born London 8 January 1923 married 1954 Jane Dickins (two sons) died Salisbury 26 May 2013.


Aspects of Love (1955): David Garnett

I know virtually nothing about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Aspects of Love, except for the song Love Changes Everything, which was on a CD we used to play in the car during long journeys. I certainly didn’t know that the musical was based on a book, still less that said book was a product of the Bloomsbury Group. When I stumbled across it by chance, I decided that I simply had to give it a go – though I can’t say that I enjoyed it. It’s a self-indulgent triumph of style over substance and, while it’s a quick read at fewer than 150 pages, it lingers in the mind for the wrong reasons: for its unpleasant aura of exploitation and emotional manipulation. It becomes even more sinister when you realise that it was inspired by events in Garnett’s own life.

Our protagonist Alexis is a fictional parallel for Garnett. We first meet him as a young man dreaming his life away in Paris, where he meets and falls in love with the actress Rose. Finding that she is between plays, with nowhere to stay, he impulsively invites her to join him at his uncle’s manor house in the French countryside. She says yes, this being the kind of book where gorgeous women agree to go off into the middle of nowhere with boys they’ve only just met, who clearly long to be relieved of their virginities (there’s a lot of male wish-fulfilment here). Cue a period of great contentment, playing house in the countryside, interrupted only by the unexpected arrival of the house’s owner, Sir George. Middle-aged, wealthy and widowed, George is also immediately captivated by the luminous Rose.

Two years later, Alexis returns to Paris to visit his uncle’s city flat, where he discovers that Rose has now become Sir George’s mistress. They are very happy together, although this doesn’t stop Rose sleeping with Alexis, running round town with him and being generally charming in George’s absence. But such a state of affairs can’t continue and Rose must make her choice. Her decision drives Alexis to an act of murderous rage (although, this being the kind of book it is, it’s only a flesh wound though it does send Rose off to recuperate with Sir George, who is visiting his mistress in Italy. Do keep up!). The years pass and, as Alexis comes to terms with Rose’s choice, he strives to see her no longer as a lover but as a friend. Their relationship shifts still further when Rose gives birth to her daughter Jenny, a delightful child to whom Alexis becomes an uncle figure but who, as she grows up, holds out the possibility of becoming something else. But how can a man learn to love in all these different ways?

For obvious reasons, the book makes uncomfortable reading now. It feels deeply wrong to see a mother tacitly encouraging her former lover to indulge her daughter’s pre-adolescent crush on him. We are nowadays taught to be much stricter about the ages at which certain kinds of attachment are appropriate, especially when said attachment is between an adult and a young person. It isn’t only the hints of child exploitation that make this difficult to stomach, though. Garnett blithely creates a fantasy world in which his main characters happily drift through their tangled open relationship. No one seems to particularly care about anyone else’s well-being. The exception is, perhaps, Sir George, but he obviously isn’t as ‘sophisticated’ and ‘modern’ as Rose and Alexis. (He’s so charmingly old-fashioned, with his quaint monogamy). Plus, the final twist in Alexis’s romantic journey is just ridiculous (spoiler: ‘I’ve never met you before! Let’s go to bed! My God, I’m now utterly in love with you! Let’s run away together!” How old are you, people? Don’t any of you need to earn money, or do anything constructive?).

Lest I upset anyone, I do know that some open relationships are said to work very well, and that their members are very happy. But this requires a level of communication and generosity which isn’t on view here. And I don’t think it was in Bloomsbury either. And I’m pretty sure such relationships work best when children aren’t part of them.

The remarkable thing is that real life was even more unsettling than fiction in this case. If we see Alexis as Garnett, then Jenny is Angelica Bell, born in 1918 as the illegitimate daughter of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. In real life, Garnett was romantically involved not with Jenny’s mother, but with her father, Grant and, in real life, he was the one who contemplated a future sexual relationship with his lover’s child. He wrote to Lytton Strachey, not long after Angelica’s birth, that, ‘Its beauty is the remarkable thing… I think of marrying it. When she is 20, I shall be 46 – will it be scandalous?’ (Answer: YES! Maybe I’m irredeemably prudish but I find this reaction to a newborn child very disturbing.) And he did marry her, though not until after he’d married the artist Rachel (‘Ray’) Marshall, who died in 1940. Two years later, Garnett succeeded in marrying Angelica, with whom he’d been having an affair since 1938. She was 24 he was fifty. Poor Angelica. Her life was overshadowed with startling revelations: her father was not Clive Bell, but Grant her husband was her father’s lover… She later wrote the memoir Deceived with Kindness about her childhood among the decadently immoral members of the Bloomsbury Group. I have it somewhere, and will have to dig it out, to get ‘Jenny’s’ side of the story. It isn’t usually necessary to understand much about an author’s biographical context when assessing one of his or her novels, but this is one case where I think it’s absolutely crucial.

I’m rather annoyed at David Garnett now, which is irritating because I want to read Lady into Fox and I don’t think I can do that just at the moment. I’ll have to leave it a few months until I’ve calmed down and can, once again, disassociate the author from his work. I don’t think I’m going to be bothering with the musical either.


6. Kevin Willis

He’s not only the best basketball player named Kevin of all time he may be the best player in the NBA right now, period. He’s recovering from an injury and won’t return until next year, but Durant has had quite a career for himself.

He won two titles with the Golden State Warriors and nearly won a third before injuries enabled the Toronto Raptors to defeat them in six games. Now he’s in Brooklyn, where he and Kyrie Irving will attempt to bring a title back to New York.


Best Defensive Rebounder: Artis Gilmore

Defensive rebounds also belong in the category of defense, which is another factor for showing the paint protection in the favour of the big men.

In terms of defensive rebounding, the boxing out technique, skills, strength to get a position, sense of where the ball is going and much more can all be factors for a domination of a certain player under the basket.

There were many good rebounders in their own paint, but Artis Gilmore, with his 11.514 defensive boards are enough for me to consider him as No. 1, barely outmatching Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Robert Parish and many more.

From the forwards, notable rebounders were guys such as Elgin Baylor and Larry Bird, while from the guards, I'd say Jason Kidd tops them all. Let's not forget about Bill Russell, Nate Thurmond and Wilt Chamberlain who were also terrific, but they left the game before these stats were accepted in the league, so I'd rank them but still mention it.


KG, the Oral History, Part 2: Glory in Boston, Quirky Traits and Returning Home

Few athletes have left as deep an imprint on their sport as Kevin Garnett has on the NBA. As KG celebrates his 39th birthday, a collection of players, coaches and executives recount what made him such a unique and transformational figure over the last 20 seasons.

This is Part 2 of B/R's oral history of Garnett's NBA career. Part 1 is here and accessible through the links below.

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Though Garnett quickly evolved into a dazzling, dominant player in Minnesota, he grew frustrated with the Timberwolves' postseason failures, opening the door for a career-changing trade to Boston, where he found ultimate success while honing a reputation as one of the league's most interesting characters.

For most of his Minnesota career, Garnett was a superstar surrounded by bit players, a solo act in search of a worthy co-star.

The Timberwolves granted Stephon Marbury's wish on March 11, 1999, sending him to the Nets in a three-team trade that brought point guard Terrell Brandon, a two-time All-Star, to Minnesota. Though talented, Brandon was undersized (5'11"), and his career was cut short by injuries.

The next co-star to audition was Wally Szczerbiak, a sweet-shooting forward drafted with the sixth pick in 1999. But the chemistry was poor from the start and their relationship bottomed out when Garnett and Szczerbiak scuffled in the trainer's room in November 2000.

Chauncey Billups spent two years on the roster, from 2000-02, but he did not reach stardom until years later, in Detroit. Tom Gugliotta had his best seasons alongside Garnett, in 1996-97 and 1997-98, but the Timberwolves let him go after the 1998 lockout to save salary-cap room, presumably for Marbury.

Meanwhile, Garnett's behemoth contract, which was grandfathered in after the lockout, made it extraordinarily difficult for Timberwolves officials to acquire elite talent. And the Timberwolves sabotaged themselves along the way, agreeing to an illegal deal with Joe Smith that cost the franchise multiple first-round picks as part of the NBA's punishment.

Despite his immense talents, Garnett became a playoff footnote, losing in the first round seven straight years from 1997 to 2003, never winning more than 51 games in a season.

Flip Saunders, Timberwolves coach, 1995-2005 2014-present: It was difficult. We traded Steph, we got Terrell, who was pretty good. We also got Wally Szczerbiak in the deal, who became an All-Star. What you have to have is not just a star, but you have to have two dynamic stars. To get a guy that maybe can be an All-Star—that might not be good enough back then.

Steve Aschburner, Timberwolves beat writer for Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 1994-2007: I think [Garnett] felt like Wally was overrated, I think he resented that this guy that was sort of becoming his sidekick without any real chemistry and not enough chops. … There was no chemistry there between them, at all.

Sam Mitchell, Timberwolves teammate, 1995-2002: A lot of that stuff is overblown. Kevin respected Wally, because Wally could play. Wally loved to play. Now, Wally wasn't the greatest defender, but when it came to scoring the basketball, Wally can score.

Kevin McHale, Timberwolves general manager 1995-2008: They were different people. They never seemed to have great chemistry, [but ] I don't think it was as bad as everybody said it was. They had their moments. Wally made an All-Star team with Kevin. He wasn't a great passer, wasn't a great creator. [But] he played well with Kevin. In my time there, nobody played better with Kevin than Gugliotta. You can look at some of the stuff they did together. Very, very impressive.

Flip Saunders: KG's the most unassuming superstar, in that he had more gratification passing the ball than scoring. So he didn't care about shooting, where Wally, that's all he cared about. So he got Wally a lot of shots.

Steve Aschburner: When Wally got his extension, [the media] broke the news to KG before shootaround. The look on Garnett's face—he was working his molars over the fact that this guy's going to be here long-term now, and being paid a whole bunch of money and that's going to get in the way of certain kinds of improvement they could make in that team.

Andy Miller, Garnett's agent since 1995: I think that that was the thing that probably caused the most turmoil. … Kevin always wants to be successful, always wants to win, wants the team to have success, wants everyone to shine. When you have constant frustration, always trying to plug a hole, and every year you end up with the same results, it's extraordinarily frustrating.

Terry Porter, Timberwolves guard, 1995-98: We just didn't have enough weapons. … You know, [Garnett] wasn't the type of guy that was going take over a team and carry a team back then. And they were in the Western Conference, so it became more of a challenge early on. I remember us playing Houston in the first round. He had a great series we just didn't have enough.

Steve Aschburner: Glen Taylor pissed off his peers by signing Garnett to that contract, but nobody's team suffered worse than Glen Taylor's.

Finally, in 2003, the Timberwolves made two dramatic trades, acquiring point guard Sam Cassell from Milwaukee and swingman Latrell Sprewell from New York, providing Garnett the best supporting cast of his Minnesota career. The Timberwolves won 58 games, a franchise record, and Garnett won the Most Valuable Player award after averaging 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals.

That spring, Garnett won the first two playoff series of his career, leading the top-seeded Timberwolves into the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, who had added Karl Malone and Gary Payton to the Shaquille O'Neal-Kobe Bryant core. But Cassell entered the series with a badly injured hip, sustained in the second round, and his play suffered. He sat down for good after Game 4 of the series, with the Wolves trailing 3-1. The Lakers prevailed in six games, and Garnett lost his best chance to bring a title to the Twin Cities.

Despite a 44-win season, the Timberwolves missed the playoffs the next year, then parted ways with Sprewell and Cassell. They have not made the postseason since.

Flip Saunders: We would have won that year. … We were the No. 1 seed. I still believe, if Sam wouldn't have got hurt, that we would have beat the Lakers and I think we probably would have beaten Detroit (in the Finals) that year.

Glen Taylor, Timberwolves owner: We went out and [acquired] those guys, [and spent] more money than we could afford. … I think everything went the way we planned it, except the injuries. And that's been our misfortune ever since, the god-darn injuries.

Dwane Casey, Timberwolves head coach, 2005-07: In conversation, [Kevin] would let it be known that that was something that he was frustrated with, that they broke up the team that had gone to the Western Conference Finals.

Steve Aschburner: He was really fed up. He wasn't the one raising his hand or making demands in the media to exit, because he is a very loyal person. But I think he felt kind of betrayed by the inability of McHale and the organization to come through for him.

Terry Porter: [Garnett] knew at the end of the day, he was going to be judged by his playoff appearances.… He cares about how he's looked upon and what his legacy looks like.

Kevin McHale: He thought, "I have to do more. I have to do more." Really, there was nothing more he could do.

Steve Aschburner: I remember after the Boston-Cleveland [playoff series in 2010], when LeBron got eliminated by the Celtics. And Garnett told us from the podium, about how he told LeBron about how fast things go. To me, that was Garnett basically saying, "I wish I hadn't signed that last extension, because look how long it took me to get somewhere where I really could win." That was pretty telling.

By 2007, Garnett and the Timberwolves had reached a crossroads.

The Sam Cassell-Latrell Sprewell era had been short-lived, with each star alienating the front office over contract demands. At age 31, Garnett's window to chase a championship was diminishing. And the Timberwolves, stymied by their own missteps, and handcuffed by Garnett's massive salary—and with another contract extension on the horizon—decided it was time to set a new course.

What was once inconceivable became essential: The franchise would have to trade the greatest player to ever have graced the uniform.

Glen Taylor: I said to Kevin, "It's gonna take us a while again." … And I think he kind of says, "I'd like to win." I say, "I'm not sure I'm gonna get you that here as fast as you want." So I would say that he kind of was unsure.

Kevin McHale: It was hard on everybody. That really came down to just our owner having—and I think Glen was more than fair with everybody—a number he wanted to sign everybody with, and he tried to get the cap more cap-friendly. Kevin, just said he wanted X amount. It came down to a financial decision. It was hard.

Glen Taylor: I think now he says, "Glen you traded me. I didn't want to be traded." But I'm not sure it was quite that clear. I think he sent me some messages that "I want to get on a [contending] team."

Danny Ainge, Celtics GM: Because Kevin and I were such close friends, we had numerous conversations over the years [about Garnett]. We realized that Paul [Pierce] and KG would be a great combination. We thought that they really complemented each other well. So we discussed the possibility of Paul going to Minnesota or KG coming to Boston, like which way is the best way to do it.

Phil Jackson, Lakers head coach, 1999-2004 2005-2011: When I realized that [Garnett] was available and wanted to leave Minnesota, I put a big push on (to acquire him).

Andy Miller: Cleveland was involved. They were a distant third in the whole thing.

Glen Taylor: L.A. really wanted him. Well, I didn't know if I wanted him in the West. I thought I was getting better players. I thought L.A could not give me the players that Boston did.

The Lakers offered a package built around multi-skilled forward Lamar Odom and 19-year-old center Andrew Bynum, a promising second-year player who would eventually become an All-Star. Odom had a history of flaky behavior, however, and Bynum was unproven.

The Celtics' package was built around another talented, but still-developing young center, Al Jefferson, along with several other young players and draft picks.

Phil Jackson: Dr. [Jerry] Buss came to me and said, "I have a handshake agreement with Taylor, that he's going to come to L.A. But McHale hasn't concurred yet." So I said, "Well that's a good excuse." You always, as an owner, say, "I'll do this, but …" So I kept that hope out there, that he was gonna be a part of the Laker organization.

Taylor: Odom, I was a little afraid of. I thought Bynum was gonna be a star.

Miller: I think that what McHale was looking for, on top of picks, was a core young piece, and he was infatuated with Al Jefferson at the time.

Glen Taylor: It became the Lakers, and it became Boston. And they both said, what does [Garnett] want to get paid? And I told them what he wants to get paid. I told them the kind of contract. And those two teams said they would do it.

On July 31, 2007, the Timberwolves sent Garnett to Boston, in exchange for Al Jefferson, four other players and two first-round picks. Many experts considered the Lakers' offer of Odom and Bynum to be the stronger package. The deal between Ainge and McHale, close friends and former Celtics teammates, stoked suspicion that McHale was acting more in the interests of his former franchise.

Phil Jackson: I've always kind of hinted that, in fun. … Of course, it's easier to make a deal with someone you know. But the (main) thing was, get him out of the conference, get him to the East Coast, get him away from us, so we don't have to deal with him four times a year. So that makes sense. So that's understandable.

Glen Taylor: We went to Boston, and I got a deal with Boston and took it to Kevin, and he says, "No, I don't want to be traded." … Then they went out and got [Ray] Allen. I went back to Kevin and said to him, later on, "Well, they're still here, they want you." I thought he said, "OK" to me. I really did. … I don't know if he remembers it that way quite or not. Because he has said at different times, "I wished I could have stayed there." But I thought I asked him. I thought he agreed. In thinking back, my guess is Kevin wasn't sure which way he wanted to do it, and I made the decision for him, rather than he probably felt that I should have asked him again.

KG, Fulfilled

Ultimately, the chance to join two other future Hall of Famers, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, persuaded Kevin Garnett to accept a trade to the Celtics, and to say goodbye to Minnesota, the only NBA home he had known.

In Boston, Garnett's impact was immediate and profound. The three stars were branded as co-equals, each dependent on the others to fulfill their championship dreams. But Garnett was the linchpin to the partnership, instantly becoming the Celtics' defensive conscience, their strongest voice and their emotional pulse.

The story of the Celtics' 2007-08 championship run is one of individual sacrifice. Garnett set the tone from Day 1, demanding a total commitment from everyone, then setting the example himself, by surrendering shots and individual glory.

The veterans all respected Garnett, and the Celtics' youngest starters, Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo, were instantly drawn to his unique magnetism. They followed his lead in everything, and reflected his steely on-court persona.

Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics head coach, 2004-13: It was before our first practice—our first meeting with Paul, Ray and Kevin. The first thing he talked about is, "Hey, we all say we're going to win a title, but what are you going to give up?" He challenged us right away. He was not f-----g around, and I love that about him.

Sam Mitchell: I remember when I was coaching in Toronto (in 2007), and we played the Boston Celtics in an exhibition in Rome. And Doc Rivers and Ray Allen pulled me to the side. They was like, "Man we need you to talk to KG." I was like, "What's wrong?" They said, "Man, he's just so intense. He don't need to do all that." So they thought he was trying to impress them. I said, "Doc, Ray, he's like this every day. Every day."

Danny Ainge: He changed everybody, from coaches to trainers to massage therapists, to the entire organization. I think that it was just his energy and enthusiasm. But also, it was the fact that he believed. He had this strong faith in what the team could be.

Paul Pierce: It wasn't about no bulls--t now. … The attitude around there was very boot camp-like. We're gonna go in here and do our work every day, and the laughing and the joking, that's out the window until maybe after practice or on the bus.

Brian Scalabrine, Celtics forward, 2005-10: Over the course of 82 games, or 110-some games like we played, a lot of guys can get real loose. He never allowed that. One day Leon Powe and I were cracking up on Eddie House's tattoo. … [Garnett] was like, "C'mon, Scal, it's time to rock! What the 'F' are you doing?" And I was like, "You know what? You're right. It is time to rock." We're about to play the Dallas Mavericks and we're over here messing around. It was 55 (minutes) on the clock or something like that. He was locked in and focused. That's how it is with him. If you want to be on the team, that's how it is going to be.

Paul Pierce: It probably made some guys uncomfortable, maybe [some felt he] need[ed] to tone it down. But I'm like, "No, that's Kevin. Y'all tell him to tone it down like it's a weakness, but that's his strength. He's gotta be like this. He's getting ready."

Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Celtics forward, 2007-11: I think he goes down as one of the best leaders of all time, somebody that led by example, but also policed his teams and said what was right all the time, in spite of what other people think. You talk about a guy who made a sacrifice coming to Boston — his role changed, he was more of a defender. He was a guy that kind of facilitated and kept us all together.

Danny Ainge: Doc would harp on him every day, like, "You gotta score more, you gotta shoot more. You gotta quit passing and you gotta shoot." KG, it just wasn't in his nature. He was such a team guy, and he cared so much about his teammates, and he cared about the camaraderie and the unity of our team, and was greatly affected by people that went off the reservation.

Doc Rivers: He's the best superstar role player I've ever seen. He's a superstar that can do everything, yet he gave himself to the team and played a role for the team to win, no matter what that took away from his individual stuff. I don't know if there's any superstar I've ever been around that is that unselfish.

Danny Ainge: Kendrick (Perkins) was a very important piece to a championship puzzle. Kevin knew that. He sort of took Perk under his wing and he loved Perk for how hard Perk played. Paul was always a great player. But Paul, all of a sudden, didn't have to carry the load (as the sole leader). … KG's presence just took a burden off of Paul, and freed him up to be what he was, which was a great scorer.

Doc Rivers: He was prepared, you better be. If you messed up in shootaround, he knew it. So he kept me on the edge because you knew he was as prepared as the coaches, and it's rare you see that.

At the time the Celtics created their New Big Three, there were legitimate concerns about fit and chemistry, and legitimate questions about how long it might take for three towering talents to mesh. The answers came quicker than anyone could have predicted. The Celtics started the season 8-0, then ripped off two nine-game winning streaks, pushing their record to 29-3 on Jan. 5.

The Celtics finished with 66 wins, their best mark sine 1986. After a strenuous run through the Eastern Conference playoffs—it took seven games to beat Atlanta and Cleveland, six to beat Detroit—the Celtics landed in the Finals against their oldest rival (and the loser in the Garnett stakes), the Los Angeles Lakers.

Boston dominated, claiming the championship in six games and unleashing a raucous celebration at the new Boston Garden. Garnett averaged 18.2 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, 1.7 steals and one block per game in the series, while harassing the Lakers' Pau Gasol and piloting a Celtics defense that had the Lakers flummoxed.

As the green confetti fluttered, Garnett took the microphone and unleashed a primal scream for the ages, an instantly iconic moment in Finals history: "Anything is possssibllllle!"

Tyronn Lue, longtime friend of Garnett's, Cavaliers assistant coach: The proudest moment for me was when he won that championship, and I got a chance to see his emotions and how he reacted. It was the best thing for me.

Paul Pierce: Oh, man, he started crying. He broke down. When you saw that, it was just like, man, you felt him. You felt him. … And then he went to the ground. That's when you knew. When a guy breaks down, a guy with the personality of KG, [who] is so strong, and [he] breaks down, then it means something. It means something to you.

Chris Webber: I talked to him before he went to Boston. I knew what that was about. Think about it, that was his only chance. … That goes down as one of my favorite sporting moments, seeing him win the championship, because I knew what he was saying.

The era of the New Big Three would last another four seasons, but Garnett, Pierce and Allen would never reach that pinnacle again. Their title defense was undermined by a knee injury that forced Garnett to miss the entire 2009 postseason. The Celtics returned to the Finals in 2010 to face the Lakers again, but they lost Perkins to an injury in Game 6 and lost an epic Game 7 that went down to the final minute.

Age and injuries eventually took their toll and the Celtics' preeminence soon faded as the power shifted to a new Big Three rising in South Beach.

Paul Pierce: I had no doubt in my mind — we probably would have won 70 games that year (2008-09) if KG was healthy. And the rings. So it's all a lot of what-ifs, but you have that through history, with a lot of teams who didn't stay healthy after they won.

Danny Ainge: It would have been nice to win two. We were close. … Kevin, he gave hope to our franchise every day for six years.

Quirks, Habits and Virtues

What do you see when you look at Kevin Garnett? Over the years, he's alternately been viewed as a warrior and a bully, a fierce defender and a dirty player, a kind spirit and a mean person, an intimidator and a mentor. He is a tough opponent—playing on the edge and sometimes over it — but a fiercely loyal teammate. His intensity sometimes seems to border on insanity. His game-day rituals are legendary and quirky.

Before introductions every night, Garnett will sit in solitude on the bench. Before tipoff, he will skip around the court, bellowing to the crowd. And he will bang his head into the basket stanchion several times, while muttering to himself and tying his shorts.

"He's still a little nuts," said former Nets teammate Mason Plumlee. "Even on the court, he's different, but in a good way, man."

Good, bad or otherwise, Garnett's personality is as unique as his game.

Sam Mitchell: He's gonna do the same routine. He stretches the same, he sits down on the floor in front of his locker at the same time. He has his hot packs for his knees at the same time. He puts his shoes on a particular way.

Kendrick Perkins, Celtics teammate, 2007-11: Before the jump ball, he goes to the sections of the fans and is like [pounding his chest several times], "Motherf-----s!" He'll say a whole lot of [stuff]. And the fans just go crazy. And then he started getting cheers and, and you feed off that, right?

Jim LaBumbard, former Timberwolves PR director, now with Toronto: Even when he comes into town with visiting teams, I would never go say hi to him pregame, because I knew he was just locked in in just that way. It would just be like talking to a wall.

Sam Mitchell: He's game mode, all day. You keep waiting to say, is he gonna burn out doing it? But he doesn't, man.

Paul Pierce: He's gonna eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Every game. We didn't even have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until he got to Boston. So then he made our ball boys make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everybody. When KG was eating them, everybody started eating them.

Doc Rivers: Before Game 6 in the (2008) Finals when we beat the Lakers, I walked in the locker room, and Kevin gets [hyped] up to where sometimes he goes over the line. You could see it. I had him come in my office and sit. He's sitting there five, 10, 15 minutes. I don't say a word. I just go back to work. He's moving around and finally he says, "I'm in a timeout. I'm in timeout." I didn't even respond. You could hear him: "Phew" (exhaling). But you think about a guy who has been in the league that long and is still that jacked up for a game that you literally have to calm him down. That's my favorite story.

Kendrick Perkins: It was in a playoff game. So we were down 10 or something in the third, double figures, coming back in the fourth. I remember him coming back on the defensive end. And you know how you get into (a defensive stance), you want to get low, like before the man crosses halfcourt. He literally about crawled on the ground and got up off his knees, like "Let me see it!" that type of [thing]. It was like, damn.

Tyronn Lue: A lot of people do all their howling on the court and they're faking just for attention, but what he does is genuine. So one day we were at his house and we were watching Puff Daddy's show Making the Band, and in one of the scenes, some new guys came in and were trying to sing and were trying to compete against the guys who had been there. And KG just got so hyped, "Motherf----r, you've got to stand up for yours! You've got to fight! Motherf----r, you've got to come together!" He's going crazy, he's sweaty. And he just head butts the wall and put a hole in the wall of his house.

Paul Pierce: Most guys, you get warmed up but you're gonna have a slight sweat. Well, he'd have a full sweat, like he already played four quarters of a game. That’s just him getting his mind right, getting his body right, ready to go. Everybody's got their routine. That's his routine.

Flip Saunders: He hates change. If he had a chance, he’d keep 20 guys on the roster, and he'd pay those last five guys we had to cut. … He'd become attached to somebody in one week and didn’t want them to leave. So you’d always have to talk to him and kind of reason with him why you might be trading someone. And it’s funny, because many times the lower-end guys are the guys he has more of a soft spot, to try to help those guys out even more.

Sometimes, even opponents are graced by that softer side. For a young Dwyane Wade, it was when Garnett went out of his way to encourage him early in Wade’s rookie season, in 2003. Garnett followed up the next summer, too, seeking out Wade in Miami to offer his guidance and support. Countless young players have been mentored by Garnett over the last 20 years.

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat guard, 2003-present: I was a young kid. This is Kevin Garnett, MVP of the league. But he believed in me at that time. He wasn't my teammate. I didn't even know him that much. …But he pulled me aside, he talked to me for that weekend, and he let me know that I can be a star in this league. So that confidence from a guy like that, man, just went a long way.

Mason Plumlee, Garnett teammate with the Nets, 2013-15: The first time I met him, he just told me, "Look, I've done it all. I've been an All-Star, I’ve been MVP, I've won a championship." So he’s like, "Everything that I tell you is for you. It's coming from a place of success, a place of — you know I want you to do well, because I've done it all." He's like, "I want to play and still be good, but I don't have to prove myself anymore." It's funny, he says that and then he plays as if to prove himself each night. I always remember that. That just gave me trust in everything he told me, that it wasn't for anything but my betterment.

Doc Rivers: He tries to teach the young guys professionalism first — not basketball. … He bought them suits. He'd bring them in and get them all wired up and buy two or three suits for them, so they're dressed right. He told them, "If you're coming to work, you're coming in a suit and tie. You come to go to work." I never had to tell our young guys about being on time with him. You had him doing it.

The ultimate Kevin Garnett quirk? He refuses to accept the fact that makes him so unique: that he's a 7-footer with the skills of a guard. Since his first day in the NBA, Garnett has insisted—to every coach, trainer and public-relations official—that he be listed as 6',11".

Sam Mitchell: Oh, he'd get mad. He never wanted to be 7-foot. I think he always felt like if you list him at 7-feet, you'd put him at center. He never really wanted to play center.

Flip Saunders: He doesn't like labels. He didn't want to be labeled a center. So I used to call him 6-foot-13, because he's really 7'1".

Jim LaBumbard: He was adamant, from Day 1. . I think we just kept him at 6'11". We just rolled with it. We've had other people come to us with requests on weight and things like that. To me it wasn't that big a deal. I just kind of laughed at it.

Flip Saunders: He never let anyone measure him.

Though notoriously change-averse, Kevin Garnett has waived his no-trade clause three times. He went to Boston in 2007 to chase championships. When that window closed in 2013, he moved to Brooklyn, to join another team with title hopes. And when that pursuit fizzled, Garnett consented to one last move: back to the place he calls 'Sota.

On Feb. 19, with the trade deadline approaching, the Nets shipped Garnett to the Timberwolves in a swap for 26-year-old forward Thaddeus Young. For the Nets, it was strictly a basketball move, a chance to get younger and more athletic. For the Timberwolves, it was strictly about Kevin Garnett—his past and his future.

There was sentimentality in the deal, sure, and perhaps some marketing strategy at work, too. Amid another losing season, the Timberwolves needed a move to reenergize the fan base. But Garnett's value now transcends stats, ticket sales or winning percentages.

The Timberwolves wanted Garnett for his influence, for his ferocity and for his self-discipline, for the impression he will make on their promising young players—Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng and Ricky Rubio.

Flip Saunders: I said, "You know, Kevin, you won a championship in Boston, but when people think about you, they're always going to think about you as a Timberwolf. That's when you were MVP, All-NBA, All-Defensive (team)." I thought that maybe there was a chance that he might want to come back and finish, because he never really did want to leave here.

Paul Pierce: I thought he made a good decision. I told him, "The people of Minnesota are really going to appreciate you more than they do in Brooklyn." And I think he felt that.

Jerry Zgoda: Basketball-wise, it made no sense, giving up a guy 26, Thad Young, for this guy. But here, it was a little bit of a fairy tale, him coming back. I was actually surprised how (positively) people reacted to it. I don't know if that was so much that they were hoping that it was the same guy they traded away in 2007, or just the fact of it's just a good story.

Glen Taylor: I'm happy. And I told him.

Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves rookie: The first couple games we had, there were a lot of fans here at the beginning of the year. Then it started fading away a little bit. Then when KG came back, it was a packed house. A lot of fans came out, a lot of new faces, and you could just feel a different energy in the gym.

Jerry Zgoda: The night he came back was magic. You don't see that that much, especially in that arena. It was special.

Paul Pierce (who, as a member of the Wizards, played against Garnett in his first game back): Oh man, it was unbelievable. I haven't seen Minnesota like that since he left. It used to be one of the loudest buildings in the league when he was there. Then he left, it was like a ghost town.

Flip Saunders: The first road trip we came back on…the young guys were all in the back, three seats on each side. It was Lorenzo [Brown] and Zach and Wig. … So KG started talking about stories and different things, concepts and games. And these three guys were sitting there, like this [Saunders rests his chin on his crossed arms, staring intently] — their eyes, it was like they just saw Santa Claus. If I had a picture — they were riveted to their seats.

Anthony Bennett, Timberwolves forward: He's always a hard worker, always intense, always talkative. Everything about his vibe changed the locker room. … Someone missed a shot, he'll go to them, bring them back up. Just the little things, but it goes a long way for other players.

Flip Saunders: We're trying to get guys that are 20 to start playing like they're 23 or 24. … No one says it like he does. Even the players we have that are the veteran guys, like Gary Neal, say, "I never imagined that KG was this type of leader."

Paul Pierce: He's going to give them an attitude. … He might not be that dominant KG, the MVP, the one dominating games. But his voice is louder than ever, in that locker room moreso I think than in Brooklyn.

Jerry Zgoda: He was having a dialogue with Zach LaVine quite a bit of time before (a game in Utah), giving him grief as much as anything. … Zach goes out and hits two big shots. I heard Garnett was going crazy in the dressing room watching it, saying, "That's my guy."

Flip Saunders: What KG brings, the other things, how he might help these other guys analytically be better, is more important than a low first-round pick or whatever it is.

Those who know Garnett best believe he will play another season or two, as a role player and mentor. After that, many believe Garnett will be given a share of the franchise, or perhaps seek to purchase the club himself, with an investment group. However the next chapter unfolds, it appears Garnett is back in Minneapolis to stay.

Paul Pierce: Let me tell you something, I heard KG say he was going to retire four years ago. In Boston. After like 2010 or '11, he was like this is it, this is it. He's still here.

Jerry Zgoda: I think he's going to be the next owner. He won't put the big money behind it, but he'll be the face of it, like Magic Johnson is with the Dodgers. I think that's why he agreed to do this.

Sam Mitchell: He came home. You think about it, he's the only Timberwolf, period, in history that really means anything. … He's everything. He is everything.

Jerry Zgoda: There's not much to be proud of if you're a Wolves fan for the last 20 years, but he's the guy that defines all that is.

Howard Beck covers the NBA for Bleacher Report and is a co-host of NBA Sunday Tip, 9-11 a.m. ET on SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio. Follow him on Twitter, @HowardBeck.

Howard Beck interviewed Danny Ainge, Paul Pierce, Flip Saunders, Sam Mitchell, Glen Taylor, Dwane Casey, Terry Porter, Christian Laettner, Jim LaBumbard, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, John Hammond, John Nash, Jerry Zgoda, Steve Aschburner, Jonathan Abrams, Russ Granik, Ron Klempner, Kevin Johnson, Jose Calderon, Andy Miller, Mason Plumlee, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.

Ethan Skolnick interviewed Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Webber, Kendrick Perkins, Henry Walker and Tony Allen.

Ric Bucher interviewed Sonny Vaccaro, Brian Scalabrine and Alvin Gentry.

Jared Zwerling interviewed Doc Rivers, Glen Davis, Zach Randolph, Chris Bosh, Tyronn Lue and Joe Abunassar.


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