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NBA AM: What’s Left for Kevin Garnett to Accomplish?

As Kevin Garnett gears up for his 21st NBA season, which milestones are still within reach of achieving?

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What’s Left for Kevin Garnett to Accomplish?

Kevin Garnett made his NBA debut on November 3, 1995. Twelve days later, Karl-Anthony Towns was born. Now, Garnett and Towns are teammates on the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Garnett serving as an excellent mentor for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Over the past 20 years, Garnett has won a championship, earned 15 All-Star selections and compiled a resumé that will land him in the Basketball Hall of Fame once he retires.

Garnett will turn 40 years old next May. With every year that passes, the question persists, “Is this his last go around in the league?” This season, his focus is on helping the Timberwolves – the team that drafted him first overall back in 1995 – build their foundation and create a winning culture so that the franchise is in good hands moving forward with a talented young core that includes Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, Adreian Payne and Tyus Jones among others.

There is nothing left for Garnett to prove on the court. He solidified his place in basketball history years ago. But as long as he is still playing, there are milestones within reach. As Garnett enters his 21st NBA season, see where he ranks among current players and how he can move up on the all-time NBA career leaderboard in various stat categories.

For a reference point of Garnett’s production, last season he averaged 6.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.3 minutes over 47 games (all starts) for the Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets.

Games Played
Among active players: 1st
Among all NBA players: 5th

Garnett (1,424) has to appear in 53 regular season games to pass Karl Malone (1,476) for fourth all-time in games played.

Minutes Played
Among active players: 1st
Among all NBA players: 5th

Garnett can reach the 50,000-minute milestone this season. He currently ranks fifth all-time with 49,862 minutes, while Elvin Hayes is fourth with 50,000 and Jason Kidd is third with 50,111. Garnett played 952 minutes last season.

Total Rebounds
Among active players: 2nd
Among all NBA players: 9th

A pair of future Hall of Famers rank atop this leaderboard. Tim Duncan is first among all active players with 14,644 total boards, with Garnett just behind him with 14,512. Both could pass Robert Parish, who currently holds the seventh spot among all-time NBA players (14,715).

Defensive Rebounds
Among active players: 1st
Among all NBA players: 2nd

When it comes to defensive rebounds, Garnett is closing in on first all-time. He trails Karl Malone (11,406) by only 88 defensive boards (11,318) and tallied 263 last season. He is first among active players.

Points
Among active players: 4th
Among all NBA players: 15th

Garnett (25,949) trails Kobe Bryant (32,482), Dirk Nowitzki (28,119) and Duncan (25,974) for active points leaders. Last season, he scored 323 points. In this case, Garnett could be surpassed by fifth-ranked Paul Pierce (25,899). It’s also worth noting that sixth-ranked LeBron James is soaring up the leaderboard with 24,913 points.

Field Goals
Among active players: 2nd
Among all NBA players: 11th

Bryant (11,321) leads this category among active players. Garnett is a ways behind him in second with 10,451. When it comes to all-time NBA players, Garnett could move past John Havlicek (10,513) for 10th. He made 143 field goals last season.

Blocks
Among active players: 2nd
Among all NBA players: 17th (tie)

With one block, Garnett (2,027) can pass Larry Nance for ownership of the 17th all-time position. He ranks second among active players, but he is a staggering distance behind Duncan, who is sitting comfortably atop the leaderboard with 2,942 blocks.

Assists
Among active players: 7th
Among all NBA players: 47th

Yes, Garnett has been in the league long enough that even at 6’11, he ranks seventh among active players in assists. His Timberwolves teammate Andre Miller has a clear lead with 8,437 dimes. Then comes Chris Paul, James, Bryant, Deron Williams and Tony Parker before Garnett comes in at seventh with 5,383 assists. Garnett needs 15 assists to pass Dave Bing for 46th all-time.

PODCAST: Veterans Nearing Retirement, Preseason Observations and More

Speaking of Kevin Garnett, his impact on the Minnesota Timberwolves this season and other NBA stars in the final chapter of their careers, check out the latest episode of Basketball Insiders podcast featuring Alex Kennedy and Jessica Camerato. They discuss a number of veterans who are nearing retirement, share some of their preseason observations and much more. Listen here:

Jessica Camerato is a bilingual reporter who has been covering the NBA since 2006. She has also covered MLB, NHL and MLS. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Jessica is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Association for Women in Sports Media.

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