Despite being successful players, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett had their share of differences. Former NBA Champion Nazr Mohammed sheds light upon their contrast in personalities.
Over the course of the league, there have been numerous big men who dominated the association in their own way. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, David Robinson and many other legends, all changed the way we perceive the PF/C role. However, there are two more all-time greats who had completely overpowered the late 90s, 00s and 10s era – Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
Entering the league around the same time, both these players found success pretty early on in their long careers. While Kevin Garnett is a 15-time All-Star, 9-time All-NBA player, 1-time NBA champ and has even been the league MVP back in 2004.
Tim Duncan too, has put on an incredibly decorated career in his 19-year long stint with the San Antonio Spurs, racking up 15 All-Star appearances, 15 All-NBA selections, 5 Championships, 3 Finals MVPs and 2 MVPs. Earlier this past year, both these generational players were even enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame as the Class of 2020.
“Kevin Garnett almost seemed like Tim Duncan’s evil twin”: Nazr Mohammed
With career averages of 19 points and 10.8 rebounds & 17.8 points and 10 rebounds, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett have had pretty similar roles throughout their life as professional basketball players. Yet, the two players were so very dissimilar to each other personality-wise.
Back in 2015, Former NBA champion Nazr Mohammed was asked to mention the six toughest players he ever guarded. During that same segment in his “The Players’ Tribune” article, Naz mentioned the differences between KG and Timmy:
“Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan were really the yin and yang of my era in the NBA. In some ways, Kevin almost seemed like Tim Duncan’s evil twin. They were so similar, yet so different.
Both guys were crucial to their team’s mentalities on the floor. Tim is a calm and composed person, and that’s how the Spurs are conditioned to play. KG is fiery on the court with a ton of swagger. And the teams he was on would adopt that personality. Both guys were meticulous in their game preparations. The stuff they did on the floor didn’t happen by accident. Their domination in games was the culmination of a lot of work.”