That night in St. Louis Park still weighs heavily on Kevin Garnett’s heart.
For all of the pains and tribulations the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise has endured since Garnett’s departure for Boston, none, of course, compare to what struck the organization early in the morning on Saturday, May 20, 2000. It was then that teammate and fan-favorite swingman Malik Sealy was killed in a car accident on Highway 100.
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Thirteen years later, Garnett remains committed to honoring the memory of his idol and close friend.
The former face of the Timberwolves organization will wear No. 2, Sealy’s number during his two years in Minnesota, for the Brooklyn Nets next year. Garnett wore 21, Sealy’s number while at St. John’s, during his 12 seasons in the Twin Cities.
Sealy was on the way home from Garnett’s 24th birthday party when a drunk driver traveling on the wrong side of the road crashed into Sealy’s SUV. The 30-year-old died of head and chest injuries just a month after finishing his eighth professional season.
Not long after, Garnett had the number and Sealy’s name tattooed into his arm. The next season, Minnesota retired the number in a ceremony before a February game against the Sacramento Kings. Garnett went on to score 40 points in the game.
That gesture kept Garnett from commemorating Sealy on the front of his jersey while in Minneapolis. The No. 2 is retired in Boston, too, in honor of Red Auerbach, so the Celtics-Nets trade that sends him to Brooklyn alongside Paul Pierce offers his first chance to don the single digit.