14. Putback dunk against Houston
The 1996-97 NBA season saw the Timberwolves don brand new uniforms after the franchise underwent a full re-brand following seven seasons of the inaugural uniforms and logo.
The docile-looking wolf was gone, replaced by a fierce, growling wolf to match the attitude and demeanor of budding star Garnett.
Minnesota made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history that year, finishing with a 40-42 record in the regular season and getting swept by the eventual Western Conference champion Houston Rockets in the first round.
But that doesn’t mean that the 20-year-old Garnett didn’t get the chance to show off his hops in front of the Rockets faithful in Houston.
This dunk is marvelous for many reasons.
Pause the video when Garnett actually catches the ball. It’s at his waist while he’s jumping, probably about six feet in the air. That means it was still four feet from the rim.
In a split-second, Garnett brings the ball back up to the rim as gravity is pulling his body down and manages to dunk the ball. And the ball doesn’t just sneak over the iron, either, he dunks it with absolute authority.
The 1996-97 season meant the start of seven consecutive playoff appearances for Garnett’s Wolves, and the first of six-straight first-round exits. But it was just important for the Flip Saunders-led squad, whose offense revolved around the 20-year-old KG and 19-year-old Stephon Marbury, to make the postseason.
This dunk was just one of several “welcome to the NBA, Kevin Garnett” moments that Wolves opponents would have to suffer through. In fact, there’s more to come on this very list…