Minnesota’s finest reminisce on old times, thank the late Kirby Puckett

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When it comes to Minnesota sports fans will remember the golden age when Randy Moss and Kevin Garnett played in town.

Arguably one of the greatest eras in Minnesota sports was the 90’s to early 2000’s. During that span two future Hall of Famers played for the city. Timberwolves had Garnett and Vikings had Moss. The longtime friends reunited to discuss old times Thursday on TNT’s “KG’s Area 21” segment.

“It was some great days in the ‘Sota.’ It wasn’t all bad,” Garnett said.

The Timberwolves still have not reached the playoffs since their deepest run the 2004-2005 season. Leading the team to its only Western Conference Finals appearance, Garnett was named the NBA MVP. It wasn’t until 2008 where he became an NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics.

“Being able to support one another was the biggest thing,” Moss told Garnett. “[David] Ortiz, [Torii] Hunter with baseball [playing for Twins]. There was a lot of good things that the state of Minnesota had…it’s just something I’ll never forget.”

While Garnett led the Timberwolves Moss made a name for himself the same year he was drafted, 1998. He helped the Vikings go on a miraculous 15-1 season that ended in the NFC Championship. As a rookie, he was named a Pro Bowl starter and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He still holds the rookie record for most touchdowns in a season, 17. After departing from the Vikings he appeared in two Super Bowls, winning an AFC and NFC championship.

The success these two were able to have in Minnesota can be attributed to one athlete: The late Kirby Puckett, who won two World Series with the Minnesota Twins.

“Kirb really set the tone for Minnesota sports,” Garnett said. “Giving us that advice, telling us what type of athlete to be in this city, what type of fans where in this city, giving us that knowledge.”

When they met Puckett in a restaurant early in their careers Moss remembers what Puckett told them.

“If y’all boys stay together there’s going to be some great things happening in this state,” Moss said. “And guess what happened after that?”

The future Hall of Famers brought a lot leaving many fans to wonder how much more they would have accomplished if neither one of them were traded away during in their prime.

By Gino Terrell

This article was originally published in MCXV, January 20, 2017.


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