2016 is turning out to be a sad year for NBA fans after another legend, Kevin Garnett, followed in the footsteps of Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan and announced his retirement. After publicizing his decision, various superstars including LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Stepehn Curry paid tribute to him.
Kevin Garnett officially retired from the NBA on Sept. 23 after spending 21 season in the league. Over a year before announcing his retirement, he decided to waive his no-trade clause with the Brooklyn Nets in order to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After playing for one season with the team, he announced his retirement through his Instagram account.
"I'm just thankful," he said. "I can't even out that into words. I'm just thankful. I'm just thankful for everybody and the love. I never would have thought that people love me like this. But, for it to be reality is just something else, man."
Following his retirement, several NBA superstars took to their own social media pages to congratulate Garnett on his successful career in the league.
"To one of the best to play the game. Salute to KG," the Golden State Warriors' Curry wrote on Twitter.
Rondo, who was Garnett's former teammate during their time with the Boston Celtics, thanked the NBA legend for his passion for the game.
"I want to congratulate my brother on 21 seasons," he posted on Instagram. "He changed the game. Broke records. Won. Sacrificed. Gave his blood, sweat and tears. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for what you've done and will continue to do for the game. Thank you for everything. Legend. G.O.A.T. My brother."
James, the leader of the reigning NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers, shared photos of him with Garnett. In his lengthy post, he looked back on how Garnett inspired him to be a great basketball player.
"Competing vs. you in whatever uniform you were in at the time meant the world to me because of two distinctive traits you had," he posted. "Passion and commitment to just compete every single possession."
Bryant, who also retired earlier this year, reminisced on the times he got to play against Garnett in the NBA.
"I loved every minute I competed against you," he said. "A true warrior."