Twenty-one years to the day after The Kid made his NBA debut, Kevin Garnett arrived on another stage Thursday night.
Dressed casually in jeans and a black t-shirt, Garnett's first appearance as a member of the NBA on TNT crew kicked off prior to the start of Thursday's NBA doubleheader on the network. Lounging in leather chairs in a lair known as "Area 21" Garnett and special guest Rasheed Wallace appeared a handful of times during breaks in the on-court action then for an extended segment after the games.
"We only have one rule," Garnett said of "Area 21," a man cave setup with a basketball hoop, framed jerseys, bobbleheads, four TVs and a tiger skin rug. "Keep it real."
And they did. Garnett and Wallace showed no hesitation in front of the cameras. They discussed the development of NBA super teams, the rise of Tyronn Lue as a player's coach, critiqued player's wardrobes and took turns breaking down the night's marquee Oklahoma City/Golden State game.
Studio host Ernie Johnson praised Garnett for his takes on the game, which centered around Kevin Durant's first tilt against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder since Durant left for the Warriors in the offseason.
"This game got too big for some of the players," Garnett said of Oklahoma City, which tried - and failed - to get into Durant's head before he went off for 39 points.
Of Durant, Garnett said the 2013-14 NBA MVP had a mentality of, "Not only am I going to kill y'all I'm going to let you know I'm going to kill y'all."
That exchange didn't require any censorship. But when Garnett and Wallace get together you can bet it might get salty and thus a cuss button was installed between the two big men.
Asked if it was legit, Garnett plopped an index finger on the box and began to mouth a series of profanities.
"It's real," he said.
Here are some clips of Garnett's first night in "Area 21"