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Kevin Garnett has been through before, on Feb. 8, 2008, when he returned to Minnesota for the first time after toiling for 12 years with the Timberwolves, establishing himself as the face of the franchise, their most popular and identifiable player, and a bonafide superstar.
The difference between then and Sunday night at TD Garden was that Garnett was ready to leave Minnesota, angry that owner Glen Taylor did not want to sign the cornerstone to a contract extension. So Garnett, who missed that game in Minnesota because of an abdominal strain, walked onto the court at Target Center and politely waved to the fans.