What an emotional Kevin Garnett said after he was named a Hall of Fame finalist

"I'm more than honored for this. This is over my head."

Kevin Garnett, a finalist for the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, speaks during a ceremony announcing the finalists at the United Center on Friday in Chicago.
Kevin Garnett, a finalist for the 2020 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, speaks during a ceremony announcing the finalists at the United Center on Friday in Chicago. –Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Kevin Garnett isn’t typically at a loss for words.

Friday night, though, after learning he was named a finalist for the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame class, the former Celtic was clearly overwhelmed as he tried to convey how much the honor means.

“This is one of the more…whew…get it together,” he said to NBA TV’s Matt Winer in a video the Celtics tweeted. “This is one of the more overwhelming situations I’ve ever been in.”

Garnett, who also learned Thursday that the Celtics will retire his jersey, has had an eventful week. The 2008 champion and 15-time All-Star said the Hall of Fame is something you “don’t really think about” and “don’t really dream about,” it “just happens.”

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Winer asked Garnett what the kid who made the leap to the NBA in 1995 would think of this achievement.

“He’d probably think that this was pretty awesome right here,” Garnett said.

In a separate session, with a small group of reporters, Garnett said “everything kinda stopped” when he heard his name. He was watching a Kobe Bryant tribute video, and he said it “hit home” why all those players were there. He said it hadn’t felt real to that point, but it finally sunk in Friday night.

“I’m more than honored for this,” he said. “This is over my head.”

Garnett, who was the NBA’s MVP in 2004, will join Bryant and Tim Duncan, among others, on the ballot. To gain induction, finalists need a minimum of 18 of 24 votes from the honors committee.

The class will be announced in April, and Garnett appears to be a lock.

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