Kevin Garnett and the Top Players Who Moved To Get a Ring
Winning: In the end, it is the one thing defines a player's career.
The truckloads of money earned are obviously great, but ultimately it is whether or not a player won a ring that cements his legacy.
Throughout sports history, we've seen players switch teams to find their elusive championship. Some capture it, while the opportunities of others fizzle out.
The emphasis on the following athletes is that they made decisions to leave via free agency or jockey their way out of town deep into their careers, seeking a winning team and a chance at a championship.
Reggie White spent eight seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, in 1993 White showed what the relatively new free agency in the NFL could do for championship-seeking superstars.
White made a then-surprising move when he bolted for Green Bay, a free agent dead zone at the time, to join a young Green Bay team on the rise.
Four seasons later, White earned his only title in Super Bowl XXXI.
Deion Sanders spent the first five seasons of his career with the Atlanta Falcons.
However, after the 1993 season, Sanders and Atlanta had enough of each other.
He signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, who were on the cusp of the Super Bowl.
Sanders' career season with the 49ers helped get them over the hump for their Super Bowl XXIX victory.
Sanders found himself a free agent once again that off-season.
Instead of re-upping with the 49ers, Deion jumped to the rival Cowboys who the 49ers had defeated in the previous NFC Championship Game.
Deion would claim his second ring in two seasons with two different teams.
Bourque's move to a title-winning team is the definitive switch-for-title story in NHL history.
Bourque was THE man for the Boston Bruins during the first 21 seasons of his Hall of Fame career.
However, the Bruins began to slip in the late 1990s, when their streak of 29 consecutive postseason appearances was snapped, the front office honored Bourque's service with a trade to the contending Colorado Avalanche during the 1999-2000 season.
The Avalanche didn't win the Cup that first season, but they did in the 2000-2001 season.
Bourque waited longer—1,826 regular season games—than any other player in NHL history before winning the Cup.
He hoisted the Cup after the Avs defeated the Devils and retired on top.
Rodney Harrison makes the list because he was one of the best safeties in the NFL during his days with the San Diego Chargers (1994-2002) before moving to the New England Patriots in 2003.
Additionally, Harrison, the only member of the 30-sack/30-interception club, exemplifies the exodus of veteran free agents that descended on New England in the middle of the decade for a shot at winning.
Clyde Drexler captained the second era of success in the Pacific Northwest when he led the Portland Trail Blazers to two NBA Finals during his 11-plus years with the team.
In 1995, the Blazers granted Drexler's wish to join a contender and Portland traded their franchise player to Houston where he re-joined Phi Slama Jama partner Hakeem Olajuwon.
The Rockets won the 1995 NBA title as the sixth seed in the West, giving Drexler his only title.
Boggs was the grit and guts of the Boston Red Sox for a decade before a poor season served as the catalyst for his exit from the only team he knew.
In came the Yankees, who tossed Boggs a three-year contract.
Boggs responded in kind with four straight All-Star appearances and helped lead the Yankees to their first World Series in 18 years.
The shot of Boggs riding around Yankee Stadium on horseback has been defined as the third-baseman's career moment, more so than any of his highlight moments in Boston.
Julius Erving felt he had no choice when he positioned himself away from the New Jersey Nets.
The fines and penalties the Nets were forced to pay to the NBA and the New York Knicks upon their entrance to the NBA forced ownership to turn a 180 on a raise promised to Erving.
Erving refused to play for the Nets, and thus the front office had no choice but to sell Erving's rights to the Philadelphia 76ers prior to the 1976 season.
Erving's career and legacy were formed in Philadelphia where he led the 76ers to their most recent title in 1983.
Come the off-season after the 2003 season, Texas Rangers ownership knew it could no longer afford A-Rod's $252 million contract while the team floundered in last place.
The Rangers thus looked for a big market and big money team that could absorb A-Rod's massive deal. Simultaneously, A-Rod, who had a full no-trade clause, sought to be dealt to a contender after three poor finishes in the standings.
After a deal with the Red Sox fell through due to salary structure issues, the Yankees swooped in and made the deal.
It took six seasons but A-Rod finally removed the 1,000-pound gorilla from his back when the Yankees won the World Series in 2009.
Garnett's first half of the decade in Minnesota was relatively prosperous.
The Timberwolves failed to a win a title, but they were a regular playoff presence.
However, the middle of the decade were lean years in Minnesota, and Garnett grew frustrated.
Following the 2007 season, an aging and title-hungry Garnett voiced his displeasure with the status of the T-Wolves and began his trade demands.
The Celtics, itching to get back to title prominence and in need of a valuable big man, orchestrated the largest deal for one player in league history by sending five players and two draft picks to Minnesota.
Garnett went on to win his first career title with the Celtics in 2008.
Like Garnett, an aging Ray Allen grew weary of his years spent on mediocre teams in Milwaukee and Seattle.
The Celtics, still looking to add a perimeter piece to their roster, answered Allen's wishes (and Garnett's and Paul Pierce's campaigning) and traded for one of the best sharpshooters in league's history in the summer of 2007.
Alongside Garnett and Pierce, Allen claimed his first title in 2008.
Gasol still holds many records in the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies record book, but the Grizzlies felt forced to move their franchise player during the 2007-2008 season.
Controversy swirled around the deal given Gasol's new team and the returning package of active players. Plus, rumors swirled about owner Michael Heisley's desire to move Gasol to make his team more attractive to a lower bidder.
Nevertheless, after seven seasons Gasol was gone from the banks of the Mississippi and off to Los Angeles where he won his first title in 2009.