Zach LaVine Is Terrified by Kevin Garnett's Return to Minnesota Timberwolves

Dan Carson@@DrCarson73Trending Lead WriterFebruary 23, 2015

AP

While NBA fans everywhere continue to wrap their heads around the firestorm that took place in the final minutes before last Thursday's trade deadline, the Minnesota Timberwolves are reacquainting themselves with an old friend and force of nature.

The Timberwolves traded Thaddeus Young away to secure former Minnesota stalwart Kevin Garnett from the Brooklyn Nets, marking what should be the final move of the forward's decades-crossing career in the NBA.

Of course, welcoming Garnett back into the fold means adjusting to his trademarked brand of teeth-grinding intensity, and according to a report by the Pioneer Press' Tom Powers, current Timberwolves players are both pumped and mortified to see him in the locker room.

Zach LaVine, Minnesota's 19-year-old gravity-defying rookie, is probably the most terrified of the legend's return, seeing as he's currently using Garnett's old locker.

"This is his locker and I'm actually kind of scared because I think he is going to say something about me being in his locker," LaVine told Powers.

The rookie said he told Garnett to take his old spot back.

"I did more than offer. I wanted him to take it," LaVine said. "I wanted him to sit there. I said 'I'll move!'"

Garnett passed, instead taking the locker directly next to LaVine and effectively ensuring the teenager would never relax again for the rest of the season.

Minnesota head coach Flip Saunders told Powers that veterans are already warning younger teammates to stow their electronics when Garnett is in the locker room.

"One of our veteran guys told our young guys yesterday, 'Hey, listen, when KG walks in the locker room, your phones better be tucked away because if they're not, they're going to get thrown in the toilet on game night,'" Saunders said.

Saunders and Garnett in 2004.
Saunders and Garnett in 2004.David Sherman/Getty Images

This attitude could be quite the adjustment for a young and rebuilding Minnesota team. Powers writes that Garnett's no-nonsense attitude stands in stark contrast to a team that's learned to accept defeat:

It's not as if the Wolves are bad kids. They've just grown accustomed to losing. And as a result, maybe their approach to the game occasionally becomes rather loose. That is about to change. The youngsters are going to be shocked at how the tempo of practice picks up when Garnett participates.

While nervous, LaVine did say he's excited to have a veteran of Garnett's caliber around.

"It's going to be great for me, I know that," LaVine said. "Future Hall of Famer, man, everyone wants to get to his level. He was playing in this league before I was born!"

Garnett will join Minnesota on Tuesday for his first practice. Come ready to scrap, Zach. Just don't look him in the eyes.

Dan is on Twitter. He's been afraid of KG ever since he learned about basketball.

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