Jul 15 2013, 2:48am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
Christopher Mann of Nets 101 notes Garnett wore No. 21 with his first team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. He wasn't able to wear this number when he was a Boston Celtic because it was retired and settled for No. 5 instead. Now that he's with the Nets, many people thought he would revert to his original number but eventually decided to honor Sealy by sporting his old number.
Mann reports Garnett looked up to Sealy dating back to his college days at St. John's. It came as no surprise Garnett wore Sealy's college number 21 when he broke into the professional ranks in 1995. When Sealy (who previously played for the Indiana Pacers) became a free agent in 1998, he decided to play for Minnesota and with Garnett. They became best friends in their two years together on the squed, per Mann.
Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports writes Garnett has a tattoo of No. 2 as a fitting tribute to his friend. He also couldn't wear this number in Boston, either, as it was retired in honor of the late Celtics coach Red Auerbach.
Sealy was 30 years old when he was killed on May 20, 2000 in St. Louis Park, Minn. when an SUV he was driving was hit head-on by a pickup truck traveling the wrong way. The accident took place at around 4 a.m. CDT when Sealy was on his way home from Garnett's 24th birthday celebration. Neither the driver of the pickup truck nor Sealy was wearing a seatbelt, per CNN Sports Illustrated.
At the time of his death, Sealy was also an actor and was in the clothing retail business aptly named Malik Sealy XXI Inc. The Timberwolves retired Sealy's No. 2 on February 7, 2001 on a night that saw Garnett lighting up the Sacramento Kings for 40 points.
The 2013-14 NBA season marks Garnett's first as a Brooklyn Net after he was part of a multi-player trade with the Boston Celtics that also saw Paul Pierce and Jason Terry joining him in Brooklyn. The deal was made official on July 12, per ESPN New York.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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