MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota welcomed home a favorite athlete and larger-than-life personality Wednesday night.

For the first time in eight years, Kevin Garnett stepped on the Target Center court as a member of the Timberwolves.

If ever there was a night to get the gift of Timberwolves tickets, this was it.

“He’s our hero, he was my childhood hero, he’s Kevin Garnett, the Big Ticket … KG!” fan Zach Timonen said.

Super-charged energy filled a standing-room-only Target Center, and KG was its generator.

For kids and couples, the past is now the present.

“It’s kinda like the circle of life,” fan Austin Hoeg said. “You get KG coming back, and you get to reminisce on what it used to be.”

No. 21’s return came with a video montage down memory lane. There was also a video message on the scoreboard that read, “It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, only that you’re home!”

Then came the thunderous ovation as Garnett saluted to crowd.

Though his on-court performance wasn’t his best, it didn’t seem to matter to most fans, like the Schaar brothers — who drove cross country just to see KG back in Minnesota.

“Once we found out KG got traded, he drove from Florida to meet me in Missouri, and we arrived at nine this morning,” fan Brian Schaar said.

Clearly, this eight-year absence has made fans grow fonder.

“He’s home, like this is his home,” another fan said. “LeBron went home, now KG has returned.”

The Timberwolves beat the Washington Wizards 97-77.

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