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Official Block Family

KG and some of the OBF members, including Bug at the leftMany of us know the "OBF" as Kevin Garnett's clothing line. But the OBF has an origin that goes much deeper than merely a personalized brand name. The Official Block Family is the name Garnett came up with for his close group of friends. Essentially, it's his crew.

You can tell a lot about a person by the company he keeps around him. Kevin Garnett is damn loyal. Loyal to the bone.

And not surprisingly, he expects nothing less from the people he keeps around him. On KG's old website on AthletesDirect, he once wrote, "One of the things I learned in my early part of life is that associates come and go but friends will always be there."

Close friends, anyway.

"I don't have a lot of friends. I have a lot of acquaintances," he says. "But that's different. Friends have been with you forever."

The friendships that Garnett had formed ever since his South Carolina days are not something that he takes lightly. The name Official Block Family represents that bond. It's a tightly-knit circle, but it includes all of KG's crew from Beachwood Drive back in Mauldin, South Carolina, even the ones still living there. "You know what, I can't really put my friendsship with the OBF into words," Garnett wrote. "I really have a really firm group of guys that are all my friends."

"My idea is, I shine, you shine," Garnett says. What does that mean? He explains: "If I'm doin' well and you're with me, you do well."

Kevin Garnett often brings members of the OBF to live with him in his home in Minnesota. And according to a Sports Illustrated article in 1999, on road trips, if the Timberwolves still had room on their charter flights, they would sometimes let members of the OBF on board. (I don't know if they still do that).

Kevin Garnett used to drop journal entries on us at AthletesDirect. This is something I remember very well. If not written entries, then voice entries. He always ended every entry by saying, "OBF for life. 100." (The "100" means take-care-keep-it-real-see-y'all-later, all wrapped up into one.) Clearly, the OBF means a lot to Garnett.

KG sports an OBF headband The OBF clothing line is an extension of that friendship. For many years now, we often see KG rock his own personalized OBF gear ... headband, shirts, jeans, etc. I remember seeing him wear OBF shirts as early as way back in 1999. The original plan was for a spring 2002 launch, but that didn't happen. At the time of this writing (July 2004), the OBF clothing line is still not out yet. Garnett fans are anxious to see it come out, in hopes of rocking some OBF gear.

In February of 2004, Garnett assured his fans that there are definite plans to launch the clothing line. This was his response to a fan's question, and his explanation to why the initial spring 2002 release was scrapped:

I had a line up and running and about ready to launch before the 9/11. After that it wasn't a good time to come out. A lot of industries closed down, and behind the scene stuff proved that it wasn't the best timing, but I am definitely going to bring it back. Don't worry, when we get it out in stores ... the whole world will know OBF is out. So make sure you keep watching for it, but it's definitely coming so just hold your horses.

As a fan, I'm really looking forward to the clothing line. It's going to be a celebration of Kevin Garnett. A celebration of his journey. Of his friends. Of his roots. Of his character.

And I'm going to end this piece by stealing that good ol' line by KG.


OBF 4 life. One hunnnned.

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