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Randy Moss chose football over basketball after Kevin Garnett ‘cleaned’ his shot in high school

He clearly made the right choice, and the story behind it is funny.

I would argue Randy Moss is the best wide receiver that the NFL has ever seen. There’s no other receiver who has had his name turned into a verb as he has. Nowadays, a defensive back doesn’t just get embarrassed by a receiver — he gets Mossed.

Back in January, Moss appeared on Inside the NBA’s Area 21, hosted by Kevin Garnett. While speaking with Garnett, Moss (who was West Virginia Player of the Year in basketball in 1993 and 1994) reminisced about playing in a high school Nike All-American game with the likes of Garnett, Ron Mercer, and Schea Cotton.

He told Garnett that his experience there was the reason he chose football:

Moss recalls that the game was put on hold because of severe weather, and they had to bring people inside the arena. Garnett was out on the floor by himself, and Moss went out on the floor to shoot around with him. He then walked up to Garnett, ball in hand.

“For some apparent reason I just said, ‘Check ball,’” Moss said.

“This is really what discouraged me. You and Schea Cotton helped me go to football. I stutter, then tried to go to the hole real quick. Laid that thing high off the glass where that white box is. You went up there and cleaned my ball,” Moss said. “You went up there and cleaned it. So when you went up there and cleaned it, I looked up there I’m like, ‘Man, they can jump that high.’”

“Shoutout to you and Schea Cotton man, because if y’all really wouldn’t had discouraged me to play basketball, then where would I be at today?”

Garnett asked if Moss would change his decision if he could go back knowing what he knows now about guaranteed money in the NBA, as well as the impact concussions have on NFL players.

“No. Because I still love the game, man,” Moss said of basketball. “The love of the game man, is just like, you can go anywhere. If we could lace up right here behind us we could get it in.”

Garnett told Moss, “I’m glad you chose football because without that we wouldn’t have gotten to see the great Randy Moss blessing us with some real skill.”

Garnett couldn’t be more right. Moss’ career was decorated from the jump with an All-Pro rookie season, followed by 13 more years of Hall of Fame worthy football. It was so impressive, that he made it into the Hall during his first year of eligibility.

Judging by how iconic he was as a football player, Moss would have been a good basketball player too. But we wouldn’t trade his football career would anything, and as Moss said himself — neither would he.