ESPN, despite whatever particular qualms I may have with its media monopoly on sports, does some really awesome things. One of which is their revolutionary "Player/Driver/Coach X" feature (Insider), wherein they have a pro player, or coach, or even NASCAR driver spit out whatever is on their mind anonymously. The anonymity affords the player the ability to say basically whatever they feel in their heart to be true (we hope) without the promise of recourse or accountability.
Trash-talk can go too far fast, though, so there is a code. Off-limit topics: moms, wives, girlfriends, kids. And health. Honestly, I never thought anyone would cross the line to crack on an opponent about a medical condition. But according to Charlie Villanueva, that's what Kevin Garnett supposedly did earlier this season when he called the Pistons forward a "cancer patient." Garnett later claimed otherwise, saying he had called Villanueva -- who's hairless because of a skin condition -- a "cancerous" player.
I don't know who's telling the truth, but I don't care. Garnett is a punk and a coward. I know, I know. Easy for me to say behind this column. Don't worry, I'll tell him to his face, too. And I'm not the only one who thinks that: If you're not on his team, chances are you hate the guy. You can learn a lot about him by watching his eyes. If he's talking to you -- and he's always talking -- he avoids eye contact. My advice to other guys in the league: Stare him down, and he'll retreat. From what I've seen, he'll never mix it up with a player who's bigger than he is. Personally, I think he's scared to fight -- like a playground bully who barks but doesn't bite.
Kevin Garnett is called 'a punk and a coward', by a guy who is writing an anonymous article. I suppose if irony were made of strawberries we'd all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now.
Now, I'm not going to pretend that Kevin Garnett isn't a bit of a 'paper tiger' at this point in his career (basically his entire career really). He likes to talk a lot, but he doesn't fight. He rarely even shoves, as that seemed to be mostly 'Perkins Work' in the past.
But so what? So Kevin Garnett doesn't usually fight, so he doesn't get suspended. Garnett takes trash talk to its most beneficial outcome: Just below suspension but hopefully inside the opponents' heads. Is he a 'coward' because he's not willing to go to fisticuffs (that's what the kids are calling it now, right?) in a confrontation? In that case, 99.9% of the NBA are 'cowards', because if you've seen one shoving match that ultimately ends in double technicals and some chest puffing, you've seen them all.
I call them 'almost-fights', and you'll know an 'almost fight' because one guy will push another guy, and that guy may or may not push back, but in the end teammates will hurriedly get in the middle of the two guys "fighting" (and I use those quote marks as sarcastically as humanly possible) and the whole thing will end with a hug and someone buying someone else dinner at cheesecake factory later. At least that's how I imagine it goes down.
So Kevin Garnett 'is a punk and coward' huh? I guess that's how you spell 'winner' now-a-days, because if a punk and a coward can lead a team to 2 Finals appearances in 3 years, he must be one punky cowardly sonofabiscuit.
However, our esteemed "Player X" does have some nice things to say about the boys in green:
But I have to admit, the Celtics are the most talkative guys in the league. And that makes sense, because it's the mark of a championship team. Mouths help you win big games. Ray Allen got mean in Boston, and Paul Pierce will look at you, say, "Stop this," then drop a J on your head.
The KG comment aside, the whole thing really is worth reading. He talks about Bird/Magic/Jordan, and even how Ron Artest is such a good defensive player because 'he's weird', and 'plays close so he can whisper stuff in your ear', which I found hilarious.