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Kevin Garnett on D&H: ‘I’m not speaking to nobodies’ like Charlie Villanueva

11.18.10 at 12:29 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

As part of WEEI’s Celtics Thursday, forward Kevin Garnett joined the Dale & Holley show to talk about his resurgence this season. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Garnett has returned to form after struggling for much of last season following knee surgery in May 2009.

“Rest is everything,” Garnett said. “And being healthy is another thing. I don’t like speaking about my own personal health, because everybody in the league has something they’re dealing with, and I was no different from it. Obviously, you can see the difference in the play. I have a little pep in my step, I’ve got a little bounce in my hop. And it feels good.

“A lot of times last year I was playing subpar guys, man, and they were getting by me, doing different things to where I knew that if I was 100 percent, no way that some of those things were happening. To be honest, I’m blessed. It’s something I have to deal with every day. But you can see the difference. You can see the difference. The confidence is there. When you get hurt — one of the things I’ve never had to battle was dealing with health issues to where it damages and messes with your confidence. I’m a very confident person. I would be lying if I said it didn’t test me. But it made me a stronger person mentally.”

The addition of Shaquille O’Neal to the roster brought a unique personality to Boston. The high-intensity Garnett was asked if he agreed that Shaq has lightened the mood in the locker room.

“Unfortunately, I do [agree],” Garnett said. “I don’t like my mood to be lightened too much, man. I like to have an edge. When I take the floor, I like to be a certain way. I don’t do well when I’m giddy and kind of light. I do well when I’m dark and sort of concentrated. When I’m locked in, I look at myself as a threat. I don’t want to be too lighthearted when I go out there. Shaq is the opposite. He likes things light. He likes to keep you laughing. He likes the mood to be light.

“I think from [Doc Rivers'] perspective — or anybody’s perspective — they tend to think that I’m too intense at times. And I can understand that. But hey, man, this is my makeup. This is who I am. This is what I’ve been for a long time. It’s gotten me to this point. Like anybody else’s personality it’s who they are. This is my makeup. This is who I am.”

Earlier in the month, Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva tweeted that Garnett called him a “cancer patient” as part of their in-game trash-talking. Garnett denied it and expressed disappointment that Villanueva took their dispute public. He denied that the incident had an affect on his game, although he did admit that he’s more careful about what he says and who he talks to.

“Nah, it didn’t affect me,” Garnett said. “Obviously, if anything, it motivated me. But it was just kind of sad of just where we are in society, and even in the game, man. First off, the false statement which he was citing. Dude knew what I said to him. I’m not going to get back into it and bring it up, because you know what? I’m not speaking to nobodies these days. I’m not fitting to address nobodies. I’m not about to give nobodies any kind of energy or any kind of legs to run on.

“It was just one thing that I had to deal with that day. We all have to deal with different things every day. I had to pile that on to my list to deal with. You know what? It was sad. It’s just sad where we are in society, man, I don’t know, with being private. It’s sad to see where the game’s going, man. Like, if you and I are on the court or we’re outside on the blacktop and we’re chopping it up, we’re just going at it, and you say what you say, I say what I say. To me, where I’m from, that’s called trash-talking. That’s two guys bumping heads. End of story. Every night you deal with it. Every night you go against a guy, even if you’re in practice, it don’t even matter, man. I trash talk with guys who don’t even play basketball.

“But to sit here and make up pointless things just to get — what do you call that, followers? I don’t even know what Twitter is. Shaq had to break it down to me. To get followers, or to get people to hear you, because you’re not heard. Well, there’s a reason people don’t hear you. There’s a reason people don’t follow you. Those things. The things that people are doing to get attention these days. And then on top of that, no one checks facts anymore. You can just say whatever you want to say, and then it’s reality. Which is absurd to me. So, you know what? What you’ve been seeing is a more composed, more, ‘Let me just lock in.’ I’m not really dealing with nobody these days. I’m trying to focus on what I’ve got to do and sort of stay in my lane, so to speak.”

Read More: Charlie Villanueva, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O'Neal,
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