Irish Coffee: The Kevin Garnett controversy timeline
|02.07.11 at 1:19 pm ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
The first time I can remember controversy around Kevin Garnett was in 2004, when as a member of the Timberwolves he said he was going to break out grenades, missile launchers and M16′s to take down the Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Also in Minnesota, Garnett had confrontations against such immortal NBA legends as Mark Pope, Anthony Peeler, Rick Rickert, Francisco Elson and Tyrone Nesby. Those issues haven’t subsided in Boston, where his latest dust-up came Friday against the Mavericks — and nearly again Sunday when Hedo Turkoglu knocked Garnett to the ground.
As a result, I figured it was time we sorted these incidents out in a timeline of his indiscretions:
- April 28, 2008: In Game 4 of a first-round series, Hawks center Zaza Pachulia headbutted Garnett after a hard foul. In Game 7, Garnett exacted revenge, executing a backcourt pick.
- Nov. 7, 2008: After throwing a blow at Bucks center Andrew Bogut‘s face, Garnett was suspended for one game.
- Nov. 10, 2008: Defending Jose Calderon, Garnett wagged his finger at the Raptors point guard Dikembe Mutombo-style.
- Dec. 5, 2008: Getting on all fours and barking like a dog in the backcourt, Garnett taunted Portland rookie guard Jerryd Bayless. Oh, and he made Glen Davis cry.
- Oct. 11, 2009: In a preseason game against the Nets, Garnett shoved then New Jersey forward Yi Jianlian‘s arms aside and bumped bodies with him during a dead ball.
- April 17, 2010: In an attempt to clear Quentin Richardson away from Paul Pierce, Garnett elbowed the Heat forward and was subsequently suspended for Game 2 of a first-round playoff series.
- Nov. 2, 2010: Following a Celtics win over the Pistons, Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva Tweeted that Garnett called him “a cancer patient.” Garnett fired back, claiming he said, “You are cancerous to your team and our league.”
- Nov. 10, 2010: A handful of days after a Celtics win over the Bulls, Chicago center Joakim Noah told a local radio station, “[Garnett]‘s a very mean guy. Where’s the love? None at all. Ugly, too.” After the Richardson incident, Noah had already called Garnett “a dirty player.”
- Jan. 28, 2011: In a Celtics loss to the Suns, Garnett issued a low blow on Phoenix forward Channing Frye‘s groin during a 3-point attempt. Garnett was ejected. And Suns coach Alvin Gentry later said, “I lost a little respect for him.” Garnett refused to apologize.
- Feb. 4, 2011: Following a fast-break foul by Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, Garnett grabbed the referee’s arm during the dust-up and got hit with a technical.
Now, I’m sure there’s been some incidents I forgot. Feel free to jog my memory.
MARQUIS DANIELS TRIBUTES
In the aftermath of Sunday’s scary incident involving Marquis Daniels, players from around the NBA expressed their concern for the Celtics guard’s well-being — a testimony to how respected Daniels is around the league. Here are just a couple tributes from Twitter:
- Kevin Durant: “Prayers were definitely sent up for Marquis Daniels. Hope it’s not too serious!”
- Russell Westbrook: “Prayers go out to Marquis Daniels.”
- DeMarcus Cousins: “Everybody send your prayers out to Marquise Daniels.”
Absent from that list is LeBron James, who was probably already at the Super Bowl party he told refs he had to get to during the Heat’s victory over the Clippers on Sunday.
On Monday morning, Daniels Tweeted this from his own account: “Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. I salute each and every one of you guys. I’m God-strong, so I’ll pull through again, and I thank everyone. #beleedat.”
That fall has stuck with me over the last 24 hours. You never want to see anybody go down like that, especially somebody so respectful and respectable as Daniels. Well wishes.
KENDRICK PERKINS: WILL HE STAY, OR WILL HE GO?
It’s no secret that Kendrick Perkins‘ contract comes to a conclusion at the end of this season, and it’s no secret that the Celtics want him back in Green next year. But does Perkins want to remain in Boston or seek what would likely be a bigger payday elsewhere?
Well, the Boston Herald reported over the weekend that the Celtics have already offered Perkins a contract extension, and the center has (understandably) turned it down:
Perkins is one of those impending free agents staring into the great unknown of next summer, when NBA owners hope to take a serious bite out of existing pay scales, and are prepared to lock out players and fans to save that money.
According to two league sources, Perkins has already turned down a Celtics offer that is bound by the CBA’s current restrictions – a contract extension worth slightly less than $30 million over four years, which reflects the currently mandated contract limits of a 20-percent increase and a four-year maximum. Perkins, represented by agent Arn Tellem, has opted to wait until he is an unrestricted free agent, when even in an unpredictable market he has a chance of commanding far more.
You can hardly blame Perkins for turning down a contract extension. He has little leverage now, as he’s only now returning from rehab on an ACL tear last June. And he’ll have all the leverage this June, if he continues to prove he’s back to pre-injury form.
Meanwhile, Celtics Town’s Jay King asked Perkins if he could envision himself playing anywhere but Boston. Perkins, as usual, didn’t pull any punches:
“I really can’t, you know. I think about this every day. I tell my wife that I just can’t picture myself anywhere but Boston. Obviously, I want to be here. But I’m just trying to finish this season healthy, just trying to finish this season strong. Then, whatever happens, happens.”
Apparently, the Heat will be among Perkins’ suitors in the offseason, so he’ll have options.
STAN VAN GUNDY: CELTICS CREATE ‘EXTRACURRICULAR B.S.’
Remember when Magic president of basketball operations Otis Smith essentially called the Celtics “fake tough”? Well, he’s not the only member of the Orlando organzation who feel that way. His coach and players agree. At least, it sounds that way.
Here’s what Magic coach Stan Van Gundy told the Orlando Sentinel of what Sentinel writer Brian Schmitz called the C’s “yakety-yak, ref-baiting and bullying tactics”:
“Extracurricular B.S. They create it and the other team can’t play through it.”
And here’s what a couple Magic players told ESPN.com’s Peter May following the C’s victory:
Quentin Richardson on his comments last spring that Pierce and Garnett are “actresses”: “I’m not going there again. But a lot of people called me and liked it. Everyone knows how they play, some of the stuff they do. You’ve got eyes. You saw it. It’s not always good.”
Dwight Howard on whether the C’s antics are worse than other teams: “Yeah. But they get away with it.”
ABOUT LAST NIGHT: GREEN STREET HOULIGANS
Prior to Sunday’s Super Bowl, there was a basketball game between the Celtics and Magic. And the C’s defeated Orlando to win their season series. Mike Petraglia, Paul Flannery and I were all on hand. Here’s what we uncovered in the aftermath:
- Dr. Brian McKeon on Daniels: “It’s not a concussion. This is the same type of neck injury that he had, so it’s just a little bit worse. He’s got some spine issues in the past that have been addressed by other teams, and so we’ll just have to see how it plays out in the next few days.”
- West on return: “Right now, they think I’ll be back the first game after the All-Star break.”
- Pierce on Ubuntu: “This is a very close-knit team. … It kind of reminds me of the team in ’08. When Marquis goes down, it’s like your brother; when Delonte goes down, it’s like your brother. If you ever have a family member and something ever happens to them, you don’t feel right. And we’re around each other so much – plane, bus, we even go to each other’s houses – so it’s like we created this bond with one another, and when something bad happens to him we all feel for him but the rest of us try and rally together.”
- Three-Pointer: “Rondo’s going to be a good free throw shooter. That’s my belief. Obviously he’s got to prove that to everybody else, but I believe that. I just think the only way he can do that is by getting to the line.”
- Fast Break: Led by a concerted effort by Rondo to get to the rim, the Celtics earned 34 trips to the free-throw line. They even made 28 of them. Entering the game shooting just 51.6 percent from the charity stripe, Rondo made seven of his nine free-throw attempts. The Celtics point guard also converted seven layups around the hoop.
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