|Irish Coffee: Phil Jackson, Eduardo Najera diss Kevin Garnett||02.08.11 at 11:45 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Who knew when we put together the “Kevin Garnett Controversy Timeline” on Monday, we’d be here a day later adding four more items in a 24-hour span?
In addition to Spike Lee‘s hypocritical comments that Garnett “needs to calm the f#%$ down” — which we detailed at length Monday afternoon — the names Phil Jackson, Gerald Henderson and Eduardo Najera can be scratched from the Kevin Garnett Fan Club.
Discussing the need for increased intensity from Pau Gasol with the Los Angeles media, Lakers coach Phil Jackson took a jab at Garnett for his low blow against Channing Frye:
“Pau knows who he is. He’s tenacious. I like him to be aggressive offensively. He’s always a willing passer. The one thing I’m on him about is getting that first rebound. Don’t let them knock it out of your hands. Don’t let them knock it away.
“Otherwise, all this talk about how aggressive he is or how aggressive he isn’t falls on deaf ears. He totally gets it. He is who he is. We’re not going to make him into Garnett. He’s not going to go around and punch guys in the balls. He’s too nice of a guy.”
Prior to Monday night’s 94-89 loss to the Bobcats, Celtics coach Doc Rivers defended Garnett against Lee, Jackson and the growing list of critics who suggest Garnett’s intensity has crossed the line from healthy to dirty play (the low blow to Frye, in particular):
“Kevin does everything right. All those people would take him in a second. All coaches would want their players to be Kevin Garnett and act like Kevin Garnett.”
Then, against the Bobcats, Garnett didn’t make Rivers’ defense any easier. He earned his team-leading eighth technical foul when he shoved Henderson during a loose ball 42 seconds into the third quarter, and then apparently elbowed Najera in the face during the fourth quarter.
As the two jawed at each other, Najera reportedly told Garnett, “he hits like my grandma.”
Garnett’s antics provoked this written rant from Charlotte Observer columnist Rick Bonnell:
Eddie Najera told Kevin Garnett what he could do with that tired bully act, and wasn’t that fun?
Garnett is a fraud. I’m not saying he isn’t a great player. I’m saying he only picks on people he thinks are weak. Call his bluff, and he backs off in this really wormy way.
Najera, who would be the first to say he’s way beyond his prime, stood up to Garnett’s B.S. Monday. When Garnett elbowed him in the mouth, Najera reminded him he’s no more tough than Najera’s grandma.
That’s classic. I’d heard for years that Garnett is a phony, the bully who doesn’t know what to do when he’s called out. Good for Najera.
Think any of this discussion will affect Garnett? Think again. As he wrote on his Anta blog after the low blow against Frye, “I never apologize for my actions, as I play with passion.”
THE MARQUIS DANIELS SITUATION
Via their Twitter feed, the Celtics announced, “Marquis Daniels was released from the hospital early [Monday] a.m. He was reported to have been joking and in good spirits.”
Prior to their game in Charlotte, Rivers added, “He’s going to be Ok. As far as playing basketball, we don’t know that yet. As far as life and health, he’ll be Ok. And that’s all that matters to me right now.”
As far as life and health are concerned, I’m sure everyone can agree that Daniels’ health is great news. As far as basketball goes, however, Daniels’ health could be a serious concern. With Daniels out at least a month (and possibly two), the Celtics have just one small forward (Paul Pierce) on the roster. That’s not going to cut it, and even Rivers admitted that much:
“I think what we have to do really is wait and see with the Marquis situation, how long that will be,” Rivers told The Boston Globe. “If that’s long then we have to do something. We have to get another ‘3’ let’s just be serious.”
James Posey played just four minutes the other night for the Pacers. He’s on the hook for $6.9 million next year. Would you take him back? You could get him, if the Pacers took Jermaine O’Neal back along with Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody or Von Wafer.
IS 4 YEARS, $30 MILLION ENOUGH FOR KENDRICK PERKINS?
Comcast’s A. Sherrod Blakely refuted a Boston Herald report that the Celtics offered and Kendrick Perkins subsequently turned down a four-year extension worth $30 million. Here’s what Perkins told Blakely prior to the Bobcats game:
“That wasn’t it. They offered me four years, but it was closer to like $22 million. You talking four years, $30 million! Shoot, that’s different. That’s a big difference.”
If Blakely captured Perkins’ top accurately in that statement, it appears a $30 million offer would be a lot closer to getting a deal done than the $22 million figure. If that’s the case, the two parties should eventually find a common ground.
FANS TUNING IN TO CELTICS
According to the Sports Business Journal, the Celtics are among the top-five NBA teams in both television ratings and viewership. Their viewership of 118,000 households per game and their rating of 4.81 percent rank third and fifth, respectively.
Only the Lakers and Bulls are viewed in more homes, and only the Spurs, Jazz, Heat and Lakers have a higher rating than the C’s. To put that in perspective, the Bruins are viewed in 68,000 homes and average a 2.77 rating, ranking fourth and fifth in the NHL, respectively.
Both Boston numbers are impressive, considering the city is the sixth-largest media market behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose.