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Irish Coffee: The day Kevin Garnett both slapped Jordan Crawford, barked at Ricky Rubio

02.22.13 at 10:45 am ET
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Remember the NBA lockout? Fun times. All those Rajon Rondo corn hole tosses, Ray Allen golf foursomes and Jeff Green exhibition games (thankfully not just corn hole, foursomes and exhibition). We cared about workouts, too, like those involving Kevin Garnett in Los Angeles. Newest Celtics guard Jordan Crawford was there as well, and they apparently didn’t get along so well.

Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski (who else?) wrote this in a feature about Ricky Rubio on Nov. 19, 2011 (h/t @DDuggan21):

On this day, everyone was still buzzing over Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford’€™s mistake of talking too much to Garnett a day earlier. When Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce tried to do Crawford a favor and push him away, Crawford urged Pierce to let K.G. go.

‘€œI thought they were just kidding,’€ Rubio says, and maybe Crawford did too.

There are hard lessons to be learned in this league, lockout or not lockout. Eventually, Garnett reminded Crawford about that with a smack upside his head, a reminder to Crawford, Rubio and the rest of them: Elders will be respected.

Garnett has a history of initiating European players in the NBA, and one witness in the gym had recently watched him respond to a Rubio move with the ball by barking, ‘€œThat’€™s a traveling here. We don’€™t do that [expletive] here.’€ And on and on.

Crawford must have learned his lesson at some point, because Celtics analyst and former KG teammate Brian Scalabrine claimed the latter now “respects” the former’s work ethic, which is weird, considering Crawford reportedly didn’t always show up to Wizards games on time and “barely tries on defense.”

Then again, we heard the same about Garnett’s respect for Ryan Hollins, the jettisoned Cavaliers center who for all his effort and athleticism recorded more playoff fouls (29) than either rebounds (27) or points (26) for the Celtics. He’s the cautionary tale of believing somehow that Garnett makes players better through osmosis.

Still, Flip Saunders, the only man to coach Garnett and Crawford, said on ESPN, “Jordan Crawford is going to help them. I had him for two years in Washington, and he can really score. There’s no question he’s a great scorer. He has a lot of confidence. He’s a combination of Michael Jordan and Jamal Crawford, because what he believes is that he can score like Michael Jordan. He’s said that in the paper, so he’s going to give them a punch offensively.

“And I believe that Doc [Rivers] is going to be able reign him in,” added Saunders. “The question as always with Jordan Crawford is shot selection: Can he play within a team concept? He’s not going to have a choice. I coached KG. KG’s not going to let all that too wild stuff go, and so if [Garnett] can get [Crawford] under control, he’s really going to help, because he will give them a punch off the bench scoring-wise.”

From head slaps to punches. Ladies and gentleman, Jordan Crawford.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jordan Crawford, Kevin Garnett, NBA
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