Luckily for the Miami Heat, discussion has largely drifted away from last night's fourth-quarter collapse and onto the incident in the last minute between Kevin Garnett and Quentin Richardson. I'd be willing to bet 90 percent of you reading know what happened, but for the 10, lets go to the videotape: The biggest revelation to me in the aftershock of the fight isn't anything having to do with the Heat. It's that Kevin Garnett rouses some strong feeling among some prominent NBA players. And they aren't positive. The first shocking statements came from Quentin Richardson. Of course Q isn't going to compliment Garnett after what happened, but players - especially those facing a possible suspension for involvement in a fight - tend to mince words. Not last night:
"I was trying to get over there to take the ball out of bounds and [Garnett] started to talk to me, so I talked back, I don't have any business talking to him; he was on the ground crying. I don't know what was going on -- two actresses over there, that's what they are. ... They're not those characters they portray. They're not who they say they are, Garnett and Pierce - they're good basketball players, and that's about it. ... Is he taking another break like he does so many times? Sometimes he falls like he's about to be out for the season, and then he gets right up; that's all I said."That's about as frank and open as an athlete will get when talking about someone else. You may agree or disagree, and his perception may be right or wrong, but there's no doubt how he feels about Pierce and Garnett. And Richardson wasn't the only one. Andrew Bogut has a history with Garnett, and he appeared to show his ill-will through his Twitter account last night.
Geeee i wonder who started the little scuffle in the miami boston game hmmmm?So those are two guys with clear biases against Kevin Garnett. But how about Joakim Noah? There's no obvious incident between the two, correct? Noah did state during their playoff series last year that Garnett was no longer his favorite player, but didn't give a reason. After reporters questioned him today about Garnett today, he certainly gave one, and his thoughts on a suspension:
"He's a dirty player, man, he's a dirty player. That's messed up, man. ... "I don't make the decisions, but he's always swinging elbows, man. I'm hurting right now because of an elbow he threw. It's unbelievable. He's a dirty player. It's one thing to be competitive and compete and all that, but don't be a dirty player. He's a dirty player."As far as I know, Garnett doesn't really have an incredible reputation as a dirty player around the league. In a March poll of NBA players conducted by Sports Illustrated, Garnett was not in the top five. According to Dime Magazine's "Sneaky-Dirty Top 10," there are two dirtier players on the Celtics. But just from an outsider's perspective, it's rare you hear players speak so candidly, and so clearly, about another player. It's something not to ignore.