Kevin Garnett: From Classless to Shameful

Kevin Garnett slides his foot under Channing Frye

Respect. I guess that’s a word that Kevin Garnett doesn’t understand the meaning of.

Voted the biggest trash talker in the league by the players with a whopping 62 percent, Garnett is known around the NBA for his animalistic, cave man-like intensity.

Our increasing acceptance towards the brash, loud-mouthed athlete has seen us not only accept guys like Kevin Garnett, but admire them. The only people who seem to be denying the changing culture in sports are the guys running the head offices in their respective league. The NFL and NBA go to extreme levels in an attempt to take all emotion out of sports.

There’s nothing wrong with a little trash talking.

However, when you talk about crossing the line, Kevin Garnett is no stranger to the other side. Earlier in the season, without denial, Garnett allegedly called Charlie Villanueva a “cancer patient” in reference to Villanueva’s disease Alopecia Areata that causes him to be hairless.


Last night, Kevin Garnett showed all of us that he has no respect for not only his fellow players, but for the game of basketball.

In the Boston Celtics matchup against the Phoenix Suns yesterday, on two separate occasions, Kevin Garnett slid his foot under Channing Frye’s while he was taking a jump shot. The first time, Channing Frye twisted his ankle but was able to shake it off and come back into the game. The second time, Frye was unharmed but the video also catches Garnett taking a shot at Frye’s private area while he is sliding his foot under the jump shooting Frye.

You be the judge, but if you can’t see this as an obvious intent to injure, then please keep the rose-coloured glasses for yourself and Mark Jackson. I’m not too sure what Mark Jackson is saying right now because if he was Garnett’s defence lawyer, I think the jury has already given the guilty verdict, locked him up and thrown away the keys.

Sean Avery has been hockey’s ultimate bad boy for the last few years. Possibly the least classy player to ever lace up a pair of skates. There is no line for Avery to cross, because everything is fair game. Sean Avery doesn’t follow the “code” that nearly all NHLers follow. He doesn’t mind giving the occasional sucker punch that would be unthinkable for most guys.

Kevin Garnett threw his sucker punch yesterday and the way I see it, he and Sean Avery aren’t all that different. Except for one key aspect, Kevin Garnett is a well-respected professional athlete.

Garnett may be a winner in the sense that most of us can understand a winner to be but not where it really counts. MVP, defensive player of the year, NBA Champion, Olympic gold medalist, the list is a pretty extensive one for KG. Heart of a champion? Kevin Garnett has about as much heart as the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.

I thought mutual respect was something that professional athletes were supposed to have for each other. Maybe Kevin Garnett didn’t get the memo.

The health of an athlete is his livelihood. Without his health, there is no job, and obviously no money. Sticking a foot under another person may only twist an ankle, but it shows us that this is a guy who will do anything to win a basketball game. What’s next?

When you stick a foot under an opponent in the hope that they do in fact hurt their ankle, it is clearly a classless move. But you know what else describes a move like that? Gutless.

Funny, that’s what they call Sean Avery.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favor.

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21 Responses to Kevin Garnett: From Classless to Shameful

  1. Mike says:

    I’m so tired of people giving Garnett a pass when he does stuff like this. Maybe he has gotten salty as he has aged in the league or something, but he is clearly losing his mind. Glad you wrote about this because some people that I know that are Celtics fans have been wearing those rose-colored glasses when it comes to Garnett.

  2. ikeepsit100 says:

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  4. don says:

    i think the respect was gone when petrius threw a left jab right into garnetts chin. as an athlete in a heated game like that, i actually expected more from him. he may be the most intense player in the nba and you say he has no more heart than that of the tin man from the wizard of oz?!!!! i’m not saying he’s right in anything that he did but you question his heart? how? i believe he plays with more HEART and determination than any player out there. he earns his millions unlike half the players in the nba who half heart every game unless it all of the sudden matters………….

  5. Adrien says:

    KG’s dirty play just undermines his at times great play and leadership. How can one lead by example when their examples are nothing but callous gestures. From being a former collegiate athlete I understand the mental advantage KG would want, but at want cost? To the point where I endanger someone else’s will-being? KG needs to be ‘checked’ by someone whose not afraid of him. Until he receives the same treatment he’ll continue on. I mean it shouldn’t be a tit-for-tat thing, but in KG’s case this would be acceptable. Intense play and dirty play don’t go hand and hand so Garnett shouldn’t get a pass whatsoever.

  6. mrorng says:

    I am not one to spend much time digging into the intent of the athlete, because I am not that person and like to believe people are good. II will say that his hand was not in a place it should have been on that hit. If you are defending the shot, your hand it up in the air, not directly out in front of you, as was Garnett’s. As for the foot… take it for what you want… many will argue that it was malicious and others will say there is nothing wrong with it. Would I do it? No. Do I think there is an acceptable reason for it? No. Nonetheless, the shot to the mid region was out of line and needs to be addressed.

  7. janeyquiel says:

    I agree with your assumption.

  8. Nice article.

    I think sometimes people forget that sports isn’t an ethics debate, it’s plain and simple competition. You might not agree with some of the stuff that Garnett does (yes, that was an extremely dirty play on Frye) but Garnett’s extreme passion and heart for the game should never be questioned. Calling a specific player dirty or classless is one thing (once again, I agree Garnett is a dirty player), questioning his heart is entirely different. Boston fans love Garnett because he would do anything for that franchise and town to bring home another championship. His love and passion for the game has been evident from the day he entered the league.

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  10. T says:

    Totally agree with you. KGs behavior never surprises me.

  11. Nora says:

    Fans ignorance never surprises me. I would explain further but you people would never get it. KG is automatically blamed no matter what happens. Its ok for Pietrus too very intentionally hit someone in the head/throat area to do what he did. But a very questionable video showing KG not even looking at Frye and barely hitting him and Frye miraculous getting up a sec. later seems perfectly normal. Frye is a flopping Faker. This type of thing happens in every game but everytime KG is involved it is singled out and others are allowed to get away with it. Fans=ignorant and unfair and fake tough

  12. megiddo says:

    So true… what Garnett did was a low-blow. He can trash talk all the players in the NBA, but at least respect them enough to not cause them injury.

  13. tophatal says:


    Garnett has never been a classy dude ! That’s the atypical bs PR that’s put out there ’bout the guy !

    tophatal ………..

  14. Completely agree.

    Yesterday when he and Artest started jawing at each other I was really surprised, normally Garnett only picks on players smaller than him. While Artest may be shorter than Garnett, he would most likely handle Garnett with ease. I even got into a little argument on twitter over it, a couple Boston fans told me I was crazy, that Artest was nuts and he couldn’t do anything to Garnett.

    You’ve got a new reader in me.

  15. chappy81 says:

    I was pretty curious what the Hockey enthusiast thought when I saw you posted about KG. He is a dirty player, but at the same time I have a hard time believing he really meant to do it. Sure it wasn’t a clean play, but was he trying to make Frye roll his ankle? I’d say no, but siding with KG is like a death sentence, because we all know that he treats every game like a war, and you hurt people in war…

  16. Robert Smith says:

    Garnett is no hero. But we worship people who win at any cost. It used to be at ‘any cost’ to themselves. Kevin Garnett and others like him in professional spors have translated that into ‘at any cost’ to the other guy. Kill or be killed. It is disingenuous for them to later claim ‘misunderstanding’ or lack of intent. It is no different then the spin Doc Rivers put on his verbal altercation with the ref. from Friday’s loss to Phoenix that got him kicked out.

    I wish once, some professional athlete, coach or staff of their team just came out and told the truth. Like the knee on the sideline of a football game. Just thought it was a good idea at the time.

    It is sad to see that certain ‘intense’ athletes are given passes on their behavior and victimized athletes that hold to a higher professional standard are labeled as losers. I would give the next player that broke Kevin Garnett’s ankle or twisted up his knee a 50% payroll bonus. And then while he rehabilitates his woosy injury, he can contemplate how much more so his attacker was more competitive then he was and more worthy of our praise. All hail the second coming of Bill Lambier!

  17. Bheise says:

    wow, i hadn’t heard about or seen this even though i had gone back and forth watching this game. I’ve been a major supporter of Garnett amongst my friends because I’ve always attributed his antics to his competitive edge. it’s what put him above everyone else. he was a warrior in every sense of the word. but this… this i can’t defend. when he was in minnesota it was fun loving now in boston he’s just gotten ridiculous. the kid is now a crotchety old man.

  18. nrestivo says:

    Even since Garnett called Villanueva a cancer patient I lost all respect for him. Especially after he tried to say that he was saying villanueva is a “cancer to the league.” I’m all for trash talking but when it comes down to dirty play trying to injure players then it’s taken a step too far. He’ll get his though eventually, come playoff time when things do heat up he’ll get an elbow to the jaw.

  19. Yeah, I think that for some reason Garnett has been given a pass but after his actions this year I’m not sure that’s the case anymore. I think what’s hard for people to understand is that just because you aren’t a dirty player doesn’t mean you can’t become a dirty player. Maybe he wasn’t always been the nice guy that we originally made him out to be, but he has definitely changed.

    He’s a dirty player now


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