When it came to trash-talking in the NBA, Kevin Garnett was arguably the best. Many players have admitted to being rattled by his words that would result in poor performances, which would end in a loss. But according to former All-Star Kenyon Martin, KG was just a talker and nothing else.
Martin recently wrote an article talking about how the NBA has lost its physicality. He talked about how he had faced some of the toughest guys when he played, such as Zach Randolph, David West, and Antonio Davis. But when he referred to Garnett, Martin said Garnett was all talk.
Martin wrote, “Kevin Garnett was a porch puppy – a miniature chihuahua in a Dobermann’s body. I told him to his face, ‘You’re a porch puppy. All you do is bark.’ He never wanted smoke from me. I told him straight up, ‘You better take your ass back to your huddle before I get mad.'”
A few years ago, veteran Udonis Haslem had also called out Garnett for being a fake tough guy.
A lot of the fights Garnett was involved in were initiated by a cheap shot or shove from him. When the opposing player retaliated, Garnett would always step away and wait for his teammates to intervene and stop. SB Nation’s Zito Madu perfectly summed up Garnett when he wrote, “He’s the ‘you’re lucky they’re holding me back’ guy.”
Garnett initiated a fight with Antonio McDyess by shoving him, but when McDyess came charging at him, Garnett kept running away. During a Nets vs Rockets game back in 2015, Garnett couldn’t handle getting blocked so he head-butted Dwight Howard. The four-time DPOY did not retaliate much while Garnett was in his classic “hold me back” stance.
Even though he had the talent level of a Hall of Famer, it often felt like Garnett engaged in fights to build a tough guy personality. It is usually players who aren’t that good that get involved in such incidents because there is no other way they can be relevant.
All the brutal trash-talking incidents involving KG would often cross limits. His crude remarks on Carmelo Anthony’s wife, his mother’s day wish to Tim Duncan, and calling Charlie Villanueva a cancer patient were all unnecessary.
While some might think his trash-talking is a good way to intimidate opponents, the rest feel like it was unnecessary for an MVP-level player to indulge in such theatrics.
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