BOSTON -- The Bulls and Boston Celtics meet tonight for the first time since Bulls center Joakim Noah called Celtics forward Kevin Garnett a "mean guy" a few weeks ago.
Noah said that Garnett was particularly harsh to him with on-court trash talk his rookie season and that he's usually mean to young players and European players.
Noah isn't the only player to be the target of Garnett's venom on the court. Earlier this season, Garnett drew some heat after Detroit's Charlie Villanueva revealed that the Celtics forward called him a "cancer patient" during a game.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was an assistant with the Celtics before getting the Bulls' job and was asked at the team's shootaround this morning if the coaching staff ever approached Garnett about toning down his on-court antics.
"The first year, Doc [Rivers] asked him to tone it down and he was awful, so at halftime Doc told him to forget it and just go back to being who he is," Thibodeau said. "He was fine after that. That was like a one-game experiment. He's a fierce competitor and that's who he is. You don't want to take that away from him."
The Bulls, coming off a blowout loss to Orlando on Wednesday, should be at full strength tonight. Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson both are expected to play.