Allow me to let you in on the NBA's worst-kept secret: Kevin Garnett is a prolific trash-talker. Google "'Kevin Garnett' trash talk,'" and you'll get about 18,500 results. His on-court antics have been the subject of debates about sportsmanship on Sportscenter and he's been regular fodder for sports columnists across the country. If this Bulls-Celtics series is your foray into the Garnett mouth-running bonanza, then you are certainly missing out.
He's the Shakespeare of taunt, the Picasso of trash, the da Vinci of distraction, the Mary-Kate of ridicule. From slapping the floor while picking up a guard on defense in the back-court, to entire bench stare-downs, to telling Kobe Bryant to go have sex with himself (in not so many words) while he, Garnett, is in the process of shooting a free throw, the man is truly a pioneer of put-downs. The kind of guy you love if he's on your team and despise if he's not.
But with Garnett sidelined with injuries, it's been his off-court antics during the Bulls-Celtics series, in particular, one incident that occurred near the end of regulation in Game 5, that's drawing this Bulls fan's ire. Captured in an oh-so telling photo, there's Mr. Gatorade himself in the ear of Bulls shooter Ben Gordon as he walks toward the bench during a timeout. The expression on Garnett's face says it all, but you can't help but wonder what, exactly, he's saying.
2) "Have you tried the nachos here? They're de-light-ful!"
3) "Will you look at Scalabrine? Doesn't he just make you smile? Gosh, I love gingers!"
4) "Bible study at my place after the game. You in?"
5) "When you get a second, I'd love to talk to you about this wonderful business opportunity. It's a company called Amway..."
6) "Sorry, Ben, but I don't think you're a very good basketball player and I think you should go have sex with yourself." (in not so many words)
Chances are it's a variation of the sixth option, but in a perfect world, I'd hope for number three.
So what, given Garnett's tendency for trash, is my problem with this? If he was in uniform, the refs would've undoubtedly charged him with a technical foul. Or, at the very least, issued him a warning. Instead, he's permitted to sit smugly on the bench, show poor sportsmanship and taunt the Bulls all game. Celtics fans will certainly point to Gordon's, ahem, man-adjustment in Game 4 as unsportsmanlike, and I'd probably agree. But ask yourself this: if you were being taunted by a man in a suit who just sits on the proverbial sideline every day at work, how would you respond?
So as the series comes back to Chicago in a must-win game for the Bulls, I say here's to you, Kevin Garnett. I look forward to this hungry, determined, crotch-grabbing Bulls team shutting you up and sending this series back to Boston for Game 7.
And I think I speak for most Bulls fans when I say, go have sex with yourself (in not so many words).