NBA

KG's runaway mouth should cost him

Charlie Villanueva #31 of the Detroit Pistons
Did KG cross the line in trash-talking Detroit's Charlie Villanueva?
FOX Sports MITCH LAWRENCE
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NEW YORK

Kevin Garnett copped to the trash-talking charge involving Charlie Villanueva, but wouldn't admit that he went too far by calling the Detroit Pistons' forward a "cancer patient."

To Garnett, one of the guys in the NBA who's always run his mouth way too much, it was all a major misunderstanding. Sure it was. He can have no other explanation, because if he really did call Villanueva a "cancer patient," then Garnett is courting the kind of trouble he doesn't want.

Talking trash is fine. But not when it involves "cancer patient" or speaks ill of a player's mama or immediate family. That's when it goes too far and starts trouble or fights.

We all know what happened at Auburn Hills when the Pistons and Pacers had their famous throw-down, when Ronny Artest set the world record for the dumbest move by an athlete by running into the stands to fight some drunken, unruly fans. We know it because we all saw it.

But in this incident in Auburn Hills, no one knows what really happened, unless you happened to be within earshot of Garnett.

Villanueva heard one thing.

"I know EXACTLY what I heard," he told the Detroit Free Press.

Garnett swears he said something else.

Jump ball?

What I found unusual, if not unbelievable, is that there was any misunderstanding, at all. Normally, if a player is the target of Garnett's trash-talking, they know exactly what he is saying. There is no gray area, no confusion. Just as opponents know when they've been hit by one of his famous "inadvertent" elbows. Or, when a player is the victim of one of his famous illegal picks. With KG, there is very little left to the imagination.

If Garnett isn't getting his message through these days, he's losing it, more than he knows.

"My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact, ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league." Garnett said in a statement. "I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful."

In other words, Charlie Villanueva made it all up or needs to get his ears cleaned.

POLL

  • Kevin Garnett is ...
    • An insensitive jerk
    • A misunderstood trash-talker

I don't know about that. One thing I do know about Villanueva: He has put up with a lot of trash talking ever since he was 10 and was found to be diagnosed with alopecia universalis, an autoimmune disease that results in hair loss and baldness. I think it's fair to assume that he knows an insult when he hears one.

Once, a few years ago, when he was with the Bucks and they were playing in the Garden, he met with kids who were suffering from the same condition. He did a lot that night to brighten their spirits, and he talked about what he had to endure as a kid growing up in Brooklyn.

"All those kids who made fun of me, I thank them now," he said. "They helped make me who I am."

These days, Villanueva gets killed for stealing paychecks, for not playing hard all the time and for showing up once every few nights. So he might not be the world's greatest team player. But that's not the issue here. If Villanueva heard what he says he heard, it doesn't give Garnett a right to get personal.

"KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke," Villanueva tweeted.

If what Villanueva heard is true, then Garnett deserves to be hit with the stiffest fine allowed. In matters such as these, everyone looks to the NBA to dock the offending player. Obviously, this is worth the league finding out exactly what Garnett said, even if it sounds impossible to verify. Maybe the league will get two conflicting stories. He said vs. He heard. That's probably what will happen.

Again, it's difficult to believe that Villanueva misinterpreted Garnett's trash.

"I wouldn't even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place 4 those," he said. "KG talks alot of crap, he's prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him."

Let's hope it doesn't come to that, the next time the Celtics and Pistons meet, on Dec. 29 in Auburn Hills.

Let's hope Villaneuva does what he should do:

Kick KG's butt all over the court.

Expose him on the court.

That would be even better than retaliating with words or fists.
 

Tagged: Celtics, Pistons, Kevin Garnett, Charlie Villanueva

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