Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva used Twitter on Tuesday night to accuse Boston’s Kevin Garnett of calling him a "cancer patient."
"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 after the Pistons’ loss to the Celtics at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
But don’t think Garnett will take this lying down.
“I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league,’" Garnett said in a statement to the media on Wednesday.
Villanueva has a medical condition called alopecia unversalis, one of the side effects of which is an inability to grow hair. The condition is an autoimmune skin disease and is not otherwise life-threatening.
"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," Villanueva added on Tuesday night.
For his part, Garnett agrees with Villanueva: “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. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball.”
Boston coach Doc Rivers defended his forward while wondering why someone would need to share in-game comments.
"I actually heard what Kevin said. I was right there, what he really said is in the statement. I’m going to leave it at that," he said. "I don’t like the whole tweeting thing. I’m going to state that as well. Guys talk on the court. It doesn’t mean they should or shouldn’t. The fact that we’re talking about this, it’s just silly. It really is. We had a hell of a game yesterday and we should be talking about basketball.
"Talking about what the guys said during the game, there isn’t a place. I don’t find a place for it."
However, Villanueva isn’t impressed.
"I know what I heard," he told a reporter from the Detroit Free Press.
In the Pistons’ loss, Villanueva led Detroit scorers with 17 points in 33 minutes of play. But the winless Pistons were never really in the game and Villaneuva and Garnett were both assessed technicals during a third-quarter verbal altercation.
But if Villanueva’s Twitter account is to be believed, he wouldn’t mind if his next run-in with Garnett was more physical.
"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," read another tweet.
Boston guard Ray Allen was on the court, but didn’t hear the alleged comment.
"I don’t know anything about it. The first I heard about it was actually this afternoon when I was eating and ready to head over," he said. "I don’t know what was said. They had words and they were kind of going at each other."
He also said players should be careful with any tweets or pictures taken off the court.