Did Garnett cross line trash-talking Villanueva?

November 05, 2010

Why go there?

Shandel Richardson

Sun Sentinel

Talking trash has always been part of the game. Always will be. Always has to be.

But there are lines, and Celtics star Kevin Garnett crossed it if he said what Charlie Villanueva alleges. There were hundreds of other ways to get underneath Villanueva's skin. Villanueva isn't Chris Paul, Deron Williams or David Lee, his peers from the 2005 NBA draft. So make fun of his somewhat underachieving career. If Garnett wanted to make bald jokes, he could have compared Villanueva to someone like Sam Cassell.

Garnett could have even mentioned his NBA championship ring or MVP award.

So many options to choose from, yet Garnett, according to Villanueva, decided to make a joke of cancer? Poking fun at a life-threatening disease makes the Big Ticket look like the Big Dope. He could have saved himself a lot of grief by keeping his trash-talk a bit cleaner.

srichardson@tribune.com

Call a 'T' on KG

Brian Schmitz

Orlando Sentinel

The NBA should expand its crackdown on on-court behavior to fining Kevin Garnett, calling a belated "T."

He has been a trash-talking cheap-shot artist for years — even before his classless comments toward Charlie Villanueva. KG has a reputation as a fake tough guy, all disguised as "passion."

Villanueva, who has lost his hair because of alopecia universalis, said Garnett called him a "cancer patient." KG said he told Villanueva he was "cancerous to your team and our league."

I believe Villanueva. Even if it was a "miscommunication" as KG claims, why call him "cancerous"? KG: "I'm a passionate player. If you don't like the way I am …"

I don't. The league shouldn't either, as long as it's all up in arms over on-court civility.

bschmitz@tribune.com

Vaulting over the line

Lisa Dillman

Los Angeles Times

Whether Kevin Garnett called Charlie Villanueva a "cancer patient" or described him as "cancerous to your team and our league" probably won't ever be determined unless some audio mysteriously surfaces on tmz.com in a few days.

Still, it is painfully easy to answer the question. Yes, Garnett did go too far with the trash-talking the other night. His carefully crafted, almost stilted version crossed the line, and if Villanueva's allegations turn out to be the truth, well, then Garnett vaulted way over and well past it.

How many times do you think Villanueva, who has alopecia, has heard insults and dealt with insensitive reactions? That's what I thought about Wednesday. Not whether Villanueva violated the unofficial code of the NBA, or even guy code, by going public and Tweeting about the alleged insult.

ldillman@tribune.com

Blaming the wrong guy

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

First, we're giving Charlie Villanueva's version free rein, a version both Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers disputed.

Second, I have a bigger issue with Villanueva revealing something that was said in the heat of competition than anything Garnett might have said.

There's a code on the playing field. Anyone held to a level of accountability in what Garnett thought was a peer-to-peer encounter would likely say some things that cross the line.

Outing Garnett was as shortsighted as anything Garnett might have said.

Talk to him yourself. That's all KG thought he was doing.

kcjohnson@tribune.com

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