Kevin Garnett is undeniably one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA and, as one of the league's all-time greats, there is a lot to like about his game. The 2004 NBA MVP and 2008 Defensive Player of the Year has been named to 15 All-Star teams, has earned All-NBA honors nine times and has been selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team in 12 different seasons. Garnett led the league in rebounding for four consecutive seasons, and his skill set has even made him a darling of advanced statistical metrics. "The Big Ticket" has also reached a number of more traditional statistical plateaus, as he has scored more than 25,000 points and collected in excess of 14,000 rebounds over the course of his 20 seasons in the NBA.
As a member of the Boston Celtics in 2008, Garnett won his first and only NBA Championship and was largely responsible for the transformation the franchise underwent to restore the winning culture that had been so notably absent in Boston in the years before his arrival. His intensity in practice is legendary, and his teammates are quick to note KG’s positive effect on the work ethic and intensity of those around him. Early in KG's career (when he was still referred to as "The Kid"), veterans like Sam Mitchell credited Garnett’s practice habits with extending their careers, and as Garnett became a veteran himself, his relentless intensity helped his younger teammates realize the effort level necessary to last in the league.
The trash-talking, stanchion head-butting, dead-ball swatting Garnett has been an unquestioned leader at every stop in his Hall of Fame career, and it is impossible not to marvel at the amount of energy he still expends on the court out of the simple desire to will his team to victory. It is those same qualities -- however endearing they may be to most of his teammates -- that also make Garnett one of the most hated players in the NBA.
The fiercely loyal Garnett has had his fair share of on-court incidents, and there are seemingly no limits when it comes to the content of his trash talk. As a result, there are many players in the NBA who may very well respect his game but simply do not like the way Garnett conducts himself on the court. Whether it is the result of Garnett’s physical play, his penchant for going too far with his talk, or the frustrating fact that he has simply been as good or better than just about everyone else throughout his career, the following 15 NBAers have some very good reasons for disliking KG.
15 Anthony Peeler
14 LaMarcus Aldridge
13 Glen Davis
The dislike that Davis once felt for KG probably did not last very long, as the former Celtics teammates still talk frequently and did win an NBA title together in 2008. Following that title season, however, Garnett ripped into all of his teammates after giving up a big lead to the Portland Trail Blazers during a December game, and whatever KG said to Davis -- whose unfortunate nickname, “Big Baby,” is unrelated to this particular incident -- left Davis on the end of the bench, in tears.
12 Channing Frye
11 Alvin Gentry
Gentry, recently hired by the New Orleans Pelicans for their vacant head coaching position, was on the sidelines during the incident in which Channing Frye was hit in the groin. While Gentry never played in the league, his lengthy career in coaching at a variety of levels has earned him the respect of executives and players throughout the NBA. At the time of the Frye incident, Gentry made it abundantly clear how he felt about Garnett's on-court behavior, saying, “I used to be a big fan of [Kevin Garnett]. Some of the antics he’s pulled lately, you don’t need to do that as a star player. I’ve never seen Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or even a Dwyane Wade do that,” before adding, "I lost a little respect for him."
10 Antonio McDyess
9 Wally Szczerbiak
8 Rick Rickert
7 Ray Allen
6 Quentin Richardson
5 Charlie Villanueva
Following a loss to the Boston Celtics early in the 2010 season, Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva revealed that Garnett had referred to him as a “cancer patient” during the game. Villanueva, who has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss, used Twitter to express his dismay, saying, "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, [you] know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."
4 Tim Duncan
It is hard imagine the affable Duncan expressing dislike for anyone, especially not the player who is very likely the only contemporary to enjoy as much individual success as Duncan has over a similarly lengthy career. Though Duncan is unlikely to ever openly discuss his dislike for Garnett, enough of his teammates have talked about Garnett’s trash-talking and Duncan’s clear desire to respond to this behavior in the exact way you would expect: through his play on the court. Duncan’s teams, of course, have consistently gotten the best of KG’s, and Duncan has won five NBA titles to Garnett’s one.
3 Joakim Noah
Like so many other players who have come into the league in recent years, Noah grew up idolizing Garnett. He quickly learned that it is a completely different experience to be an opponent of KG's than it is to be a fan, as Noah has called Garnett “mean” and “ugly” due to his on-court antics. Noah has been so annoyed by Garnett that he once called KG out during a playoff series in which he was not even playing against Garnett’s team, saying, “He's a dirty player. That's messed up, man ... I'm hurting right now because of an elbow he threw. It's unbelievable. He's a dirty player. It's one thing to be competitive and compete and all that, but don't be a dirty player. He's a dirty player."
2 Carmelo Anthony
1 Dwight Howard
Currently with the Houston Rockets, Howard has had a number of run-ins with Garnett going back to his time with the Orlando Magic. Garnett, who was once something of an idol of Howard’s (he wears the number “12” because it is the inverse of “21,” Garnett’s number in Minnesota), apparently does not think much of his fellow big man, as he has taunted Howard frequently over the years. In the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010, Garnett repeatedly referred to Howard as a “clown,” and he could be heard telling Howard over and over to “Paint your face, clown!” as they ran up and down the court.
In their most recent on-court altercation during the 2014-15 season, Garnett threw the ball at the Houston center and then delivered a head-butt, earning KG a technical and a one-game suspension. For his part, Howard shoved Garnett away and then appeared to throw a punch after Garnett’s head-butt. Howard only got a technical for the incident, as the NBA believed that Garnett was clearly responsible for provoking the incident, but it is clear that the two are not particularly fond of one another and there is certainly no mutual respect among the two big men.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!