The media was terrific at creating something out of nothing when Pau Gasol spoke about Kevin Garnett yesterday. Gasol’s full quote showed that he talked about himself losing explosion first, that it happened to all players, before saying that KG has had to go through many of the same adjustments Pau has. Of course, the money quote was the part about Pau saying KG had lost explosiveness, so that’s the part that was reported — out of context — mostly as if it were its own quote. (Note: Paul Flannery did an exceptional job reporting how the media tried to manufacture a little spat.)
But in the media’s rush to create controversy, they forgot the best part of the entire story: That Kevin Garnett, when told about the comments and asked for his response, didn’t only say, “I have no comment for his comments.”
No, that wasn’t all Garnett said. He continued to say, “For what? Who is he?”
As disrespectful as the media tried to paint Gasol’s quote, Garnett’s quote was far more disrespectful. “Who the hell is Pau Gasol? He’s never beaten me in a Finals, and save for one game he’s always been a seven-feet tall marshmallow against the Celtics. One dominant game for that big bitch and all you reporters want to kiss his ass and call me washed up,” is what Kevin Garnett seemed to mean by his brief but powerful quote.
Yet I haven’t read a single reporter who used Garnett’s quote. Why? To me, that’s the biggest part of the whole story. I don’t know, maybe the media felt bad for using an out-of-context quote to urge a response from Garnett. Maybe they didn’t see Garnett’s quote for the absolute gem it really was. Maybe they didn’t know what a perfectly-instigating quote was when it smacked them across the face.
Whatever the reason for it, it’s a good thing we can now embed videos and see for ourselves what Garnett said. And here it is — watch KG ask aloud who Pau Gasol is:
If Garnett still has anything left in that tank of his, expect a huge effort out of him in Game 2. Because, even as the legs grow older and less explosive, the heart stays the same. And as long, athletic and skilled as Garnett has always been, it’s his heart that has always set him apart.