Paul Pierce knew what was coming. He’s seen Kevin Garnett flip out before, many times. Every once in a while a Mickael Pietrus elbow causes Garnett to ball tap the entirely innocent Channing Frye. Or Glen Davis makes a mistake and Garnett lays into him so viciously that he cries. Or the locker room music gets turned up a little too loud and Garnett takes a chainsaw to Marquis Daniels’ dreads. Okay, that never happened. I don’t think.
So when Jordan Crawford started to talk too much crap to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce tried to hold KG back. It didn’t matter that it was just an offseason pickup game, Pierce knew. Garnett’s inner demons were about to release themselves. But Crawford told Pierce to let Garnett go.
A bad move. Shortly thereafter, Garnett slapped Crawford on the back of the head.
I turn you to Adrian Wojnarowski’s marvelous profile of Ricky Rubio. (Yahoo! Sports)
His indoctrination has come against old pros like Billups, yes, but with Kevin Garnett in the gymnasium, too. On this day, everyone was still buzzing over Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford’s mistake of talking too much to Garnett a day earlier. When Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce tried to do Crawford a favor and push him away, Crawford urged Pierce to let K.G. go.
“I thought they were just kidding,” Rubio says, and maybe Crawford did too.
There are hard lessons to be learned in this league, lockout or not lockout. Eventually, Garnett reminded Crawford about that with a smack upside his head, a reminder to Crawford, Rubio and the rest of them: Elders will be respected.
Garnett has a history of initiating European players in the NBA, and one witness in the gym had recently watched him respond to a Rubio move with the ball by barking, “That’s a traveling here. We don’t do that [expletive] here.” And on and on.
Of course, Garnett also took the time to tell Rubio what a wonderful place Minnesota was to break into the NBA, what great, great fans they have there. If the lockout continues, Rubio could be on his way back to Spain to play again. He loves home, but it isn’t his preference. He’s done everything he can there by winning the Spanish ACB, European and world championship titles.
Garnett’s a complex dude. He’ll smack Jordan Crawford upside the head one second, talk shit to Ricky Rubio the next, then take Rubio underneath his wing and discuss what a wonderful place Minnesota is the next.
P.S. It’s hysterical that Kevin Garnett got upset when somebody else talked too much junk.