Earlier this week, former NBA player Kenyon Martin blasted KG for being a “miniature chihuahua in a Doberman’s body.” The perceived shot at KG seemed to be calling him out for being a fake tough guy.
But in a recent appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast, The Book of Basketball 2.0, ESPN columnist Jackie MacMullan described Garnett in a very different way…
“Kevin Garnett’s a bully and he’ll bully you and he’s waiting for you to bully him back and if you don’t he’s done with you, he’s moved on to the next and there’s a million stories about that.
There’s a real ugly side to KG but that’s just because he’s the most insane guy i’ve ever seen.”
MacMullan provided one specific example of KG’s antics, citing one instance in which he relentlessly bullied one of his former Celtics teammates because he refused to let him get under his skin.
“One of them was with Patrick O’ Brian. So he was playing in practice. After practice, he was a big kid, not doing particularly well. Clifford Ray was the big man coach for the Celtics he was working with him afterwards so KG sees him he goes down there he starts trying to bully Patrick O’ Brain get a rise out of him, he’s slamming him he’s blocking his shots, he’s talking trash to him and Patrick O’Brian just isn’t that kind of dude you know.
So he’s just taking it all his thought is Im not going to let him get a rise out of me and Garnett spent half an hour trying to get a rise out of him never got it. Got disgusted, threw a towel down, stormed out of the gym and then tortured this kid for the remainder of his very short Celtics career because he didn’t clap back.”
In his day, KG was known as a gritty, old-fashioned enforcer, who brought energy to his team and refused to back down to anyone.
No matter your personal opinions of Garnett, it certainly seems like he wasn’t a guy to be messed with. He’s that guy you love having on your team but hate having to go up against. It’s his legacy, even if there are those who try to challenge that.
The NBA legend retired in 2016 after 22 seasons, 15 All-Star appearances, an MVP, and a league Championship.