Kevin Garnett must be one of the players with the craziest stories in the NBA given all the things he used to do during his active days. From trash-talking Michael Jordan, through go against Tim Duncan every time they clashed on the court and more.
He was just different, with a different mindset and everybody knows that. There wouldn't be a Kevin Garnett now if he hadn't had that mentality. KG reached the glory with the Boston Celtics in 2008, winning his first and only NBA championship but that wasn't the only joy he had during his days at the TD Garden. There are more stories about him off the court and there is one that involves the entire Celtics team, arm wrestling, and a lot of betting.
Brian Scalabrine, part of the 2008/09 Boston Celtics, recently joined Zach Lowe's "The Lowe Post" podcast, where he told stories about that team, the 'craziest' one he played on. The White Mamba told this incredible anecdote of Kevin Durant and Glen 'Big Baby' Davis going at it in an arm-wrestling match that saw Paul Pierce earn $20K in bets. If you want to listen to the full show, you should to it, but one Redditor recounted the story, which is just unbelievable.
It's the 08/09 Celtics season. Scalabrine explained that this was the wildest team he ever played on. Keep in mind, this is with Tony Allen, Starbury, Perkins, and KG. Some notorious Alphas. They bet money on everything: Shots in the game, free throws, poker, dice, cards, you name it. Guys would bring boxing gloves to the locker room and beat the shit out of each other. The whole team was like a 24-hour casino. Anyway, for whatever reason, they all get into arm-wrestling each other and betting on who's going to win. This goes on for a while. Glen "Big Baby" Davis becomes the top guy who's crushing everybody. Even Leon Powe can't beat him. At one point Big Baby even messes up Eddie House's shoulder but the team's so crazy, nobody cares.
So one night on the flight back from a Toronto game, KG decides he's gonna challenge Big Baby. KG gets up and he's like "come on Funk, let's DO THIS." Keep in mind, this is over 10 years ago when media members and families with season tickets were riding on the plane back with the whole team, so the entire plane is watching KG get up and talk shit to Big Baby. Now, everybody on the team is getting in on the action trying to get money on Big Baby. Paul Pierce jumps up and says "I'll do $2K on Big Ticket for anybody who wants in!" Everybody is taking Paul up on it, even Doc Rivers is getting in on the action. Before long, Paul has $20,000 on the line for KG to win.
So KG had realized earlier that Big Baby would "cheat" by holding the table during matches, so KG is like "you gotta keep your arm up in the air Funk!" Now they both have their arms locked and it's on, but KG is like rope-a-doping Big Baby by saying "I ain't moving! I ain't moving motherfucker!" So eventually, Big Baby starts sweating and KG is all "YEAH I GOT YOU NOW YOU BIG ASS MOTHER FUCKER!!!" He eventually wears Baby out and finally KG lets out a primal scream and downs Big Baby.
Everybody on the plane goes crazy. Garnett rips his shirt off and screams "ALL YA'LL MOTHERFUCKERS BETTER TAKE NOTICE! I'M THE SILVERBACK GORILLA IN THIS MOTHERFUCKER AND DON'T NONE OF YA'LL EVER FORGET IT!!!!!! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!" Paul Pierce is counting all his money up in the air. The Pilot comes over the intercom and says "Congratulations Kevin Garnett!!!" There are 7-year-old kids on the plane with their season-ticket-holding parents witnessing all of this. It's madness.
You probably felt in that plane, seeing this whole madness while reading that story. That Boston Celtics team was really wild and imagine how crazy things were back then that even Doc Rivers was involved in this situation.
This is why Kevin Garnett is a legend and one of the most famous and controversial names in the NBA. He has plenty of stories to tell like the time Michael Jordan came back at him for dropping 40 on him at age 38, he has never been afraid to attack his old rivals, especially LeBron James and more.
He and Davis had a history together and the most famous (or infamous) moment of their relationship as Celtics teammates came during Davis' rookie season when the big man was brought to tears on the Celtics bench after an altercation with KG.
Things were really crazy in Boston during those days but you can't say they weren't competitive during that run. The C's played in two NBA Finals, won one championship, and were always part of the conversation to come out of the East.