Udonis Haslem had a couple of things to say about former rival Kevin Garnett and his toughness (or the lack of). They went at it on several occasions during their careers and Haslem learned a couple of things about KG that made him doubt his real character.
Recently, the Miami Heat icon talked about the 2021 Hall of Fame class, which features KG, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. While talking about toughness, he made sure to separate Garnett from the other two players, explaining that Kevin doesn't belong to that category.
“Tough guys, you said?… Two of those guys I could probably say tough guys, and that’s more so mentally tough. And one of those guys just do a lot of [talking]. That’s not tough at all. The definition of tough guy doesn’t go by guys that do this [talking]. You probably want to take KG off that tough guy list… Obviously, Kobe was a guy that said ‘I’m going to lead… You guys just get on board and follow. And if I can implement my mentality and my heart into you guys, then we’ll be alright.’ That’s the way Kobe did his thing.”
“I think Tim Duncan was just a quiet assassin. He was just one of those guys who didn’t say much, and those guys probably p*ssed you off more than anybody. They’re not going to talk to you, not going to say much, and then he going to fry you like chicken, he’s going to have 30-15 and they’re going to win the championship.”
Back to Garnett, Haslem added that the Big Ticket used a way to intimidate rivals that wasn't his favorite but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve the respect he earned during his NBA career.
“KG chooses a route that I really don’t condone. A lot of that talking and disrespect. But that can’t take away from what he’s done on the basketball court, and who he has been as a basketball player. Obviously coming in at such a young age, and from the get-go, being able to dominate this game of basketball on both ends of the floor. You talk about a two-way player, he’s one of the first to ever do it…”
Each one of these players had one way to do their thing and they all were great in the association. TD was very quiet, Kobe said a couple of things and then let the game speak while Garnett used all these tools to beat his rivals.
They earned their stripes using different methods and just as Haslem said, nothing can change what they did on the court during their spectacular careers.