Garnett Dismisses "Tanking" Accusation
HOUSTON - Instead of getting into a war of words with the owner of his old team, Celtics forward Kevin Garnett took the high road last night.
In comments to Minneapolis reporters yesterday, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor accused Garnett of "tanking" the last five games of the 2006-07 season. Taylor's comments came after he was asked about the Wolves having a reputation for tanking games in recent seasons to aid their draft position.
Garnett missed the last five games last season with a sore right quadriceps, but Taylor questioned the truth of that claim.
"It was more like, I'd say, KG tanked it," Taylor said.
Taylor also said: "The other guys still wanted to play, but it sure changed the team and didn't make us as [good]."
Following the Celtics' 94-74 win over Houston last night, Garnett talked briefly about Taylor's accusation.
"First off, I want to say Glen Taylor was good to me when I was a Timberwolf and I'm a Boston Celtic now," Garnett said. "I'm not going to be going back and forth saying tasteless things. That's not my character.
"I have nothing to do with the Minnesota Timberwolves. That's in the past. I'm in a new chapter in my life."
Garnett played with Minnesota from 1995-2007 and is the franchise's career leader in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. He was an 11-time All-Star and the NBA's 2004 MVP with the Timberwolves. Ironically, despite Taylor's accusation, Garnett is widely viewed as the most intense player in the NBA.
"I thank them for the opportunity they gave me when I was younger and not only being able to explore my dream, but to be able to make it to where I'm at today," Garnett said. "That's all I'm going to say about that."
Celtics guard Sam Cassell, who played with Garnett in Minnesota from 2003-05, described Taylor's statement as "personal." Cassell also said that while Garnett might have been bothered by Taylor's words three or four years ago, he's too mature to let it bother him now.
"Kevin's Kevin," said Cassell. "Ask anyone in this organization if Kevin tanks anything. Games? Practice? I wish he did tank a couple practices.
"I was there. I know the goings-on there. I hear the pains and what they say about Kev. I know what Kevin Garnett meant to that community. The good things that Kevin did for that community was outrageous."