Over the last 20 years, Kevin Garnett has established himself as one of the best trash-talkers in NBA history. Just ask Steven Adams, Julius Randle, or—welp—Carmelo Anthony about it. He’s talked trash with the best of them and gotten under just about everyone’s skin by doing it. But believe it or not, he wasn’t always the trash-talker that he is today.

Once upon a time, KG didn’t talk any trash at all. His former high school teammate Ronnie Fields who played with KG at Farragut Academy in Chicago just did an interview with The Athletic—you can read it here—and revealed that when KG moved from South Carolina to Chicago to play basketball, he was a completely different guy.

“He was not a trash talker,” Fields said. “People are looking at a different imitation of KG. That’s not who he was. You know where he learned all that from? Right here, taking him to that place, Marcy Center, where they used to beat the clothes off of you when you used to come in there. There ain’t no fouls. You ain’t getting away with that. Someone will bite your ankle, anything, ain’t none of that called.”

Fields also revealed that, while KG eventually learned how to hone his trash-talking skills, he was never much of a fighter.

“He had the backing of the guys,” Fields said. “One thing we ain’t going to let nothing happen to you, so you had the room to talk that smack. That’s when it developed. He’s carried it since. But Kevin ain’t going to fight nothing. Trust me.”

You should check out Fields’ entire interview. He speaks a lot about KG and his memories of him, but he also touches on his own career, which was unfortunately cut short due to a neck injury he suffered during a car accident in February 1996.

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

[via The Athletic]

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