The 8 Meanest Things Kevin Garnett Ever Said

Kevin Garnett was known for his trash talking during his Hall of Fame NBA career. Here are The 8 Meanest Things KG Ever Said during his playing days.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Kevin Garnett was perhaps more intense than any player in NBA history not named Michael Jordan.

As KG said goodbye to the NBA after 21 seasons last week, fans remembered his prowess in the paint, his accumulation of accolades and—perhaps most notably—the raw emotion with which he played the game. This high-octane demeanor is perhaps most famously evident in his “Anything is possible!” exclamation after the 2008 NBA Finals.

But this intensity served as a double-edged sword; Garnett’s vicious trash talking would sometimes get him into serious trouble. He went way too far on several occasions. It was so bad that Thunder center Steven Adams pretended to not speak English to avoid his constant banter.

While some of these instances were fairly benign, others were egregious and will no doubt be a part of Garnett’s legacy that he may one day prefer to forget. So here are The 8 Meanest Things Kevin Garnett Ever Said

KG tells Craig Sager to burn his suit.

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Garnett trash talks Andray Blatche to tears.

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When his Wizards faced the Celtics in March of 2010,  Blatche played well, scoring 23 points and nine rebounds. But he and the Wizards finished the game on the wrong end of a 20-4 run, with Blatche struggling down the stretch. Garnett dominated Blatche in the final minutes of the game, physically and mentally, which apparently drove Blatche to tears. From a Washington Post game recap:

“Blatche was noticeably upset and appeared to hold back tears as he explained his encounter with Garnett, which nearly got heated when Garnett approached Blatche and tried to wrestle the ball away from him. Blatche appeared to throw an elbow as Garnett continued to taunt him. Blatche later flung Garnett into a cameraman and sent him to the foul line for two free throws. Garnett smiled as he was helped off the ground. Reserve forward James Singleton said Garnett used his "veteran senses" to needle Blatche and get under his skin.”


He also made teammates cry.

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Even in street clothes, opponents weren’t immune.

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KG made Joakim Noah, who grew up a huge fan, hate him.

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Former Celtics teammate Paul Pierce recalled an incident during Noah’s rookie year in in a 2015 Bleacher Report article:

“One time, he asked [Joakim] Noah if he could rub through his hair, like a female or something. … And I know that kind of made [Noah] hot. And this was when Noah was a rookie, too. I remember Noah looked up to KG. He was like, "Man, KG, I had your poster on my wall, I looked up to you, man." And then [Garnett] just said something like that, and was like "F--- you, Noah." I was like, "Whoa." This kid fresh out of college, looks up to KG, just said he had his poster on the wall, and he tells him that! It crushed him. It crushed Noah.”

Noah returned the ill will in a 2010 interview.

"He's a very mean guy," Noah said of the future Hall of Famer in 2010. "Where's the love? None at all. Ugly, too."

Noah also called out Garnett after a game against the Celtics in 2013, saying he was “Always on some bulls**t,” in respect to what he felt were cheap elbows by KG.

By the way, there was also that time KG tried biting Noah in 2014.

He allegedly insulted Tim Duncan on Mother's Day.

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Full disclosure: This is a totally unconfirmed rumor. It may very well be false. But if it were true, this would easily be the worst thing Garnett has ever said on the court. Here it is:

The Timberwolves faced the Spurs at the Alamodome for a first round playoff game on May 9, 1999. At some point during that game, Garnett told Duncan “Happy Mother’s Day, M***********” as the Spurs legend lined up for a free throw.

Duncan’s mother passed away of breast cancer, one day before Tim’s 14th birthday in 1990.

While this incident has never been confirmed, what is confirmed is that Duncan hates Garnett, according to a 2012 Sports Illustrated profile:

“In fact, Duncan hates Kevin Garnett. Hates him the way liberals hate Sean Hannity. This information comes from very reliable sources, who talk about how KG has made a career of trying to punk Duncan, baiting him and slapping him and whispering really weird smack into his ear. They talk about how funny this is, because the worst thing you can do as an opponent is piss off Duncan. Then, as Malik Rose says, "he f------ destroys you." Duncan's lifetime numbers versus Garnett's teams, by the way: 19.4 points per game, 11.6 boards and a 44-17 record, including the postseason.

Duncan is diplomatic about the topic. Asked if perhaps all those years battling Garnett have softened his feelings for the man, led to a Magic-Larry type of kinship, Duncan leans back on the couch in his hotel room and grins. There is a pause. A longer pause. Finally he says, "Define kinship.”

Duncan and Garnett will both likely be inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2021 when they will be on the ballot for the first time. This could make for an awkward ceremony in Springfield. 

Charlie Villanueva said Garnett called him a “cancer patient.”

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Garnett allegedly crossed the line during a Celtics win over the Pistons in 2010. After the game, Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva took to Twitter, alleging that Garnett called him a “cancer patient.” 

Villanueva suffers from alopecia universalis, a disease that causes hair loss. Garnett denied having called him a cancer patient, and issued the following statement:

"I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact: You are cancerous to your team and our league. I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."

Even if Garnett was telling the truth, why would you even use that terminology with someone like that? This was one of the lower moments of Garnett’s career. But the next one was perhaps even lower.

He insulted Carmelo Anthony’s wife.

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Garnett and  Anthony had to be separated on the court after a 2013 matchup between the Celtics and Knicks. This isn’t to uncommon in the NBA.

But what happened next was not something you see everyday: Melo waited for Garnett outside of Boston’s team bus to confront him about a comment he made during the game. The situation was diffused by Madison Square Garden security, several police officers, and then-Knicks head coach Mike Woodson.


It was later reported that Garnett said that Anthony’s wife, reality TV star La La Anthony, “tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios” during the game. This disparaging comment irked Anthony, who continued to voice his concerns about the incident after the game.

“There’s just certain things that you just don’t say to another man,” Anthony said of Garnett’s line-crossing comment.

While La La denied that Garnett ever used those words specifically, it’s clear that Garnett said something he should not have said. 

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