Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“OK, I don’t play for the Phoenix Suns,” Garnett said today at the All-Star media session. “I could care less what Spike or whoever else has something to say about me. As long as Doc Rivers and my organization is happy with what I’m doing I care less. If you don’t like my play, then don’t watch it. If I play against you, know that I’m not trying to be your friend. I’m out here trying to win."
When the word dirty was brought up, Garnett reacted tersely.
“I’m far from dirty. Dirty is like hate," he said. "I don’t use that word. I competitive and I play hard but don’t call me dirty. If you dislike me, dislike me, but hate is a very strong word. But it is a different league, it is a more free flowing offensive league. The league likes to promote offense, that’s cool. But at the same time, there’s two parts of the game and defense is one of them, and I play it."
Garnett, who addressed the media for about 35 minutes today, showed an bubbly personality not seen often during his time with the Celtics.
"My demeanor on the court is what it is and of course my demeanor here is different," he said. "You can’t make an assessment of someone if you’ve only seen 50 percent of that person."
Great comments from Garnett. Like I've said multiple times before, I don't think KG is "dirty."
The Herald's Steve Bulpett asked Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki about Garnett's antics:
“He always has,” Duncan said. “He always has. That’s part of his game. He tries to get under your skin. He tries to get in your head, tries to talk to you, whatever it takes. He’s a competitor.
“I don’t think he’s blatantly dirty. I don’t think he’s out there to hurt anyone, but that’s kind of part of his tactics.”
Nowitzki has come to accept Garnett’s edginess on the floor. He knew what he was going to get when he played against KG in Minnesota, and things haven’t changed now that Garnett is with the Celtics.
“Yeah,” said Nowitzki with regard to the envelope-pushing charge, “but that’s him. I’ve competed against him for 13 years now, and that’s how he is.
“I don’t care what game it is, I don’t care if they’re up 20 or down 20, he’s intense and that’s what makes him great. He brings that intensity to the game that’s probably annoying to others, but that’s his style.”
Another player who’ll be in tomorrow night’s All-Star Game and asked that his name be omitted said Garnett can go over the line of propriety with his actions. “But that’s a big part of what makes him who he is,” he said. “And there’s no one here who wouldn’t rather be playing with him than against him.”
Tough to argue with guys who have battled Garnett for the past decade. But I trust my eyes and it's clear KG is displaying more fire when compared to past seasons in Boston.
On Page 2, Paul Pierce lobbies for Dwight Howard to join the Celtics.
Much has been made about the fact that the Celtics have their own little clique with four reserves on this year's squad in Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, along with Rivers and his coaching staff. Meanwhile, the rival Heat — who sit in a virtual tie atop the East with Boston — have a trio in Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh. The Hawks also have a pair of reserves in Al Horford and Joe Johnson.
Rivers said that naturally led to some pairing off at the meeting, and it left some on an island.
"The guy I felt sorry for was Dwight [Howard]," joked Rivers. "Everybody else seemed to have a teammate they could talk to. He didn’t have a teammate, so I sat by Dwight and just talked to him."
Howard is the odds-on favorite to end up paired with Boston's center-less quartet, with most of the players suggesting they wouldn't mind him being in the middle of that All-Star lineup (Heck, Pierce went so far as to suggest Howard, a soon-to-be free agent, wouldn't look bad in a green Celtics jersey).
ESPN Boston – Stars align in LA
When KG walks away after the 2012 season, Dwight Howard (provided he doesn't sign an extension with Orlando) would be the perfect replacement. Hell, imagine if KG would sign for one year at cheap money, just so he could work on Howard's demeanor.
Okay… I'll stop dreaming.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Joe Johnson remembers long forgotten Celtics teammates | Miller's HOF snub bodes ill for Ray | Globe – Piere, Allen going against type | Herald – Allen, Pierce ready for long-range showdown | ESPN Boston – Life in the Dee-league | ESPN – Cousins, Wall lead rookies past sophs | Knicks talk trade with Melo |