The Hawks should know better than to give anyone on the Celtics, especially Kevin Garnett, any shred of motivation. Every answer the Hawks give should be in deference to a great opponent. Something like
"We played a great game against a great team. We had a lot of things working well, we executed our game plan very well, and we're going to need to do that again if we're going to win again. We can't count on them missing those same shots because they're too good. Those are shots that usually fall for them, so we'll have to be even better moving forward."
Boom. That's it. Oh, they asked you about KG?
"KG is one of the best ever, man. I just gotta try to match his intensity. That's no easy job for anyone."
That's the extent of it. I don't care if it's canned bullshit. If you're the Hawks, that's all you should be stocking in your pantry of possible media answers. Nothing but canned bullshit. Too bad for them Ivan Johnson isn't paying attention.
“Garnett, he’s a dirty player,” Johnson said. “He gives me a lot of elbows and I can handle that.”
Johnson said he expected that Garnett and the Celtics would attempt to do things to incite a reaction.
“I was prepared for that,” Johnson said. “I already knew how KG was going to come at me. They’re a whole bunch of mess-talkers.”
The only real insult is calling KG dirty… which is no surprise. But KG is going to spin this into some serious disrespect in his mind. And a motivated KG is not something any team really wants to deal with. But it's not like Ivan Johnson is new to popping off.
Johnson washed out after one season of run-ins with coach Ernie Kent at the University of Oregon. After one year at Division II Cal State-San Bernardino, Johnson played a season in the NBA Development League before joining the Korean Basketball League.
That opportunity ended last year when the KBL banned Johnson after he reportedly made an obscene gesture at a game official.
Jeez… banned for an obscene gesture? Good thing Rondo doesn't play there or else we'd be awaiting for word on what form of execution they'd use instead of whether he'll be suspended for a game.