Thursday, January 17, 2008

Trash talk is garbage

The coaches and the players probably weren't satisfied with the performance last night, but I haven't read or heard anyone else complaining too much about the result. A road game against the team with the best record in the NBA? Most observers, even hardcore Blazer fans, would have guessed the outcome that ultimately came to fruition.

But today there's talk today about intimidation. John Canzano wrote that the Blazers were plagued last night by a lack of courage. I don't think I'd go that far. I think you could make a case that this young Trail Blazers squad was a bit nervous (the season-high in turnovers would point to that) but were they afraid? I just can't see that.

But I do agree with Canzano that Kevin Garnett talks, a lot. Non-stop even. KG will go down as one of the best power forwards to have every played the game, but is the constant verbal berating really necessary? To me, a pro lets his game do the talking. Garnett undoubtedly has game, so why not save the trash talk for the playground?

Which brings me back to courage. It doesn't take the slightest bit of toughness to run your mouth when there's no chance of repercussion. In fact, it's an act of cowardice. As Maurice Lucas, who's actually a real tough guy, lamented in Canzano's column, "Back then, it was only a $50 fine for punching a guy in the mouth." Mo is right.

Look how "tough" Garnett was here when Antonio McDyess put his fists up. Was it courageous for KG to elbow Fransisco Elson in the groin back in 2004? And who could forget Garnett's unbridled display of masculinity, also in 2004, when the "Big Ticket" (a millionaire since the age of 18, by the way) noted that he was "Loadin' up the pump. I'm loadin' up the Uzi. I got a couple M-16s, a couple 9s. I got a couple joints with some silencers on them. I'm just loading clips." If all of that is a sign of toughness and fortitude, then I've been severely misguided by all of the role models in my life.

To state once again so there's no misunderstanding, Kevin Garnett is one heck of a basketball player. If his career had ended three years ago, he'd still be a first ballot Hall of Famer. But he didn't teach the Blazers anything about courage or toughness last night. He simply provided a clinic in trash talking.


eugenefan said...

I have watched the Blazers so much this year, and hardly any other teams, that I had forgotten what a loudmouth Garnett is. Watching him strut around and shoot his mouth off last night reminded me of how much I love watching these Blazers, since they are the opposite of arrogant and boastful.

They put their game where their mouth is, so to speak, and this trait will carry them to a championship one day, be sure of it, and they won't have to talk their way into it.

Casey Holdahl said...

As other people have pointed out, KG's gutter mouth has won him exactly zero championships. Heck, it hasn't even netted him a conference championship.

Wingman82 said...

Watching this Blazer team this year has really taught me one thing. The Blazers can do anything they want on the court when they are comfortable. When the Blazers stepped on to the court in Boston, they hampered themselves. They shelved all of the talent I have seen and did their job against the best team in the NBA right now. And thats what the Blazers made it, their job. These Blazers, when you watch them play, are having fun. They arnt worried about the score and who is getting the next shot. This group plays the game as well as any out there, better than some. I know my Portland team can beat these guys. Kevin Garnett is just a man and the Celtics are just another team, Nothing to be afraid of. Go Blazers!

MiledAnimal said...

I checked out that link, Casey. Looks like Garnett is an adherent of Carmelo's suckerpunch-and-backpedal style of fighting.

While I was there, I noticed a fun video of Baron Davis posterizing KG. Sweet.

Like it or not, KG's lack of playoff success has everything to do with having Kevin McHale as a GM for so many years, not his big mouth.