In the wake of Charlie Villanueva accusing Kevin Garnett of calling him a cancer patient, Celtics coach Doc Rivers had a few options:
1) He could express that he didn’t know what was said and stay neutral.
2) He could express that he knew exactly what was said and either back or chastise Garnett.
3) He could just not say anything.
Well, I’m sure you’ve guessed that Doc didn’t opt for options 1 or 3. And I’m sure you’ve guessed that Rivers decided to back Garnett. But Doc did find a way to fit in a little chastising. Not for Garnett, but for Villanueva. But before we get into that, let’s let Garnett explain this whole thing.
“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,”‘ Garnett said. “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.”
Queue Doc backing his player and chastising Villanueva.
“I actually heard what Kevin said. I was right there, what he really said is in the statement. I’m going to leave it at that,” he said. “I don’t like the whole tweeting thing. I’m going to state that as well. Guys talk on the court. It doesn’t mean they should or shouldn’t. The fact that we’re talking about this, it’s just silly. It really is. We had a hell of a game yesterday and we should be talking about basketball.
“Talking about what the guys said during the game, there isn’t a place. I don’t find a place for it.”
Moral of the story? Kevin Garnett can say what he wants on the floor and if the world can’t read his lips, it didn’t happen. Got that NBA?