Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated penned a wide ranging piece on Tim Duncan after spending some time with the future Hall of Famer. The piece attempts to shed light on a man that even after all these years of playing the NBA is still very much an enigma.
Ballard leads us through Duncan’s feeling about getting that infamous “DNP-Old” game, his friendship with Steven Jackson, being comfortable in his own skin, and how he thinks he wouldn’t have lasted that long if he had been drafted by the Knicks.
But something else caught our eye in this piece. It was the fact that, not Duncan, but someone close to him says that he absolutely hates Kevin Garnett.
5 His Buddy KG
Just kidding, as this might count in his favor. 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.”
You have to respect Duncan, not because he hates Garnett. The majority of the league probably hates Garnett too. You have to respect because he consistently beat Garnett.