Garnett: Rivers calling Celtics ‘soft’ was ‘disturbing’
By Ben Golliver
The Celtics rebounded from a lopsided loss to the Nets on Wednesday to take apart the Blazers on Friday, rushing to a 9-2 lead and holding Portland to just 33 first-half points before cruising 96-78 in Boston.
The loss to Brooklyn featured a baseline scrum that resulted in a two-game suspension for Rajon Rondo and $25,000 fine for Kevin Garnett. Celtics coach Doc Rivers was thoroughly unimpressed by the brawling and the overall performance, saying Boston was a “soft team” with “no toughness.”
WEEI.com reports that Garnett took those words to heart, expanding on the relationship between masculinity and toughness after Friday’s victory.
“I don’t know any man who likes to be called soft; maybe some women,” he said after dropping a 10-5-4 in 23 efficient minutes of Friday’s 96-78 blowout of the Blazers. “Where I’m from, not most men like that. I think collectively he’s talking about our style. … I don’t think he’s coming at us as men, but he’s definitely talking about our style as a whole. Collectively, we all have to do that together; the onus falls on each and every last one of us, not just one or two guys. But, yeah, that was disturbing. Who likes to be called soft in anything, if you’re a man?”
This seems like fairly cookie-cutter stuff from the Celtics, who have been together for so long that they are constantly looking for new ways to stay motivated during the regular season. It’s easy to see where Rivers is coming from: Boston ranks No. 16 in defensive efficiency, well below its standing in recent years, and is dead last in rebound rate.