Bulls’ Joakim Noah says Celtics’ Kevin Garnett guilty of ‘cheap shots’
By Ben Golliver
It seems like a week can’t pass this season without Celtics forward/center Kevin Garnett provoking someone or drawing headlines with his antics.
Following Chicago’s dramatic 100-99 overtime victory over Boston on Friday night, Bulls center Joakim Noah sounded off on Garnett’s rough play, according to ESPNChicago.com.
“(I was) just playing defense,” Noah said. “Just playing sound defense, just contesting his shots. He’s a helluva competitor. He’s always on some bulls—. Always on some bulls—.”
“Just trying to throw elbows,” Noah said of Garnett. “Cheap shots, just trying to get you off your game. But he’s a vet. He’s been doing this a long time, but it’s all right.”
Noah and Garnett have tangled before. NBA.com reported in April 2010 that Noah referred to Garnett as a “dirty player” following a playoff game between the Celtics and the Heat.
“He’s unbelievable, that guy,” Noah said Sunday after the Bulls’ practice at Quicken Loans Arena. “No, I’m going to say it: He’s a dirty player, man. He’s a dirty player. That’s messed up, man.”
Following a game earlier this month, Garnett was pursued to the Celtics team bus by Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony following some rough play that resulted in double technicals and trash talk that Anthony deemed to have crossed the line. Anthony was eventually suspended one game for his post-game actions; Garnett was not disciplined.
One week before that, Garnett was ejected for a flagrant foul two to the face of Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough.
On Christmas, Garnett was on the receiving end of some rough play, when Nets forward Gerald Wallace yanked on his shorts during an exchange that resulted in double technicals. Earlier this season, in a non-violent exchange, Garnett gave a cold shoulder to Heat guard Ray Allen, who left Boston to join Miami in summer free agency.
One angle to watch: it’s very likely that Garnett, Anthony and Noah are all members of the 2013 Eastern Conference All-Star team. Garnett and Anthony were both selected as starters by a fan vote and Noah is one of the most deserving candidates to be selected as a reserve by the coaches. Reserve selections will be announced on Thursday.
Noah finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block against the Celtics. Garnett had 16 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one block against the Bulls. Chicago improved to 23-15; Boston dropped to 20-19.