Posted October 18, 2013

Nets’ Kevin Garnett responds to criticism: ‘Tell LeBron to worry about Miami’

Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rob Mahoney
Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett took exception to LeBron James’ criticism of ex-Celtics. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

When Ray Allen, then a free agent, left the Celtics to sign with the defending champion Heat in 2012, he was roasted by self-righteous fans and tweaked by his former Boston teammates. Just a year later, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce — two of the most demonstrative Celtics in the judgment of Allen’s exodus — left the team by their own accord, defaulting on the very standard they had set for Allen and themselves.

All of which led LeBron James — per a report from Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com on Thursday – to make a valid objection to the tact with which those former Celtics handled Allen’s choice to leave the team:

“I think the first thing I thought was, ‘Wow, Ray got killed for leaving Boston, and now these guys are leaving Boston,’” James said. “I think it’s OK; I didn’t mind it. But there were a couple guys who basically [expletive] on Ray for leaving, and now they’re leaving.

“That’s the nature of our business, man. I don’t know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him and his family and his career. Doc, KG and Paul did that as well. You can’t criticize someone who does something that’s best for their family.”

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Garnett’s response when prompted by reporters on Thursday was simple and direct: “Tell LeBron to worry about Miami. He has nothing to do with Celtic business.”

Per Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York, Pierce played coy on the matter:

“I left Boston?” Pierce said when asked of James’ comments, clearly noting he had been dealt by the Celtics and didn’t leave as a free agent.

Pierce can certainly play that card, though his deflection isn’t a particularly accurate representation of reality. According to first-hand quotes from his own introductory press conference (via Tim Bontemps of the New York Post), it was Pierce that had to push Garnett on the prospect of joining Brooklyn in the first place.

“Being able to build something,” [Pierce] said after yesterday’s press conference introducing the three newest Nets. “The bones of this, to be able to play with Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson. … I feel like this was one of the better opportunities I’ve had since I’ve been in the league.”

…“I talked to Jason Kidd, and he was warming me to the [possibility] of coming to Brooklyn,” Pierce said. “Then he started warming me to the fact that they were trying to get Kevin, too. That’s when I called Kevin and asked what he thought about coming to Brooklyn.

“Kevin immediately started asking about, ‘What pieces are they going to give up? What’s going to be left? Will it be possible to win a championship?’ He was excited when I talked to him, just for the opportunity to win a championship and play next to a young prospect like Brook Lopez, who he could take to the next level.”

Pierce took ownership of that fact when he was introduced as a Net, though now implies that the choice to leave Boston wasn’t his. That walk-back might be enough to smooth things over with some of the Boston faithful, but Pierce is working against his own quoted word. Garnett’s case is even more egregious, as he was one of the few players in the league with a no-trade clause built into his contract. If he had so chosen, Garnett could have blocked any trade that would have shipped him from Boston, making him a functional partner in the trade’s negotiations. Yet after some convincing from Pierce, Garnett waived the right to veto this deal — and to actually follow through on his February declaration that he wanted to “retire a Celtic.”

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In principle, there’s nothing wrong with any of this; Pierce and Garnett both chose to leave a good team for a far better one, just as Allen did last summer. This is all well within the rules, and well understood considering that professional athletes have limited opportunity to chase a championship. But James is right to point out the hypocrisy there, if only because Allen’s former Celtics teammates had responded so bitterly upon his decision to sign with the Heat.

At Boston’s 2012 Media Day, Garnett told reporters that he lost Ray Allen’s phone number and that he “[wasn't] trying to communicate” with his former teammate. When the Celtics and Heat played in November, Allen famously attempted to high-five Garnett, only to receive a cold shoulder and be completely ignored.

MANNIX: Team-by-team previews for 2013-14 season

Pierce, meanwhile, said that he was “very surprised” that Allen left and that the decision “definitely hurts,” saying in April that he still wasn’t ready to talk to Allen about it.

Finally, former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers opined that Allen “absolutely” made the wrong choice, that Allen had wanted a bigger role on offense and that Allen was “bothered” by the fact that he didn’t start for Boston in his final season there. One year later, Rivers — who still had three years left under contract with the Celtics — engineered his own exit from Boston after admitting that he didn’t have the stomach for a rebuild.

63 comments
Zebede
Zebede

I actually like this article.It's clearly outlines , Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnet 's hypocrisy.

KareemaMaureen
KareemaMaureen

Rob Mahoney you are obviously a heat's fan. Next time you write an atricle try to hide who you are siding with a little bit better.

chuckwx55
chuckwx55

KG...remember...Lebron ain't got no worries...KG is, had, and will always be an idiot.  I admire his heart and hustle.  He is very talented.  But dude, really?  Lebron called you out on some real ish and you come back with this.  Would have been better off saying sorry to Ray Allen and asking for a veteran minimum contract to play with the Heat.  Now you will fade off into the sunset with never winning another championship.

jamwalsh1981
jamwalsh1981

"He has nothing to do with Celtic business.” That sounds like you and this garbage article Mahoney. Did it ever occur to you and these fools bashing Pierce and KG that Allen leaving essentially killed the C's championship run and blew up the team? Or the fact that Brooklyn has nothing on the Heat when it comes to animosity felt by fans in Boston? Or maybe that Allen took less money to go to Miami?

ianforbes
ianforbes

KG's an idiot. Plain and simple. He preaches his sanctimonious BS about team loyalty, and then bounces to Brooklyn when he doesn't like what's happening in Boston anymore. Do as I say, not as i do, right KG?

ricdav12
ricdav12

There's no question about the hypocrisy of KG and Pierce. Obviously, KG's response suggests he is not happy when his own actions are accurately "called out". I expect more class from a "professional" basketball player than to dismiss his previous teammate (Allen) when the Heat played the Celtics last November. KG's diss of Ray Allen's high five validates Allen's decision to leave.

pete007
pete007

Mahoney, did you think to ask Danny Ainge about this?  No.  Idiot... Ainge has been looking to start fresh for quite some time.  I'm sad to see Pierce and KG go but it was time and the right move.  You should get all the facts before spouting off nonsense.  

David228
David228

KG is soft, phony tough guy, can't wait for Lebron too dominate him.

DAJS6
DAJS6

KG and Paul Pierce are hypocrites. And Pierce is called The Truth? He probably wanted to join Brooklyn so he won't get crossed over again by Joe Johnson. And KG should worry about the Nets because they'd be lucky to get 4th in the East, especially if he's not going to listen to his rookie coach. And the Nets with the line up they have now is overrated.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

pierce and garnett didn't just leave on there own accord, as boston, because both of these guys were 10-5 guys, had full no-trade clauses, so the celtics had to get them to waive those no-trade clauses, and also remember how kg came to boston, was also via a trade

vick3
vick3

They're  hypocrites  and none of them (Garnett, Pierce &, Rivers) are man enough to admit it

slickwilly
slickwilly

The Celtics needed to rebuild and traded them because that's what rebuilding franchises do: they trade away players not in their future plans to recoup whatever value they may have. The Celtics wanted to resign Allen, but he signed with their arch-rival for a lesser deal. The two situations are hardly the same.

nunEEE6
nunEEE6

Don't like Ray Allen, think he's a whiner, but I wonder if Doc still feels he made the wrong decision after watching him hit an off balance 3 to save the Heat's season and the (short term) reputation of Lebron.  Talk about validation.

Mark V.1
Mark V.1

“Tell LeBron to worry about Miami. He has nothing to do with Celtic business.”

 Nor does KG.

BrianAlberti
BrianAlberti

What a snow job of an article.  Rob Mahoney should be ashamed of the level of bias in this piece. "Self-righteous fans" and Lebron's "valid objection"? Whose voice is this?  Let's not forget, this is stemming from comments from Lebron James . . . the same guy who strung along and then deserted Cleveland. And he's defending Ray Allen for deserting.  Let's not equate what Garnett (widely recognized as one of the most loyal players in history) and Pierce (future Celtic Hall of Famer) did with what happened in Miami.  Yes, I'm sure Garnett and Pierce were somewhat involved in the trade that went down, but the Celtics needed them gone and the championship run was clearly over. They just didn't fight the team. Allen left before the window was closed, and went directly to the Celtics' top competitor.  I'm not calling out Ray because he has kept his mouth shut, but to defend James as having "valid objections" to Garnett and Pierce being traded, is disingenuous and asinine.

Joe R2
Joe R2

Well, I don't blame LeBron for defending the guy that saved him from losing his third Finals and being considered the biggest underachiever in NBA history...

Joe R2
Joe R2

Is LeFlop too much of a moron to know the difference between jumping ship (like he did and like Ray Allen did) and getting traded (like KG and Pierce)?  

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@ianforbes He was actually traded.  But I agree with the rest of what you said.  I think it's kind of funny that he's telling Lebron to worry about his own team yet all he does is spout off at the mouth about others.  It's also funny to me how he's a big, bad tough guy to players that can't stand up to him but against real tough guys, he scurries away like a dog with his tail between his legs. 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@pete007 It's your post that's nonsense.  Do you struggle with reading comprehension?  The article directly points out the pertinent facts here:  1.) Pierce made it clear in the press conference that he pushed for the trade, 2.) Garnett had a no-trade clause he deliberately and voluntarily chose to cast aside so he could jump ship.

Whatever Ainge has to say is irrelevant.  Whether he wanted them gone too, is irrelevant.  Pierce and Garnett, by their own word and action, chose to leave Boston for exactly the same self-concerned reasons Allen did, and that's what's relevant. 

 A clearly apparent pot-kettle situation.  There's a reason why Pierce and KG's retorts were both so weak and half-hearted.  They know LBJ has them dead to rights.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@David228 Uh, look, I'm not the biggest KG fan, but suggesting that he's a fake-tough guy is just absurd.

Aguilas
Aguilas

@David228 Couldn't be further than the truth....KG was dominating when Labron was in diapers.....KG was one of the most underated players of the last 20  years.....all those days stuck on a bad Timberwolves team...LaBron is the fraud...couldnt hack Cleaveland after how many years??  

mystafugee
mystafugee

@CobyPreimesberger Yes, but we'll all pretend they just bled Celtic green and ignore the whole "they waived their no-trade clauses to leave."

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@slickwilly The Celtics suddenly only wanted to resign Allen solely because they knew Miami wanted him.  The fact is the Celtics repeatedly tried to trade Allen before he reached free-agency.

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@nunEEE6, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@nunEEE6 "Don't like Ray Allen, think he's a whiner"

What you think is foolish bordering on idiocy, then.  Ray Allen has a long and well-established career of being one of the most ultra-professional, taciturn, and classiest players in the NBA.  Ever.  

A whiner?  Only if you're a visitor from some bizarro-world alternate dimension, I guess.

lionoah
lionoah

@BrianAlberti No, the point is that Garnett, Pierce and Rivers had a lot of beef with Allen and his move and the reasons and whatever went down. It was ugly how the Celtics showed him very little respect in regards to starting, trade attempts, Rondo...

Now, when things aren't quite so good for the other guys and they do the same thing in principle...

mystafugee
mystafugee

@BrianAlberti I don't recall Miami contending for NBA titles the past couple of years before Lebron came...just saying.  

Joe R2
Joe R2

@BrianAlberti 

Mahoney, like most of the media, slurps LeBron just like most of his 12 year old bandwagon fans.  Nothing new.... The only surprising part of this is that Mahoney doesn't work for ESPN...

Kool
Kool

@Joe R2  

So you mean the players cannot make the decisions of you future? but when the franchise is trying to trade you can?  Wake up dude. Allen knew at that time that to get a championship you need a younger team. KG and PP were not able to thin about the future..:)

XCBeza
XCBeza

@KristianColasacco @jamwalsh1981 actually you're wrong. Rondo's ACL tear ended it, had Rondo stayed healthy im pretty sure they would've went on a deep playoff run like they always do.

mystafugee
mystafugee

@leehwgoc @David228 He is a fake tough guy, you notice he only takes on guys who are weaker than him.  That's the epitome of a fake tough guy.  

myhandlerules
myhandlerules

@Aguilas @David228 You can't call any MVP winnter "underrated." That word applies to things that people don't generally pay attention to. He is a fake tough-guy though, since he's one of the cheapest players since... ever? I'll never forget the play where he punched a guy in the nuts as he went up for a shot, then stuck a foot out so the guy could cripple himself as he landed. Garnett is one of the cheapest, lowest-class scumbags to play in a long time.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@Aguilas @David228

".LaBron is the fraud...couldnt hack Cleaveland after how many years??"

Sort of how like how KG couldn't win in Minnesota after how many years, and how Pierce couldn't win in Boston after so many years (until he got superstar help).

RiversDee
RiversDee

@mystafugee @CobyPreimesberger Paul DID NOT have a no-trade clause..ONLY KG. Ainge tried to trade both of them, including Rondo, during the regular season last year but plans were scratched when Rondo partially tore his ACL. When the season ended, Doc wanted to leave because he KNEW Ainge was getting rid of Pierce and that KG would not want to stay without him and choose to retire. Pierce asked KG to waive his no-trade clause if he were to be traded along with him to Brooklyn. Therefore, their situation was TOTALLY different than Allen's.


Joe R2
Joe R2

@Kool @Joe R2 

True, Allen looked out for himself.... But KG and Pierce have a little something called loyalty.  I'm not a fan of any of them but I have more respect for the guys that stayed the course and didn't jump ship.

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@XCBeza @KristianColasacco @jamwalsh1981 LMAO.  No.  Ainge might have been the only one in Boston that knew it but he and the rest of the world were able to see reality.  Why do you think he was in desperation mode trying to trade anyone and everyone he could? 

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@mystafugee @leehwgoc @David228 The guy dominated everyone in the paint for years with the T-Wolves, and continued to do so for the first few years of his C's career. Then he got old.  Not his fault.

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@BryanCustard @RiversDee @mystafugee @CobyPreimesbergerThat's incorrect. "

There are four players with full-blown no-trade clauses built into their contracts — a privilege that comes to players who have eight seasons in the league, and four with the same team, and only when the clause is specifically negotiated into a new deal.

Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan all fall into this category — as if we expected any of them to be changing teams this season, anyway." 

Source:  http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/13/a-list-of-nba-players-who-can-veto-or-block-trades-in-2013/

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

@RiversDee @mystafugee @CobyPreimesberger yes he did RiversDee. Its not built into the contract verbatim, but in the CBA. Any player that has 10 years of accrued time in the league, with 5 on same team has a no trade clause. You are right that Pierce didn't have one written into his contract, however, wrong in the fact that it did not exist

Mags
Mags

@LincolnLau @Joe R2 @Kool 

Lincoln, Pierce did not engineer the trade. He knew that he might be traded, so he had his agent tell Ainge that if he is going to be traded, he'd like to go to the Nets. It wasn't until then that KG was talked into waiving his no trade clause. It's already been stated that he was thinking about retirement. Allen was gone. Doc was gone. Pierce was going to Brooklyn, and given that Ainge wanted to rebuild and wanted to trade KG, KG finally agreed and looked towards the new situation. 

I am not saying Allen was wrong, but the situation with PP and KG is completely different. In fact, I am surprised by just how many people are missing this. 

LincolnLau
LincolnLau

@Joe R2 @Kool Dude, that's the core of this article: They did. Piece had an active role engineering the whole thing, bringing KG on board, and KG had a clause in his contract to veto any trade deal concerning himself. That he didn't active this clause can only mean he wanted to leave Boston for a better lineup.