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Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce leave court without shaking hands (Video)

Kevin Garnett Paul PierceKevin Garnett stayed true to his competitive form to the very end. After the Boston Celtics lost to the New York Knicks 88-80 in a series-ending Game 6 at TD Garden on Friday, Garnett walked off the court without appearing to shake hands with his opponents. Teammates Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were right in front of him as they walked off the court and into the locker room.

Exiting the playoffs without congratulating his opponents on the court is a postseason tradition for KG. He and Rajon Rondo did it last year after Boston lost to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Neither player would apologize for not being sportsmanlike, and Rondo even said he wished the team had more “sore losers.” Though Rondo wasn’t around because he is rehabbing his knee injury, Boston did have more sore losers this time to join Garnett.

There actually is a lot more going on here than a matter of sportsmanship; there is a lot of bad blood between the teams. In January, Garnett and Carmelo Anthony got into it during and after a game. Then the Knicks angered the Celtics by wearing all black to Game 4 for the “funeral” of the Celtics.

Garnett is signed for two more seasons while Pierce has a $15.3 million team option. Boston could buy out Pierce for $5 million. Garnett, who is turning 37 on May 19, hinted in February that he would be retiring after the season. Pierce has indicated that he does not want to play for any other team. This may finally be the year both players call it a career.

If Garnett’s last actions on an NBA court were walking off without congratulating his opponent, it would be very befitting of his competitive personality.

Kevin Garnett hints that he is retiring after this season (Video)

Kevin Garnett signed a three-year contract extension with the Boston Celtics this past offseason, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he intends to play in the NBA until he is 39 years old. The Big Ticket’s numbers have remained roughly the same for the past three or four seasons, but it’s obvious his body is slowly breaking down. Despite that, he is still one of the more popular players in the league.

The fans selected Garnett as an Eastern Conference starter for the 2013 All-Star Game — his 15th All-Star appearance. Will KG’s 15th All-Star appearance definitely be his last? That would only be a guarantee if he retired.

“This is definitely my last All-Star game,” Garnett said after the Celtics win over the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night, via WEEI.com. “Y’all don’t know what I know. So, let’s put it like this: I’m more than grateful for going, but I’m not going to act like I’ve got more All-Star Games in me, so I’m actually going to enjoy this one with some friends and family.”

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Joakim Noah rips Kevin Garnett: He’s ‘always on some bulls***’

Joakim-Noah-Kevin-GarnettKevin Garnett is one of the most notorious trash talkers and trouble makers in the history of the NBA, and he was apparently at it again on Friday night when the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics in overtime. Garnett battled with Bulls center Joakim Noah throughout the night, and Noah ripped him after the game for playing dirty.

“(I was) just playing defense,” Noah told reporters, via ESPNBoston.com. “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. 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 held Garnett to 16 points on just 5-of-16 shooting, so he was effective in containing the 17-year veteran. During the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals, Noah called Garnett a “dirty player.” On Friday night, he admitted that he may have talked too much when he was younger. He also said that he didn’t feel Garnett crossed the line, but that he probably would have felt that way had the Bulls lost.

“Nah,” Noah said. “When we lose, I feel like he crosses the line. But since we’ve been beating their asses, I’m cool with it.”

At least he’s honest. As Carmelo Anthony — whose wife has earned a number of new nicknames over the past week or so because of K.G. — could tell you, Garnett has made a career of trying to fluster his opponents by saying or doing anything the officials will let him get away with. When you’ve been in the league as long as he has, you can get away with quite a bit.

Carmelo Anthony and wife La La reportedly having marital problems

carmelo lala anthonyCarmelo Anthony and his wife, La La, reportedly are having marital problems, which may explain why the New York Knicks forward lost it after hearing some trash talk from Kevin Garnett.

Melo and Garnett got into it during the Knicks-Boston Celtics game on Monday night. They exchanged trash talk, received technical fouls, and then Melo went after KG twice after the game. The two reportedly have talked since then to smooth things out.

Though Melo would not elaborate on what about Garnett’s trash talk upset him, he did say Tuesday, “it’s something you just don’t say to men, another man.”

We may have a better idea of what really went down.

On Tuesday, our friend Rob Littal at Black Sports Online reported that Garnett told Anthony that his wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. The line of trash talk was as odd and funny as it was inappropriate. But, according to the New York Daily News, the line may have been a jab at Melo rooted in the couple’s alleged marital problems.

According to the Daily News, Melo and La La are estranged and have been living apart for at least two months. La La used to attend nearly all of the team’s home games last season and even many of the road games. They say she had a long absence from Madison Square Garden before attending Monday’s game. They add that La La celebrated the New Year in South Florida without Melo, and that she has tweeted about him less frequently than she did last year.

Garnett has a reputation for being one of the dirtiest trash talkers in the league. He has proven that he will say anything to get in an opponent’s head, regardless of how indecent it may be. A few seasons ago, he called Charlie Villanueva, who has alopecia, a cancer patient. He also taunted Tim Duncan on Mother’s Day knowing that Duncan’s mother had died when he was a teenager. Garnett implying he had been with La La while she and Melo were separated sounds like something he would do, and it certainly would explain why Melo lost it.

We’ve already shared video of Carmelo waiting for KG by the Celtics’ bus. Below is video of their altercation by the locker rooms after the game:

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Carmelo Anthony waited for Kevin Garnett by Celtics’ bus (Video)

Carmelo Anthony was seen waiting for Kevin Garnett by the Celtics’ team bus after the New York Knicks lost to Boston 102-96 on Monday night. That reportedly was the second time after the game that Melo tried confronting Garnett.

Melo and KG got into it during the game and received double-technicals for jawing at each other during the fourth quarter. The two were extremely physical as they were fighting for position with about nine minutes left:

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Kevin Garnett: Media commentary is sickening

At age 36, Kevin Garnett has reached the tail end of his career with the Boston Celtics. Retirement is right around the corner for The Big Ticket, and he said when he is done with basketball, he’s done with basketball.

By that, K.G. means that he isn’t planning to get into coaching and is unlikely to become a television analyst. However, he did seize the opportunity to blast the media when Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports recently asked him about life after the NBA.

“Commentary is an opinion,” Garnett explained. “I don’t think people take the initiative to learn the player that they are speaking on. Everybody has something to say. Everybody was ‘great’ when they played. Ha. That’s not the case. Everybody has tough nights. You kind of hold athletes to a perfect standard at times.

“Sometimes when I hear commentating, it’s sickening. People who never played the game, people who never played in the league have an opinion, and that’s all it is. You are here to educate the watcher or the viewer. Sometimes it comes off as personal. I don’t ever want to come off like that. My opinion is my opinion about someone.”

Garnett added that commentating is not his “forte” and that when he has to speak after retirement — at, say, a Hall of Fame induction ceremony — it will be strictly from a personal level.

When we think about “sickening” media coverage, someone like Skip Bayless comes to mind. As comments like the ones Kevin Durant made about Bayless back in April remind us, Skip does not have the respect of many athletes because he is nothing more than an opinion — and usually a terrible one. However, offering an opinion about an athlete makes for good television. Media outlets want ratings, so they probably wouldn’t hire K.G. if he was opposed to sharing his opinion anyway. Although, something tells me Garnett would have plenty of personal opinions to offer.

Kevin McHale, Kevin Garnett share emotional postgame embrace (Video)

kevin-mchale-kevin-garnettThe Boston Celtics lost to the Houston Rockets 101-89 on Friday night, but that hardly seemed to matter to one of the NBA’s most competitive players. Kevin Garnett and other Celtics personnel approached Rockets coach Kevin McHale following the game to give him their support.

McHale returned to the Rockets just five days ago after nearly a month away from the team. McHale took a leave of absence from work on Nov. 10. Two weeks later, his daughter, Sasha, died at 23 because of complications due to Lupus.

Garnett and McHale embraced after the game and shared a particularly moving moment. The two have a long relationship that spans nearly two decades.

“Oh you know, KG and I, we go way back,” McHale said after the game, per Jonathan Feigen. “He’s a good guy. There will always be a special place in my heart for Kevin. We spent a ton of time together when he was a young guy. It was very nice. It was a long day for me.”

McHale was the general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves when the team drafted Garnett, then a high school player, No. 5 overall in the 1995 NBA Draft. Garnett quickly turned into the team’s franchise player, and McHale even coached him for a brief time. After realizing that Minnesota was a long way from competing, McHale generously dealt KG to the Boston Celtics, which instantly became a championship contender. Garnett went on to win his first NBA title in his first season with his new team.

In addition to the personal relationship the two men share, McHale is one of the best Celtics players in team history. He won three NBA championships with the franchise during the ’80s, and he had his jersey retired by the team. McHale is still considered a part of the Boston Celtics family, which is part of the reason why the C’s had such an emotional moment with him after the game.