Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo didn’t shake hands after Game 7 (Video)

The Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 101-88 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday, and there was plenty of respect exchanged between the teams after the game. Well, except for the two Celtics who skipped out early.

Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo left the floor before the game ended and could be seen walking through the tunnel to their locker room, just like Paul Pierce did during Game 2. Coach Doc Rivers had subbed out his starters in the final minute when it was clear the team would not manage a comeback, and neither player stuck around to exchange handshakes and hugs like the rest of the team.

KG and Rondo are known as two of the more competitive players in the league, so it’s no surprise that they would be ticked off after seeing their season end. Still, it’s proper sportsmanship to congratulate the opposing team when you have been outplayed. LeBron James learned that lesson the hard way when he was criticized for walking off the floor after losing to the Magic in 2009.

Wally Szczerbiak backtracks on criticism: Kevin Garnett proved me completely wrong

When Wally Szczerbiak took a shot at Kevin Garnett last week and tweeted about him not being a clutch player, many people chalked it up to jealousy and fired back at Szczerbiak by reminding him that Garnett is a Hall of Famer and Wally was nothing more than an above-average role player. As an NBA analyst, Wally simply thought he was doing his job in being objective. However, his reasoning was flawed. Give Szczerbiak credit for admitting he was wrong after Garnett’s dominating Game 5 performance against the Heat.

“In our profession, our job is to be objective,” Szczerbiak said during an interview with WEEI on Wednesday. “We put LeBron on blast for not having the clutch gene. Watching K.G. throughout his career, now with Boston, I just threw it out there that, hey, let’s keep an eye on K.G. at crunch time and see what he does at crunch time. Because in years past, when we were with Minnesota, we had guys like Sam Cassell that took the big shot. Now with Boston he has Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. And to K.G.’s credit, why wouldn’t you defer to those guys at the end of games? They’re big-shot-makers. Paul Pierce showed it again last night.

“Having said that, K.G. proved me completely wrong last night. (He) made two huge free throws down the stretch and made a big 15-footer. If I’m one of the naysayers that’s helping motivate K.G. play at this level, then maybe the Boston fans owe me a little thank you. Because he’s just playing off the charts.”

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Retirement not out of the question for Kevin Garnett?

As the Celtics’ season inches toward its close, it also means the team soon needs to make a decision on its future. For a while now, there have been rumors that the Celtics will conduct a fire sale of sorts, splitting up what at one point was its Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, for those who haven’t been keeping score at home) in an effort to get younger.

But according to someone close to Garnett, KG might not even be available for the Celtics to offer on the table to anybody interested. Here’s more, from NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner:

But at least one league source who knows Garnett well thinks a proud, strong exit and, as they say in show biz, a chance to leave ‘em wanting more might be his plan. “I think that’s what we’ve been seeing in these playoffs,” the friend of Garnett said. “The way he’s been playing, it’s like he wants to go out on his terms.”

Garnett, whose contract is up this summer, has already been named in a potential signing with the Lakers (a gossipy nugget slung by Screamin’ A. Smith), which should totally thrill Celtics fans. There’s also been reports that the Nets would be interested in the 36-year-old.

But right now it’s hard envisioning KG anywhere else but Boston. He’s transformed from a Timberwolves transplant to a Celtic at heart. He’s shown he can still play. He’s shown he can still be the KG that can be a real tool. And it wouldn’t be surprising if he doesn’t want to display his skills and bravado in anything but a Celtics jersey.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Dwyane Wade stares down Kevin Garnett hard after clutch layup (Video)

Wednesday was an embarrassing night for Kevin Garnett. The 36-year-old forward went 6-18 for 18 points in an Eastern Conference finals Game 2 loss to the Heat. He let Dwyane Wade score a layup in front of him to essentially seal the game in overtime, and he was called out by Wally Szczerbiak on Twitter. As you can see in the image above, Wade stared back at KG hard after the layup.

Wade had 23 points including that layup, while LeBron James had 34. Many Celtics fans were upset that they didn’t get a call on Rajon Rondo’s drive to the basket a minute earlier, and they felt Wade committed an offensive foul on the play. If you watch the video below, you’ll see that there was contact from both players, so it’s just as well that nothing was called.

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Wally Szczerbiak rips Kevin Garnett for lacking clutch gene

Wally Szczerbiak caused a stir on Twitter Wednesday night when he criticized Kevin Garnett. The former 10-year NBA veteran and current CBS Sports analyst ripped his ex-teammate in a few tweets sent during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and Heat.

Szczerbiak also said Garnett was “horrible on both ends of the floor” in the Celtics’ 115-111 OT loss in Game 2.

Wally played alongside Garnett for six and a half seasons from 1999-2006. They reached the playoffs in five of those seasons, but they were ousted in the first round four of those seasons. In fact, Garnett was viewed as a stats guy who couldn’t win/lead teams until he teamed with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to win a title with Boston. So in a way, Szczerbiak’s criticism had past legitimacy, but it seems outdated.

Garnett has made plenty of big shots for the Celtics and come up big in several important games. I disagree with his criticism, but I’m not incensed like so many others who feel Szczerbiak has no place ripping on a far more accomplished player.

Kevin Garnett could consider signing with Lakers

Kevin Garnett is currently the fourth-highest salary earner in the NBA, but he’ll be a free agent after the season and likely to sign for far less than the $21.2 million he’s making. There have been reports that the Nets will be interested in signing him, and it’s possible he and the Lakers could come to an agreement.

During an interview with Mark Willard on 710 ESPN Radio in LA over the weekend, Stephen A. Smith discussed the possibility of KG signing with the Lakers and said that’s something the team should explore.

Smith pointed out that Garnett lives in Southern California in the offseason and that he’s friends with Kobe Bryant, so he believes it’s a possibility, especially if Pau Gasol is gone.

Strengthening the speculation is Garnett’s admission last year that he was pretty close to signing with the Lakers as a free agent in 2007.

Smith also says the Lakers would consider bringing back Lamar Odom. He says Odom “desperately” wants back with the Lakers, and that Mike Brown desperately wants him too. Smith says Odom would take the veteran minimum to return to the Lakers.

There were some other good nuggets in the interview such as the confirmation that Dwight Howard doesn’t want to come to Lakers, and the belief that Deron Williams will strongly consider remaining with the Nets.

KG is still an asset and will be able to help a team for at least another season, so it would make sense for the Lakers to be interested. I just know that wouldn’t sit well with Boston fans if he left to go play for the enemy, but it’s not like they haven’t seen that before.

Photo Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

LeBron James laughs in Kevin Garnett’s face (Video, Picture)

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and Heat went to Miami in convincing fashion 93-79. There was plenty of trash talk between the teams including a few exchanges between LeBron James and Kevin Garnett. The two exchanged words at the end of the third quarter, and had a minor episode in the fourth after LeBron grabbed a rebound, drew a foul, and just laughed. Video below via Eye on Basketball:

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