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.”

[Read more...]

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 So in a way, Szczerbiak’s criticism had past legitimacy, but it seems outdated.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.