Kevin Garnett defended his teammate, Rajon Rondo, and ripped Kris Humphries after a tussle prompted the ejection of the two players in the game between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
“Rajon doesn’t like anybody messing with teammates or messing with brothers or family.,” Garnett said Thursday on WEEI’s “Mut & Merloni Show.” “It’s been how it is since I’ve been here. We have each others’ backs out there.”
Rondo spoke with NBA officials today, CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely tweeted, but there’s “no timetable for a ruling on whether he will be suspended.” Garnett said the team talked about the incident after practice in Waltham today. Of concern was Coach Doc Rivers’ comment that they’re “soft” for, among other reasons, pulling down only 16 offensive rebounds against the Nets.
“There’s only one way to respond. I would never think that I would be on a team that would be called soft. I’m not a hardcore guy,” Garnett said. “I’m not a gangster or thuggish or anything like that. But I am what you call firm. I do play with a physicality.
“I don’t really want to say that we’re soft, because there’s men in here. Where I’m from you don’t call another man soft. … Coach’s assessment, it is what it is. Whether you take it as criticism or he’s trying to make us better, it’s your call.”
As for Humphries, Garnett wasn’t terribly surprised by the incident Wednesday night.
“When you watch film on the dude, he’s always extra. We watched him on film the last time we played him in Brooklyn and he kind of gave Paul a similar type of foul, two hands, had something on it,” Garnett said. “Dude’s always been known to be out of control. He’s always tried to play the tough guy or whatever role you want to do it. It was a little extra, but it comes with the territory and it comes with the game. … I guess they’re trying to hold up to the whole Brooklyn mentality.”
Since it’s the naughty-or-nice time of the year, Garnett was asked what he was going to get Ray Allen, the teammate who bolted the Celtics for the Miami Heat. Garnett paused, then said, “Absolutely nothing. We have Secret Santas around here, and I want to focus on my Secret Santa.”