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Garnett Punches Player in a Game

Wednesday, September 1, 2004; Page D02

NBA most valuable player Kevin Garnett punched a former University of Minnesota player during a pickup game last week at Target Center, cutting the man's face and chipping his tooth.

Garnett punched Rick Rickert, a second-round draft pick of the Timberwolves last season, according to several sources with knowledge of the event. Seven stitches were required to close the cut on Rickert's chin, said Susan Rickert, the player's mother, during a phone interview yesterday.

Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (File Photo)

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Garnett's agent and a Timberwolves spokesman declined to comment.

According to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Garnett's attack was unprovoked.

Rickert, 21, scored several times with the 6-foot-11 Garnett guarding him. Several other players began to "tease" Garnett about being outplayed, according to a source. When Rickert scored again, Garnett struck him without warning.

"Rick was surprised that Garnett reacted the way he did," said Rickert's agent, Mark Termini.

In November 2000, Garnett punched teammate Wally Szczerbiak in the head following an argument.

In other NBA news, the Charlotte Bobcats signed former Washington Wizards guard Brevin Knight and the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to terms with forward Darius Miles.

-- Greg Sandoval

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