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Charlie Villanueva claims Kevin Garnett called him a cancer patient, challenges Garnett to a fight – all via Twitter

At 2:14 a.m., Charlie Villanueva tweeted:

KG talks alot of crap, he’s prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him

That led to a lot of groaning from Pistons fans about Villanueva. The rest of the relevant tweets:

Ben Gordon:

@CV31 oh sit


KG called me a cancer patient, I’m pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he’s tossing it like it’s a joke,


I wouldn’t even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place 4 those


@CV31 wow! Smh..

Austin Daye:

@CV31 wow that’s crazy!!!!

My response

If true, what Garnett said is pretty abhorrent. But it’s also clear why he said it. He said it to win a basketball game. He said it to get under Villanueva’s skin. He said it to knock Villanueva off his game.

That said, there are consequences to your actions. I’m behind anyone who wants to criticize Garnett for his statements. Garnett, again if true, chose winning over being a respectable human being. Sometimes, we get so caught up in sports that we find that decision acceptable, even honorable. We shouldn’t.

That said, Villanueva probably made a mistake with his tweets.

Usually, I’m not going to chastise a player for speaking his mind. The media tends to do that so often. Complain when a player speaks only in clichés, and when he says something controversial, crucify him. I hate that, and I want to avoid it here.

I appreciate Villanueva’s comments as a basketball fan. In a Sports Illustrated poll, NBA players named Garnett the league’s biggest trash talker by a wide margin. Villanueva provided context and gave us more access to the inner-workings of the NBA. That’s a good thing for us.

But Villanueva also set himself up for trouble. I don’t expect Garnett to choose respectfulness over winning the next time, either, and now he knows how to push Villanueva’s buttons.

Unless he doesn’t. Villanueva has had alopecia since he was a child. I’m sure this isn’t the first time someone made fun of him for looking like a cancer patient. Villanueva, like everyone, has buttons that can be pushed, but maybe after all these years, cancer-patient jokes isn’t one of them. Maybe he’s playing Garnett. If Garnett believes cancer is the button to push, he’ll focus on that and avoid the correct button next time.

My advice to Villanueva: whether that last paragraph is true or not right now, make it true before you next play the Celtics – for your own sanity.


  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PistonPowered Feed, Patrick Hayes. Patrick Hayes said: From @PistonPowered: Charlie Villanueva claims Kevin Garnett called him a cancer patient, challenges Garnett to a … http://bit.ly/djBLVe [...]

  • Nov 3, 201012:14 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    This isn’t the first time KG has picked on someone who was kind lame to pick on:
    And Ben Wallace summed up KG best when Ben was with the Cavs:
    “Does he handpick his battles, is that what you want to know?” Cleveland’s Ben Wallace says with a hearty laugh. “Well, that’s the word on the street. All I know is, he’s never said anything to me.”

  • Nov 3, 201012:57 pm
    by Laser


    did i read it wrong or did he just challenge garnett to a twitter fight?? garnett doesn’t stand a chance! when anyone thinks of villanueva, the very first thing that comes to mind is “twitterer.” bring it, KG.
    There’s something obnoxious about the best player on the floor talking trash to a team that’s equivalent to a high school up against Duke. it was the easiest W they’ll get all year, because every other team in the league is at least going to throw their leader/go-to guy at you and at least put up some sort of a fight. or maybe a coach to make one or two adjustments a game.
    KG has this reputation. he’s a sh*t talker. i always got the impression he was one of the biggest jerks anyone ever played against. and worst of all, he could back it up. nobody wants to play against that guy. but i don’t think a basketball game (pidk-up or pro) is an excuse to say vicious, personal things you wouldn’t say otherwise. and i believe villanueva, simply because he put it out there. KG would let you’d know if he didn’t say it. there’s something awkward and childlike about villanueva’s tweets, but KG still looks worse.

  • Nov 3, 20101:09 pm
    by nuetes


    I’m more shocked CV made it public than I am that KG said it. You can’t tell me that is the first time CV has been called a cancer patient.
    I love KG. He’s old school. He’s not in this thing to make friends. There aren’t too many of those guys left. He wants to be hated, and then he wants to beat you. It’s great how Pistons fans embrace the bad boys, who loved to be hated, yet some want to complain about KG talking some smack to CV. I hope the next time they play KG looks at CV rubs his eyes and gives him the old cry baby routine.

  • Nov 3, 20102:04 pm
    by detroitpcb


    CV should put some of that energy towards playing defense and getting rebounds.
    CV ain’t nothing but a scorer. You say he had a good game last night but i didn’t see it. He got abused every time Boston went after him. All he did is score a few points on the other end.

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