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Lawrence Frank defends Kevin Garnett’s trash talking

David Mayo of MLive:

Frank, who coached Garnett for a year in Boston, called the 18th-year veteran, "the Ray Lewis of football" for his ability to stay motivated throughout his long career and that if trash-talking is problematic for someone, then Frank suggested Garnett did his job, even invoking the name of Sun Tzu, the Chinese military tactical genius who wrote "Art of War."

"People have been talking trash for years," Frank said. "Some of the greatest trash-talkers to play this game have been some of our greatest players. You’ve just got to play through all that. It’s like when a referee makes a call you don’t like."

I don’t know what exactly Kevin Garnett says during games. I love trash talk, but perhaps naively, I believe standards of real-life decency shouldn’t completely end where the lines of NBA courts begin.

But I mostly agree with Lawrence Frank here. The best thing Garnett’s victims can do is ignore him.

Still, I wonder what Charlie Villanueva thinks about his head coach praising Garnett for the very thing that set off Villanueva two years ago.


  • Jan 15, 201311:26 am
    by Evan


    Kevin Garnett is a classless P.O.S. who I would NEVER want on my team. To be honest I’ve been waiting for the guy to get his butt whooped on for a while now, but any time any real confrontation comes his way he runs away like a girl. (See: McDyess/Garnett incident)
    Not only did the guy say that Charlie looked like a cancer patient to his face (then flat-out LIED about it afterword. I mean if you’re going to talk trash, own up to it.), he cracked a joke to Tim Duncan about his dead mother on mother’s day, and his most recent incident was from talking crap about another player’s wife. If anyone doesn’t think Garnett crosses the line, they are simply too stupid or morally inept to know where the line is. He doesn’t just “talk trash,” he resorts to way-too-personal attacks to try to rattle his opponents, instead of beating them in basketball.
    The guy is anything but professional, and one day he’ll cross the line again, and he won’t be able to run away fast enough.

    • Jan 15, 201312:46 pm
      by 19880607


      I would say the question of whether or not trash talk crosses some sort of line would be between the trash talker and the object of the trash talk. I have friends to whom I have said and have heard trash talk far far worse than anything mentioned here, things that we would never say to mere strangers by the way. I don’t think that makes us bad people. We just all know that we are trying to get each others’ goat. Garnett doesn’t care about making friends he just wants to win. Also, calling Garnett a “P.O.S.” is not a classy thing to do, it just puts you on the same level as him.

    • Jan 15, 20131:28 pm
      by tarsier


      I always look forward to Duncan Garnett matchups. Not only are they arguably the two most skilled guys to ever play the position, they genuinely dislike each other. They have a little something extra whenever going head to head. I don’t know of one other player Duncan dislikes.

  • Jan 15, 201311:27 am
    by Derek


    Since Ray Lewis is already the Ray Lewis of football, does he mean KG is the Ray Lewis of basketball?  That’s a stretch.  Ray is an equal opportunist attacker of all his opponents.  KG usually focuses on young players, Euro players, or the laid back players.  Ray faces his opponent’s aggression with equal if not greater aggression.  KG gets docile.

    Ray has no history of being dirty or vulgar.  KG has a reputation for dirty plays and vulgarity.

    • Jan 15, 20131:38 pm
      by tarsier


      KG is certainly vulgar. But a history of dirty plays? When? I don’t love Garnett’s methods of trying to rile up opponents. But apart from that, his game is a beauty to behold. His trash talking is much like the flopping of many other players. It’s unfortunate, but unless the league decides to disincentivize it somehow, it is just a smart approach to the game. If a few words can make your opponents play less well, how is it not smart to use them? Kevin Garnett plays with fanaticism and so much emotion, but very rarely lets it get out of control with his body, just his mouth (heck, even his mouth he is great at only directing at other players and not refs/coaches/fans). If everyone could stick to running their mouths at each other instead of getting into actual, physical conflicts, the world would be a much better place.

      Garnett is far from my favorite player. But he deserves a ton of respect. And if he were a Piston, I guarantee you guys would love him and see past his flaws.

  • Jan 15, 201311:48 am
    by Jano


    I can’t believe Pistons fans saying that after Rodman, Laimbeer, Mahorn, and all the bad boys there playing REALLY dirty, always playing with where the lines end and an intentional injury appears.

    Garnett is doing whatever it takes to win the game, just like the Bad Boys from the 80-90′s … Stop complaining about it and make YOUR OWN team to win!! That is how I see it. 

    • Jan 15, 201312:16 pm
      by Evan


      Jano – Playing a very physical brand of basketball is not the same as making fun of someone’s disease or someone’s dead mother. Did the “Bad Boys” teams do some dirty things? Sure. But it was far more within the realm of basketball than talking smack about another player’s family, for example. And if I were to find out any of the Bad Boys members said things like Garnett has, I would have the same disrespect for them. If you think that it’s okay to do “whatever it takes to win” you are a SCUMBAG. And if you think what Garnett does is fair and justified you clearly fall into the group of people I cited in my last post. Get some sense of decency, because you are obviously lacking with that post.

    • Jan 16, 20136:59 am
      by Derek


      The Bad Boys played smash mouth ball.  Hardnosed gritty innercity grind it out sort of stuff.  That’s different from telling a dude that lost his mother Happy Mother’s day MF’er.  Or making vulgar comments about someone’s wife.  Or calling another player a cancer patient.

      I could respect Garnett for being physical, if he wasn’t such a punk when cats turn around and get physical with him. 

      The Bad Boys punked everybody, KG looks carefully selects…

  • Jan 15, 201312:41 pm
    by Jopps


    No matter what team Garnett plays for, I will always be a huge fan of his. His intensity in attitude is almost a lost form of art in todays basketball. His trash talking only makes me love him more as a player. I don’t know what he says, but even if I assume even the worst things, I still love him for doing it. As an opposing player you just have to beat him in basketball, not in an argument. I do, however, believe he leaves all this stuff on the floor. Who knows.. still, i’m a long time pistons fan and I love that kind of game. It’s simply exciting. 

    Here’s hoping we beat the Knicks in London!      

  • Jan 15, 20135:31 pm
    by Guus


    Dear UK Pistons fans,

    A bit off topic, but I hope you’ll forgive me, for I didn’t know how else to contact you :)

    My name is Guus Teeuwen, a Dutch Pistons fan. Since I have great girlfriend who went through a lot of trouble to arrange my birthday gift, I am going to see our Pistons live in London. I’m over the moon!

    Now, I could use the help of my British fellow Pistons fans: I have to be at Stansted airport friday morning 6 a.m. (UK time), and have no place to stay between the end of the game (or the closing of the bar after the game :P) and my having to be at the airport. So I was wondering: would anyone have me surf their couch for a few hours to get some shut eye (maybe talk some Pistons and have a drink) before I am on my way to the airport? It would be greatly appreciated from one Pistons fan to another :)

    I’m not sure how we should proceed to contact one another (I’m on facebook: Guus Teeuwen, Eindhoven), but a reply to this comment would possibly get things started: we would find a way :)

    Thanks in advance,


    Guus Teeuwen

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