To be the best, you have to beat the best. That’s why we have so many stories about players going at Jordan; players thinking they’re going to be the one to trash talk Mike and live to tell the story. They live all right, but they’re not telling the story they thought they were going to tell.
Kevin Garnett joins the long line of players who ended up apologizing to their teammates and Mike after stepping over the line. Knowing KG, you know he didn’t step over the line. He jumped it, stomped on it a bit and was loud doing it.
KG was in his rookie year – immediately, a red flag. The Wolves were in Chicago, it was the second part of the season. Garnett was accustomed to the league a little bit, felt like he belonged and was flying high at the time. He brought 70 people to the game, didn’t get much sleep and was still running on high energy. The game started good for the Wolves, and KG’s teammate J.R. Rider was having a good game. They were leaving a time out when the mistake started.
“As we come out of the time out, I’m on. I was just like ‘Keep killing that ni***.‘ You’re having a good game, keep going.”Kevin Garnett
As they were walking back to the court, Garnett realized Jordan was right by them and could hear everything. At this point, KG has two options. Stop talking, pretend like he thinks Jordan didn’t hear him and continue playing. That would be the smart move. Guess what rookie KG did.
“I don’t really give a f***. So I double down, like, ‘Yeah, keep killing that ni***, keep killing that motherfu****.’“Kevin Garnett
As he was saying it, KG could feel Jordan’s eyes on him. He turned, and MJ was there, staring right at him for 15 seconds straight. That was the second chance KG had to back out of it, but he had a lot of people in the arena and talked some more. Then he saw J.R. Rider talking to Mike, trying to calm him down, explaining KG is a young rook who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It didn’t really help.
“I can’t even really describe the next 6-7 mins of play. We got two, not one, two 10 second calls. We down 25 now, it was just at 2. Mike had 18, he had like 40 now. JR/myself, we ain’t scored in like 4 mins. It got bad quick yo! (On the bench catching his breath): ‘JR, my bad dog, I’m sorry’“Kevin Garnett
KG learned his lesson the hard way. He apologized to his teammate right away and said he was lucky for having veterans who understood he had to learn and they would sometimes get caught in the crossfire. KG also apologized to MJ when he saw him at the All-Star game, just to make sure the revenge would continue in games to come.
“Never talked sh** again to Mike in my life. When I saw him at the All-Star Game, I apologized.”Kevin Garnett