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Hawks co-owner calls Garnett dirtiest player in the league

May 10, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks - Game Five Getty Images

Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. has learned that in today’s world no place is “off the record.” In a world of cell phone cameras nothing done in public is hidden.

Gearon was speaking at a charity event in Atlanta that had nothing to do with the Hawks on Wednesday. Maybe he thought this wouldn’t be public, but it turns out the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Falcons writer was there and he got a recording of what Gearon said.

As every fan and owner does, he played the “we don’t get enough national respect” card, but he threw in a shot at KG for fun.

“Did you see what Al Horford did last night? The timeline for recovery for his injury is another three months. He’s not even supposed to be playing and Josh [Smith] should not be playing. Zaza [Pachulia] can’t stand up, but if we can get past this round there is a chance that we can get him back. So this is a team that is overcoming adversity. I wish . . . some of the national media or even some of the local media, more the paper than the TV guys, recognize how hard these guys are playing based on how injured they are.

“On top of all that, we don’t get any calls, which I know everybody always hears. But I’ll give you a stat. Last night, we are playing this old physical team. They are old. I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul. [Kevin] Garnett is the dirtiest guy in the league. We are playing Boston last night and they had two fouls the whole first half. We had five times that and we’re athletic.”

Is calling KG dirty really a shock to anyone? Even KG? Elbows and cheap shots are part of what he does. Intimidation and physicality is part of his game, particularly if you are an undersized guard.

People will talk about this being bulletin board material… no it’s not. First off, nobody has bulletin boards in the locker room anymore. They could put video of his comments on the high def televisions, but there is no corkboard to stick things on.

Second, the Celtics don’t really need this for motivation. Do you really think KG is going to be more fired up for Game 6 because of this? He’s fired up because Horford being back does change the series and Game 6 is really their Game 7 — if Boston has to travel back to Atlanta they are in trouble. What a rich guy in a suit said is not the motivating factor here.

Finally, if you want to get more calls tell your team to attack the rim and stop settling for jump shots.

And by the way Gearon, we all realize what Horford is doing. Him not playing is why I picked the Hawks to fall to the Celtics in the first place. His return changes everything, it just may not be enough to get out of the hole the Hawks dug themselves.

  1. mannyicey - May 10, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I know that many people would say that he’s crying and whining- but as someone who lives in Atlanta we have seen no emotions whatsoever. Additionally, we haven’t heard anything from the owners and they are really not seen at all.

    So to see a member of the owner team actually talking about the game and is showing some fight, that is pretty good.

  2. Justin - May 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    He also called water wet

  3. hwatt - May 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    “They are old. I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul.”

    Love it.

    For the record, I’m definitely in the camp of ‘the refs rigged the game’. If the refs were fair, you wouldn’t see everyone in the nba getting ticked nightly about the officiating. And most of all, go read the ex-ref’s book “Personal Foul” by Tim Donaghy. Foul calls are HIGHLY, HIGHLY subjective and refs can choose or not choose to enforce anything at any time, and it biases games. Call yourself naive if you like to think calls and non-calls are 99% pure and players whine for no reason.

    Still, the refs favor the talent that will bring in the most money for the league. So, what Kurt said is still good, if they attacked and got better as a team the calls would come to them.

  4. AlohaMrHand - May 10, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    The NBA should create an award for this.Call it the Bill Laimbeer award for “aggressive play”

  5. havok82 - May 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    This isn’t news, but he must forget that a couple years ago, the Hawks were routinely getting the calls in the series with Boston…including the games IN Boston. Coming out like this sounds like a call for the WAAAAAmbulance to me. KG has always been known to be dirty. Pachulia is a dirty player, too.

    Look, the refs in the NBA suck. A case could be made that there have been rigged games in the past (and may even still go on). When you allow people to make judgement calls and there is no visible punishment for atrocious work, this is what you get.

    • bozosforall - May 10, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      The only WAAAmbulances are located in Boston. Ugliest fan base in America.

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - May 10, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    KG is up there, but I don’t quite think he’s the dirtiest. He gets away with dirty, moving screens routinely, but I see dirtier play from a couple of other guys.

  7. pglive21 - May 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Everyone who pays attention to the NBA knows that Garnett is one of the dirtiest players in the league. Not as bad as Artest, but who is? Just look at the evidence.

  8. philiplewis1 - May 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Wonder if the NBA will ever wake up and realize they have a significant problem with their officiating (and some of their oddball special rules). The Super Bowl is a much bigger event than the college national championship as is the World Series, and Stanley Cup compared to their college counterparts. However, in basketball, the NBA playoffs can’t come close to the excitement of March madness. I dare say even the NCAA women’s tournament drew more attention this year than the NBA playoffs. Why is that? Because the NBA has ruined its game with stupid rules (continuation play, defensive 3 seconds, etc) and with inconsistent, unobjective referees who have chips on their shoulder. How hard can it be to find decent hard working objective referees. Instant replays constantly show how good MLB umpires and NFL officials are at their trade. The exact opposite is true of the NBA. Even simple “who touched it last” type calls are often missed. I doubt we will ever see this problem fixed. I wave the white flag of surrender and I’ll watch something else.

  9. sabatimus - May 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Sorry, Gearon, did I hear you correctly? Did you say “BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHDITTYBLAHBLAHGRANDSTANDWHINEWHINEWHINE?” Cuz that’s what I heard.

    • bozosforall - May 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      You sound like a typical Boston crybaby..which explains how you understood what Gearon said perfectly.

  10. ezwriter69 - May 10, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Garnett = Bill Laimbeer. Cheap shots, lots of yapping, lots of posing, but NEVER actually square up and fight a guy. Garnett = Laimbeer.

  11. rc33 - May 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Fight a guy?
    What’re you 9 years old?

  12. bozosforall - May 10, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    “First off, nobody has bulletin boards in the locker room anymore.”

    Apparently, the Patriots do…if you believe the idiot New England fan base, that is.

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