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Joakim Noah says Kevin Garnett uses ‘cheap shots’ to throw guys off their game

Jan 19, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Chicago Bulls' Noah celebrates basket against Boston Celtics' Terry during NBA basketball game in Chicago Reuters

The Bulls beat the Celtics in overtime on Friday, on the strength of a couple of big plays that went their way down the stretch of both regulation and the extra session.

Joakim Noah continued his All-Star caliber play, especially defensively where he was able to hold Kevin Garnett to just 5-16 shooting. He was asked afterward how he did it, and used the opportunity to let loose on Garnett’s style of play once again.

From Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago:

“(I was) just playing defense,” Noah said. “Just playing sound defense, just contesting his shots, he’s a helluva competitor, he’s always on some bulls—. Always on some bulls—.”

Noah was asked for clarification of what Garnett was doing that upset him.

“Just trying to throw elbows,” Noah said of Garnett. “Cheap shots, just trying to get you off your game. But he’s a vet, he’s been doing this a long time but it’s all right.”

This isn’t a new opinion from Noah. He called Garnett a dirty player during the 2010 Eastern Conference playoffs, but unlike Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks, who let Garnett get to him a couple of weeks ago, Noah ignored the nonsense and simply played his game.

The Bulls and Celtics both play hard-nosed defensive basketball, so it isn’t a surprise that Noah and Garnett had multiple run-ins throughout the course of the night. Let’s just hope we see these two teams go head to head in the postseason for a seven-game series.

  1. j0esixpack - Jan 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Yes, Garnett is awful, saying bad things to oppossing players instead of boosting their self confidence with positive affirmations.

    You know, come to think of it, perhaps Garnett SHOULD try complimenting opposing players and telling them how great they are.

    They’d probably be so thrown off their game, he’d have a huge advantage

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      Most stupid people try to justify their moronic ideas by suggesting you completely go in the extreme opposite direction, as it’s one way or the other.

      This is an excellent example of that

    • somekat - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      I didn’t see Noah say “he doens’t say nice things”

      I can tell you this, if I played against Garnett, he’d of gotten an elbow to the kidney or a solid low bridge long ago. Fake tough guys like Garnett can rarely take the stuff they dish out, and are generally the easiest to get off their game

      • dangernearing - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        Yeah sure thats what you would’ve done. Some of you guys kill me with this ‘if i were in those shoes’ comments. Lemme help out. If you were there you’d get owned.

      • badintent - Jan 19, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        Loved to low bridge KG. It’s easy for me , being 6’4″ , I’d flip him on his head the same way the sub 6′ midgets tried to do to me when I be balling in the NY parks. Just wait for him to board with his back to me, then hit the hammies hard, TIMBER !

    • captainwisdom8888 - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Garnett has ALWAYS been a dirty player, physically and verbally. Year in and year out. And it’s my strong opinion that you cannot chalk it up as “passion for the game.” He struggles with his composure on the court. He is constantly calling people mother f ERs, gettin into little tussles, etc.

      There are ways that you can show passion for your sport without basking in negativity and constantly making enemies. Take a page out of Barry sanders’ book of how to conduct yourself with a shred of class

      Ha ha ha ill go as far as to say Noah has more composure than Garnett and he is a young buck

      • borderline1988 - Jan 19, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        The thing I can’t stand are the screens he sets. Every Garnett screen he pretends he’s been hit a little by the ballhandler’s defender and then uses that as an excuse to hold the defender back so that the ballhandler can cleanly go around the screen. If you don’t believe me, watch him next game.

        He absolutely should be whistled for an offensive foul every single time he sets a screen, but the refs never call it. It’s so frustrating.

        One of the best moments in the NBA over the last few seasons (I’m a Raptors fan so not much to cheer about) was when he got called for an illegal screen on Iguodala against the 76ers in the playoffs.

  2. pudgalvin - Jan 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    If the bulls are lucky enough to get the celtics in the playoffs, it’s not going to be a 7 game series.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      4 or 5 games and the Celtics are done

    • lmoneyfresh - Jan 19, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      Oh man, being 0-3 vs them, the celtics have the bulls right where they want them come playoff time…

    • somekat - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      They can’t beat the Bulls without Rose. He’ll probably be playing by playoffs

      C’s fans just need to get over it and realize that this team is done. Rebuilding should of started 2 years ago

      • gmsingh - Jan 19, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        Without Rose? How about Deng getting injured too. If the Bulls can beat the Celtics at home without their two best players who knows how far they can go when they’re full strength?

  3. knickstape84 - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Bulls been getting the benefit of the calls all year…. Should have never been a jump ball with pierce and Noah never… The Toronto game they got away with way too much also….

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Seriously. Two of the three games vs. Knicks they get away with murder all game and still barely win.

      • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        0-3 with Rose
        How exposing and embarrassing

      • dangernearing - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        No correction. Outside of Kidd, Chandler and Kurt Thomas that group is mentally weak, Knicks are a nice story but with Felton, Kidd, Shumpert, Anthony, Chandler as your starters you arent going far.

    • mannchise - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Stop blaming the Bulls for the calls the refs are making… All the Bulls do is play hard, give them SOME credit.

      • knickstape84 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:30 PM

        I give them credit but still doesnt mean they dont benifit from the refs. Bulls fans so sensitive.

  4. dadawg77 - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Have to love how the Bulls are playing with one arm tired behind their back.

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Pot meet kettle.

    • badintent - Jan 21, 2013 at 3:12 AM

      Or kettle calling the pot black ? Love how the Bulls only have Knicks to brag on , then dump 3 straight..Maybe they can call Kobe to come up with some fresh excuses ..ya think ?

  6. soopreme - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Its called trying to punk you!!!

  7. scalfor3 - Jan 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Noah and Garnett hate each other because they both play the same way. 100 mph, all effort, all the time.

    Of course, KG actually has a jumpshot (although you wouldn’t know it from last night)

    • somekat - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Not true. KG has been a dirty player for years. I’m not sure why so many people feel the need to apologize or defend him for it. He offers no apologies or makes no excuses for it.

      Like I said above, the easiest way to fix taht is to give him a few cheap shots. Fake tough guys are only tough when you let them be

      • andyhr17 - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Wow. You’re a genius! You must know more than anyone in the NBA does who has played against him for the past 17 freaking years! 17! Almost two decades and it’s as simple as just giving him a cheap shot! You should be a head coach! 17 years of people thinking he was legit and you discovered he’s simple a “fake tough guy”!

      • Kansachusetts - Jan 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Very astute. It’s such a shame that all the great players he’s played against over the years have been too dumb to figure that out.

        Give me a break. The people who outplay KG in his position are very few, and when the do so they do it by playing hard basketball, contesting for position on every possession, and by being great offensive and defensive players. Do they throw a few elbows and hug and grab uniforms and set marginally legal picks? You bet they do. And Noah was in there doing the same thing. Noah hasn’t topped KG yet, on average, because he doesn’t have the offensive game, but he’s coming along. Tim Duncan is another story. But over his career there have been very few who could fight KG to a draw, and the fact that he’s still so efficient offensively at his age is just amazing.

  8. legeisyaj - Jan 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Let’s see Noah actual win in the league before he tries to get over Garnett.

    • pantsfreezone - Jan 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      I dislike Noah and the Bulls (being a Heat fa in Chicago is gah) but this is a dumb comment. The Bulls are winners and Noah and Co. have won plenty including making it to the ECF in 2010.

      • andyhr17 - Jan 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        What exactly have Noah and company won, exactly? Whenever it’s brought up the Celtics went to two finals and an ECF it’s said they should have won so much more and all they won is one measly title. So I ask again, what exactly have Noah and company won?

      • pudgalvin - Jan 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        They won last night.

        and didn’t it take kg playing about 15 years and 2 other hall of famers to actually win something?

      • andyhr17 - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Wow. They won a regular season matchup! They should make themselves a trophy! Champions of January 18th! Yaaay!

    • dangernearing - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Dude Garnett won his in like his 12 th year. Relax with all ‘talk after won something’ BS. Garnett’s been talking (and foaming at the mouth ) for years. Well before he had hardware, just ask Tim duncan. Some peoples children, i tell you. SMH

  9. jzimmer84 - Jan 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    He was probably just trying to knock the ugly off of him, which is impossible.

  10. themagicfanguy - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    You calling him a “fake” tough guy shows how little you know. A fake tough guy wouldn’t make it a priority to piss off real tough guys like Noah, unless he’s a “fake” tough guy too? Is he dirty? Yes. Fake? No.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 19, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      I don’t know…I think KG is a fake tough guy. And this “tough guy” persona was invented when he became a Celtic. If you look back at his playing days in Minnesota, he was a nice guy. In fact, when him and a few other young players were there, they called themselves the “fun patrol”. Look it up….he wasn’t always this “bash my head against the hoop” kind of guy.

      • andyhr17 - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Or possibly it’s just because now he plays for a more polarizing team that more people dislike?

  11. dangernearing - Jan 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    This guy has no clue @andyhr17

    • andyhr17 - Jan 19, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      Thanks. I take a comment like that coming from 80% of people who post here as a compliment.

      • dangernearing - Jan 19, 2013 at 9:03 PM

        Thanks for the update.

  12. eagles92 - Jan 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Hahaha all you cry babies crack me up count the rings ladies…. Count the rings….

    • dangernearing - Jan 19, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      Eagles fan calling someone, crybaby. Now thats funny. Didnt you guys boo, santa?

  13. infectorman - Jan 19, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Noah Sucks.
    Sucked in College and now he sucks in the pro’s.
    He has Zero offensive game.

    As for Garnett, I’m dying for one of you Hater clowns to define what a real “tough-guy” in the NBA is, because there aren’t any in today’s NBA.

    Moses Malone, Darryl Dawkins, Charles Oakley…they were tough.
    Joakim Noah tough????
    Wrong answer

    • borderline1988 - Jan 19, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      I agree, this whole ‘fake tough guy’ thing is kind of stupid. This is a basketball court, not the octagon. The best players in the NBA are divas…would you rather a supposed ‘tough guy’ or Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Garnett, etc. on your team?

      That being said, Garnett is a dirty player, who gets away with way too much nonsense.

  14. miamatt - Jan 19, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    This isn’t news. Garnett has always been an agitator, and while I am no fan of his, I don’t hold this aspect of his game against him. The reason Garnett takes cheap shots and talks so much s#&t is that it does take some players off their game and gives the Celtics an advantage in certain situations. Even if it only works occasionally, isn’t that reason enough to act that way if it doesn’t distract you in the process?

    • andyhr17 - Jan 19, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      Garnett is a classic case of of a guy who you love when he plays for your team, and pretty much hate if he’s playing against you.

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