…let me start with this story, because I thought it was the most personal and interesting. Kevin Garnett, often referred to as “KG” in the league, plays for the Boston Celtics. So he was playing the other night against the Detroit Pistons. Charlie Villenueva, who has a skin condition, plays for Detroit. During the game, KG – according to Villenueva, came out and said to him “You look like a cancer patient”. Now KG denied that and – this is laughable, but said KG said “My comment to Charlie V was in fact you are cancerous to your team and our league!” pfft, yah I’m certainly going to buy that KG!I have to be honest with you, I’m not really siding with KG on this…but Charlie was way out of line! Because he took private and made it public.
Let me ask you something. If you’re in trouble with your boss and your boss says to you “Chuck, come here”. When you walk into your boss’s office, what are the first three words your boss says to you? “Close the door”. If your boss rips you and says the exact same thing in front of your peers and colleagues, your boss is a jerk. But your boss says “close the door”; it’s intended only to be a private conversation.
KG did not grab a microphone during a game and say “Excuse me everyone, Charlie V is cancerous to his team and the league” noo, it was just a side comment, perhaps inappropriate. Celtics coach Doc Rivers sided with KG saying “he said what he says he said” I know that doesn’t make any sense, but that’s not the point.
You might say “Andrew, what’s the difference…Randy Moss, you killed Randy Moss in your rant about his inappropriate behavior!” Really? You don’t see the difference? Randy Moss publically humiliated somebody, in front of thirty other men. He screamed, pointed fingers, humiliation. KG under his breath, in a guy’s face bad mouthed him. If you don’t like it, confront him in the moment by saying “dude, that’s over the line, don’t give me that BS…that’s over the line!” You don’t go to your twitter account.
If I was a dad and I go to my daughter and privately scold her, it’s a teachable moment. If I do it in front of thirty of her friends, it scars her for life! If you can’t see the difference between private scolding and public humiliation, I’m sorry but there is not a lot I can do for you.
We view, as a society, public humiliation differently, we certainly do. If Randy Moss would’ve gone to that guy in Minnesota and said to him “dude, I don’t want to be a bully, I don’t want to say this in front of the other people…but this stuff doesn’t work for me, this is brutal. Got anything else?” We would almost see Randy Moss as compassionate “what a decent guy he is “would be the perception. Close the door; its bosses say to us within those doors, they say it in public…the boss is a jerk. But we’re the jerk when he shuts the door
And KG’s words are only public because a guy ran to his twitter account. Dude, really? In-game trash talking to your twitter account? Really? It should be noted that Charlie V, two years ago, got busted by his team and the league for twittering during a game. Dude, spend less time tatal-tailing on twitter… spend more time grabbing more boards and you won’t be on the Pistons!
Yeah I mean, sure KG may have overstepped some fuzzy, nebulous, tackful, arbitrary line…probably sure. But Charlie took personal and made it public, okay? Here is what I know…I don’t know exactly what KG said and I think he crossed the line…I think. But I know you don’t take personal and make it public. You don’t rip your daughter in front of thirty people; you don’t rip the guy in the food hall and embarrass his company in front of eighty people.
If you’re going to bang on every player in this league, iconic players…like Jordan punched players! Michael Jordan is the luckiest guy in the league because twitter wasn’t around during Jordan’s reign. He made fun of their stuff…Jordan was brutally vicious! Jeff Van Gundy, in an interview with ESPN radio, talked about the KG/Charlie situation. He basically said that if Charlie had a problem with that, he should’ve confronted him right there and then. Citing that iconic players in the past and present have probably done the same as KG, claiming that if tweeting existed in their era, they would all be ashamed of what they said.
KG didn’t do this five times a year, he didn’t haunt him, he didn’t stalk him, didn’t leave him messages at his hotel. He didn’t send dolls with shaved eyebrows to Charlie’s room. He didn’t have other players call him out. It was a one time, inappropriate, mean spirited in the moment opinion…okay? If players are going to broadcast all of this trash talking on the court , the whole world is TMZ.com! Nobody will say anything. Kobe can be cruel; MJ was the worst, Barkley…the guys you love! Larry Bird, Dr. J. The guys we love, were brutal
I mean Larry Bird and Michael Jordan and Gary Peyton, historically, we’re so foul mouthed and over the line, they make KG sound like a cub’s scout!