On T-Wolves Trashtalking
The thing everyone was talking about during Tuesday night's Wiz game was the Garnett trashtalking. He was going at it pretty hard with 'Dre Blatche, which, based on my conversations with 'Dre, must have taken a bit of work on Garnett's part. I wish I had a chance to ask Garnett about this, but do players must rate their opponents the same way journalists rate players. Like, there are certain players not even worth an interview attempt, because they will never give you a better quote than a random lamppost; journalists know this, and will make small talk with those players, but never turn the tape recorder on. Blatche is probably tops on the Wiz in that regard. Does that translate into monosyllabic, unquotable trashtalking?
Regardless (and this was also in the AP story and in DCist yesterday, but oh well), people wanted to ask the principals what was said. 'Dre's version of the conversation was indescribably dull; he said KG kept saying "I'm comin' at you" and "you ready?" and stuff like that, and that he [Blatche] responded by saying things like "bring it" and "show me something." When we asked DeShawn Stevenson what KG was saying, he gave a better answer: "I can't say it on TV." But we did get Blatche to rate KG as a talker: "Top 10," he said. "Top five. Top three." If we had given him a few more minutes, we would have gotten into negative numbers.
Anyhow, reporters also asked KG what was said. Here's Michael Lee's transcript, live from the T-Wolves locker room.
Asked about the words between him and Blatche?
KG rolled his head side to side.
Later asked about Blatche's game?
"Next question," he said
Nothing but respect. Love it. Luckily, there was another trashtalking battle going on, and at least one of the participants was willing to talk. This from a widely circulated e-mail from Wiz Heckler No. 1, Unsilent Majority, who helped fans engage the 'Wolves Ricky Davis in a civil conversation. This is long, but worth it:
Within two minutes of the tip off Ricky was already running his mouth, his target of course was Gilbert. The next time down court one of the regulars in my section screamed out "Shut up Ricky!"...innocent enough don't you think? Well Ricky immediately displayed his world class composure by hitting an uncontested jumper and following it up by looking in our direction and screaming "Shut up!" right back. From that moment in the first quarter we knew we'd be ["playing"] with him the rest of the night.
The taunts were all over the place. At first it was just a group of about five but it started to grow steadily. Most of the initial insults had to do with the trade deadline. He seemed to get flustered every time we suggested McHale was going to trade him at halftime (to the Celtics or Grizzles depending on who was yelling). Every time one of us started chiming in he'd look over and usually yell something. At one point I told him "not only do you suck, but you're ugly too." I'm not sure what he said back to me but it took so long that he never made it back on defense (this would become a theme throughout the night). The entire first half our small section of diehards was all over him. We were throwing out references to all the stupid ["stuff"] he'd pulled in the past, especially his phantom triple double. Even though he had nine points in the first seven minutes he couldn't stay out of foul trouble and found himself on the bench.
Eventually he came back only to roll an ankle which of course prompted a whole lot taunts along the lines of "walk it off ["wimp"]!" Two trips down the court and he picked up a third touch-foul. And he headed to the bench with a disgusted smirk on his face. That's when the "RI-CKY" chants started up, at one point we had about fifty people chiming in. But that was nothing, all of this ["stuff"] was building up to one seminal moment.
At one point in the second half (I don't remember when exactly, stupid beer) the same guy stood up and once again told Ricky to shut his mouth. We were calling him names and whatnot and then it happened. Out of nowhere (just another random insult) he turned to the guy and asked something along the lines of "where's your woman at?" He was sitting next to a guy so Ricky kept on him and made some borderline inappropriate gestures/comments (for an NBA player). At the next stoppage in play Ricky looked over and said something before turning around and grabbing his ["bottom"]...."
Most of the rest of the e-mail is probably not fit for publication, but the point is, the dialogue reached a point where Ricky Davis was miming what he took to be homosexual behavior, on the court, for the benefit of his Wizards hecklers. Solid. When Unsilent called me to tell me what had happened, I asked Michael Lee if he could ask Ricky about the hecklers.
"Anytime you got home-court advantage like that, it's a beautiful thing," Ricky said. "I love that. I have fun with it, when they talking. I'm hoping Minnesota get that rowdy."
"What did they say," Michael Lee asked.
"I wasn't paying attention that much," Ricky said. "I didn't pay attention to all that."
So I guess you can believe the NBA player or the anonymous blogger, whomever you choose.
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