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Blatche vs. Garnett: "I can feel his lips"

Michael Lee aptly described the late-game run-in between Kevin Garnett and Andray Blatche from Sunday night, as the Celtics stormed back in the fourth quarter to beat the Wiz. Here's from Mike's game story.

"We beat ourselves by getting them energized, which got their crowd energized," Saunders said. "Dray is wolfing the whole time at Kevin Garnett. You can't do those kinds of things. When you're coming up and establishing yourself, you don't take a guy that's been defensive player of the year and is probably the best power forward and get that guy juiced up to play against you. You got no chance."

Blatche was noticeably upset and appeared to hold back tears as he explained his encounter with Garnett, which nearly got heated when Garnett approached Blatche and tried to wrestle the ball away from him. Blatche appeared to throw an elbow as Garnett continued to taunt him. Blatche later flung Garnett into a cameraman and sent him to the foul line for two free throws. Garnett smiled as he was helped off the ground. Reserve forward James Singleton said Garnett used his "veteran senses" to needle Blatche and get under his skin.

"I see myself as defending myself as a player. I'm a man, just like they a man. If a man is talking to me this close to my face," Blatche said, moving his hand toward his cheek. "I'm going to say something back. He has to respect me just like I respect him. I just, 'Get up out of my face.' He was this close in my face - I can feel his lips touching my cheek - I wasn't bragging saying 'Ah we winning.' It was 'Back up.' "

Above, via CSN, is the video. As a special bonus, there's a bleep during Saunders's remarks.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 8, 2010; 12:09 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Sounds like Dray got schooled by his idol. It's got to be tough, but he learned there's more than one way to win a basketball game.

Posted by: jimwest20 | March 8, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

looked to me like KG was getting abused by a young athletic pf and the only way he could combat it was to try and run his mouth because KG's game can no longer do the talking He didn't make a shot from the field and was getting his shot blocked during the game. So he tried getting in Blatche's head. Had Blatche hit that last turnaround jumper the Wizards might have won it was a good shoot just a pinch short. Blatche played well. KG is more fire than production now.

Posted by: jrwalkerivory | March 8, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Just learn from it and move on........ AB game is progressing. Wizards fans should be happy to see he has some passion for the game. Just remenber if you bark at the Big Dog he might just bite you.

Posted by: washwizkids | March 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope Flip uses this as a teaching tool, and not a beat down to cover his own butt. He's got some young guys playing with real effort who have pretty decent talent, too. Time for him to live up to that title of coach, and start teaching these guys what it takes to succeed in the NBA, and stop throwing them under the bus to make himself feel better after a tough loss.

Speaking of coaching, I was really impressed w/how Scott Skiles had the Bucks playing. They were playing hard, with purpose, and with a plan which they executed regularly. Now that's coaching.

Posted by: clfrdj | March 8, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

He was outplaying KG physically so KG did what a Vet who is getting outplayed should do, try to get into his head to distract him and unfortunately it worked. Blatche should have stayed calm, continue to outplay him, won the game and shook hands and said nice game. KG would have never tried to get into his head again. Now he will have to deal with KG doing the same thing again the next time they play. How can he challenge your manhood when you are clearly outplaying him and winning the game? KG was the desperate one not you Blatche. KG is laughing at you after the game saying he may have won the one on one matchup but we won the game. KG will take that every time. Blatche needs to understand that the better he plays the more the veterans will try to get in his head to slow him down. Now flip you have a big man who is showing up, time to work with what you have and win some games. Its also time for McGee to hit the weights and get a good big man coach to teach him some signature moves that he can rely on.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 8, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

KG didn't "win" anything. His teammates won (Ray Allen) and Randy Foye, Mike Miller, and Flip Saunders lost. KG is a no class punk who needs to draw attention to himself by thumping his chest constantly.

Posted by: mschmall625 | March 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Saunders is starting to look like a moron...I personally would not want to play for a guy like that.

Posted by: bobilly2 | March 8, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I remember many years ago Garnett tried this on a young Tim Duncan. KG got in his face, screaming, spit flying from his mouth ... Duncan just smirked at him and played his game. The Spurs won.

Point is, the manhood thing doesn't count for anything. Garnett just used a young man's sensitivity about his manhood to help win the game without scoring a point. And winning the game is the only thing that matters.

I'm glad Blatche was in a position to learn from this and hopefully turn it into a positive. This is why playing time is so valuable.

Posted by: jimwest20 | March 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

But what about Garnett???? Garnett should have been accessed a technical for taunting and then this would not have been an issue. Blatche is a "new school" player and like it or not respect and defending manhood is paramount to winning for many. KG does his antics to intimidate his opponent. He has really gotten out of control since he joined the Celtics. Blatche saw it as a sign of disrespect and hopefully the league intervenes before it really gets out of control. Play hard and shut up.....

Posted by: matrixcl55 | March 8, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

My old coach would have loved this: a big guy talking about man to man conflict, all while nonchalantly putting in his earrings. Coach was NOT into man jewelery.

Posted by: emrj | March 9, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

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