Tag:Kevin Garnett
Posted on: November 29, 2011 8:09 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 8:12 pm

Rumor: Celtics want Chris Paul for Rajon Rondo?

Posted by Ben Golliverrondo-paul

In a past lifetime, Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge was a all-state high school baseball player and Toronto Blue Jays draft pick. He hasn't stopped swinging for the fences since. 

SI.com reports that the always aggressive Ainge, who transformed the Celtics into a title-winner by acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007, is targeting New Orleans Hornets All-Star guard Chris Paul.
But according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, Boston general manager Danny Ainge is highly motivated to land an even better point guard than the one who led the Celtics to a championship in 2008 and an average of 58.5 wins in the last four seasons: New Orleans' Chris Paul.

Ainge, the sources say, has recently discussed trading Rondo in a deal that Nets Paul, but the Hornets don't appear interested in a two-team deal in which Rondo -- who has four years worth approximately $46 million left on his contract -- and Paul would switch places. So Ainge has been on the prowl for a third team that could provide the sort of young pieces Hornets general manager Dell Demps would covet as part of his possible rebuilding plan. The more pressing question, of course, is whether Paul, who can become a free agent after this season, would consider signing an extension with Boston.
With the Big 3 aging the Celtics are approacing a crossroads. Conventional wisdom dictated that they find a way to surround Rondo, a top-shelf, pass-first play-maker, with solid wing scorers and/or an elite big man. However, acquiring Paul would give Boston a point guard who is an exceptional play-maker while also being able to score in volume.

The problem here lies in Boston's ability to pitch Paul on its ability to win now and for the foreseeable future. Reports have surfaced that Paul's top choice is the New York Knicks, in no small part because perennial All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are locked up for multiple years. In Boston, Kevin Garnett's contract is set to expire this summer and he's whispered about a potential retirement. Guard Ray Allen, who is now 36, will have his deal expire this summer too. If both depart, that will create significant cap room to build around a duo of Paul and forward Paul Pierce but is that possibility necessarily more enticing than the situation that might be available in New York? 

For superstars to change cities, it requires a balance between what the team has to offer the player and what the player has to offer the team. Right now, Paul has more to offer to the Celtics than the Celtics have to offer Paul. With a few delicate roster makeover cap moves and/or the promise of the right free agent signing next summer, though, and the proper balance could be achieved. 

Earlier Tuesday, we noted that Rondo's name was beginning to float in rumor mill discussions. 
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 9:08 pm

Kevin Garnett 'smacked' Jordan Crawford?

Posted by Ben Golliverkevin-garnett

Basketball never stops during the NBA lockout, or so they say, and neither, apparently, do Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett's on-court antics.

Garnett, who has barked like a dog on the court, made his teammate cry on the bench, allegedly called an opponent a "cancer patient" and wasted hundreds of thousands of words nonsensically trash-talking anyone that comes into his vicinity, was up to his same old song and dance during a recent pick-up game in Southern California.

Yahoo Sports reports that Garnett got physical with second-year Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford
His indoctrination has come against old pros like Billups, yes, but with Kevin Garnett in the gymnasium, too. On this day, everyone was still buzzing over Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford’s mistake of talking too much to Garnett a day earlier. When Boston Celtics teammate Paul Pierce tried to do Crawford a favor and push him away, Crawford urged Pierce to let K.G. go.

“I thought they were just kidding,” Rubio says, and maybe Crawford did too.

There are hard lessons to be learned in this league, lockout or not lockout. Eventually, Garnett reminded Crawford about that with a smack upside his head, a reminder to Crawford, Rubio and the rest of them: Elders will be respected.
The Washington Post reports that Crawford and an observer had a slightly different version of events.
When asked about the incident, Crawford wrote back in a text message that nothing happened and added, “Stop believing everything you read.”

A person who was at the gym in Reseda, Calif., that afternoon also played down the incident, explaining that neither side really wanted to fight but added that Crawford refused to back down to Garnett.

The person said Crawford started yapping because his team was winning handily. Garnett got upset and two players shoved each other before Pierce held back Crawford. When Pierce let go, Crawford squared up with Garnett, then turned and walked away. Garnett tapped Crawford in the back of the head and Crawford went back at Garnett before cooler heads prevailed.
Normally, I would be the last person to condone Garnett's tired act, but this has karma coming to call written all over it. Crawford, a 23-year-old rookie who averaged 11.7 points and 2.8 assists per game last year, recently had the audacity to suggest that he believes he can be the greatest basketball player of all time. 

“I don’t tell nobody, but I feel like I can be better than Michael Jordan,” Crawford said in October.

The NBA universe spends way too much time caring about veterans initiating younger players into the league's culture and history. Yes, dues need to be paid, but they almost always are, and most young guys who don't get in line don't last very long in the league. But Crawford definitely needed a reminder of his place in the pecking order, a clear message that it's OK for an average player to want to be better than Michael Jordan but that it's not OK to say that you can be better than Michael Jordan. It's a subtle difference, sure, but it's one worth standing up to protect.

A vast majority of the basketball world wanted to chin-check Crawford after he made that silly rookie mistake declaration. It sounds like Garnett just beat everyone to the bunch.
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 12:54 pm

Rubio says Garnett talked up Minnesota to him

By Matt Moore 

Kevin Garnett left Minnesota without any of the acrimony that LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony faced. He was traded for what at the time looked like a quality set of assets, and said nothing but good things about the team during and afterwards. It's easy to call that lip service and to pin Garnett as some sort of double-talking traitor, but that's not the reality. And you don't have to ask him. You can ask Ricky Rubio

 Rubio spoke with the Minneapolis Star-Tribuneand revealed that KG was giving him a pep talk about Minnesota: 
The people are so nice. I talk with KG, too, and he talked to me great things about Minnesota. He said the crowd cheers very hard for the team. They love the sport. We have to fight to give them what they are waiting for us to do, to win.
via Rubio will be ready when called upon by Wolves | StarTribune.com.

This is why Garnett is still a hero in Minnesota when he returns. He could have torched Minnesota, but instead he's encouraging Rubio to invest in it, after Rubio has been lukewarm at best about the place (especially the weather -- insert temperature joke here). It's a sign of the positive feelings that Garnett still has for the team he spent so much of his career in. He'll likely end up entering the Hall a Celtic, but he'll always be welcome in Minnesota and continues to do right by the team. It's also great to see a player of his stature talking to a rookie in such a positive way. 

Rubio still comes off as concerned about the weather in the article, but he'll get over it. He's not going to be shoveling his driveway, he can have a driver in a hummer limo take him to and from the game, he can afford the nicest, warmest clothes possible. He's a big boy, he'll be fine. And by all accounts, when the season starts (if ever), the Timberwolves are ready to turn it around.

And KG will be happy for them.

Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:08 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 3:22 pm

Paul Allen emerges as latest lockout villain

Posted by Ben Golliver

The NBA lockout gained its first true villain when Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett allegedly helped hijack labor talks a week or so ago. (NBA commissioner David Stern and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter have been reviled for so long that they don't count as villains any more.)

Garnett, the story went, interjected into the discussions to stamp his foot down and launch into one of his patented intimidation acts, sending a message to both the league's owners and his own union leadership that he was there to draw a line in the sand. Garnett caught hell for this story, of course, because he's a bully on the court, he's stubborn, he's a little bit off his rocker, he was called uninformed as to the state of earlier negotiations and, most importantly, he's rich beyond his wildest dreams, having netted career NBA earnings of more than $200 million. 

But everything said about Garnett goes double, triple, or one hundred fold, for Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen. And, wouldn't you know it, Allen emerged on Thursday as the latest villain of the ongoing NBA lockout charade.

Hunter said in a news conference that Allen was tasked with telling the players union that the owners would refuse to negotiate if the players would not agree to a 50/50 revenue split. Hunter said he responded by asking whether they could table that issue to return to a discussion of system issues, and Allen only responded with silence. Shortly thereafter, talks broke down.

Allen is Garnett on steroids.

You want stubborn? Allen rode his pipe dream of running a cable company all the way to the ground, losing billions of dollars and eventually declaring bankruptcy.

You want off his rocker? He's currently being sued by his own ex-military bodyguards amidst allegations of illegal activity, his helicopter recently crashed during an excursion to Antarctica and, oh yeah, he's gone through two general managers and a vice president of basketball operations since the 2010 NBA Draft. He passes his time, including on Thursday morning, exchanging tweets about what rock song the Seattle Seahawks, his NFL franchise, should play at practice. Carroll plays along, of course, because he, like every Allen employee, knows his job depends on it.

You want "uninformed" on the state of the negotiations? Allen deputized team president Larry Miller to attend Board of Governors meetings and labor negotiations on his behalf. He put exactly the same amount of blood, sweat and tears into the possibility of a labor agreement as Garnett: none. 

You want emotional? Allen recently wrote an autiobiography that included many unflattering stories about, and a recounting of decades-old grudges towards, his Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, one of the world's greatest philanthropists. The book led to a falling out between the two men, who had been friends since high school, with Allen admitting during a television interview that Gates had stopped talking to him.

And, of course, there's the money issue. All you need to know about that is that Allen has a private island for sale, owns multiple yachts (one of which cost $200 million to make, nearly as much money as Garnett has earned during his NBA career), and has a helipad on the roof of the Rose Garden, Portland's home arena. Forbes pegged his net worth at $13.2 billion on a recent list of the 400 richest Americans, a figure that made him worth more than the next two richest NBA owners on the list, combined. 

Why, you might be asking, would the owners pick Allen, of all people, to deliver the hard-line message to the union that ultimately led to the disintegration of talks and all sorts of harsh accusations on Thursday?

Because he's so rich that he's immune to the criticism, as capable of buying silence and peace of mind for himself as anyone on the planet. A man who has been cleanly divorced from the common man for decades. A man who claims to have lost a billion dollars on the Blazers in his two decades of ownership and therefore couldn't care less about the fallout that results from a nuclear explosion in the middle of labor talks.

Allen refused to take questions from the media after firing GM Kevin Pritchard on the night of the 2010 NBA Draft and again refused questions when he abruptly fired GM Rich Cho in May. He doesn't care about accountability and he definitely doesn't care about the notion of a "fair deal for both sides." All he cares about, in the end, is pursuing his own self-interest to the max. Allen answers to no one, ever. If he can toss aside a childhood friend, business partner and colleague like Bill Gates, why are we or the NBPA surprised in the slightest that he is only willing to negotiate on his terms? Everything is take it or leave it with him.

Allen in the ultimate pit bull. Next to him, Garnett looks like a poodle. Did either man personally derail these lockout talks, which have seemed headed for disaster for months now? No. But if you were looking for an NBA villain, you got one on Thursday.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:26 pm

Report: NBA stars planning overseas tour

Posted by Royce Young

I think we can all agree that the charity hoops circuit is a little played out. NBA fans are ready for real basketball. From Washington D.C. to Philadelphia to Miami to Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, fans have seen their stars play glorified pickup games. It's getting a little old now.

So the players have recognized that and are taking the next step: They're taking their talents overseas.

No, not to play professionally. They're taking their charity games on tour. Via ESPN.com:
While the final details are still being worked out, more than a dozen of the league's best players are working to join forces on what would be a two-week, six-game, three-continent blockbuster tour, sources said.

In a trip that could resemble Team USA's takeover of the world stage at the 2008 Beijing Games, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Rajon Rondo, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer, Paul Pierce and Kevin Love are among the players expected to participate. Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett, among a few others, are also contemplating joining the tour.

The tour is planned to take two weeks and has been in construction for some three months by Atlanta business mogul Calvin Darden. While some players have actually reportedly signed contracts to play in this, there's a chance it could fall apart. One major reason being if a labor deal is worked out.

The tour is scheduled to start Oct. 30 and go through Nov. 9 with stops in Puerto Rico, London, Macau and Australia. Each game will be held in arenas with at least 15,000 seats. There's a hope to air the games internationally as well as in the U.S. too.

Here's the kicker: The players will make some bank off this too. The report says players will receive somewhere between a six-figure payout and $1 million. "Some" of the money will go to charity.

Here's to hoping the whole thing falls apart because the players are in training camp by then.
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:52 pm

Report: League official: Garnett halted progress

Posted by Royce Young

Over the weekend, we told you about how a few of the NBA's heaviest hitters intervened in labor negotiations, possibly halting some of the progress. But according to Yahoo! Sports, "halting" isn't exactly the right word for what Kevin Garnett did.
This fight has grown nastier, more personal, in the past weeks. Privately, management insists that everything changed when the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett walked into the negotiating room on Oct. 4. The owners knew it wouldn’t go well when Garnett started glowering across the table, sources said, like the league lawyers, owners and officials were opponents at the center jump. He was defiant, determined and downright ornery. He was K.G. Everyone knew Hunter had to cede to the wishes of the stars, and the stars demanded that the players stop making confessions to the owners.

As one league official said, “We were making progress, until Garnett [expletive] everything up.”

Well then. I don't know how one guy could walk into a bargaining environment that he hadn't been in yet and blow everything to pieces, but it sounds like Garnett may have done exactly that. Pointing fingers? Yelling? Just being Kevin Garnett in general? There's no telling, but according to this report, it wasn't good.

Players need to be involved because this is their deal. But with superstars comes egos. They've always gotten what they wanted and feel entitled to not just have their voice heard (loudly), but also for their opinion to be taken seriously. And that's likely what happened when Kobe, Garnett and others strolled into the talks.

It sounds a bit dramatic that Garnett "bleeped" everything up, but who knows. Labor negotiations are a delicate thing and maybe Garnett said something that made other players dig in their heels. Maybe he said something that ticked off owners and did likewise for them. Who knows.

All we really know is that it's Oct. 17 and there's still not a deal.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 2:41 pm

What players are losing the most in a lockout?

Posted by Royce Young

The whole strategy for owners in cancelling games is to make players miss paychecks. Maybe them miss out on collecting their large lump sums of money and ideally, you force them into taking a less than attractive deal.

That's the plan, at least.

The question is, how much will players be losing exactly by missing paychecks? We already know it's something like $80 million collectively per week, but who's taking the hit in their wallet the most? The Post Game did some crunching and here are your top 10 losers in this lockout.

10. Joe Johnson: $1,387,582.54 per paycheck
9. Amar'e Stoudemire: $1,401,361.92 per paycheck
8. Carmelo Anthony: $1,423,076.92 per paycheck
7. Pau Gasol: $1,439,550 per paycheck
6. Dirk Nowitzki: $1,468,682.54 per paycheck
5. Gilbert Arenas: $1,482,254.46 per paycheck
4. Kevin Garnett: $1,630,769.23 per paycheck
3. Tim Duncan $1,638,461.54 per paycheck
2. Rashard Lewis: $1,704,000 per paycheck
1. Kobe Bryant: $1,941,846.15 per paycheck

How did they arrive at those numbers. Here's the explanation:
Methodology: During the 1998-99 lockout, players lost pay based upon games missed. So, if a player missed one game due to the lockout, it would have cost him 1/82nd of his salary. However, since all players have slightly different schedules, we calculated pay on a paycheck basis.

Players are only paid during the regular season and receive checks bi-weekly for work that occurs the previous two weeks. The 2011-12 NBA season was supposed to have started on Nov. 1 and end on April 18. During the course of the season, that can be divided into 13 bi-weekly paychecks. The numbers were calculated by equally dividing each player's 2011-12 salary 13 times to find what they earn every two weeks during the season.

It shouldn't surprise you that Kobe is losing the most per paycheck in a lockout as he's the highest paid player in the league And the crazy thing about Kobe losing nearly $2 million per paycheck missed during the lockout is that he can recover that by playing one little exhibition game in Italy.

But it's always strange to see Rashard Lewis' name atop any of these type of lists. Yeah, I know he signed a massively ridiculous six-year $118 million deal a few years ago, but the fact he's second on this list blows the mind.

I know it's not big news to know that NBA players are going to lose a lot of money by missing paychecks, but it kind of stunned me just how much when broken down like this. I mean, think about two months missed for someone like Dirk. That's a whole lot of cash. Everyone says the players that will end up folding are the mid-level guys that make substantially less. I'm sure they will. But if I'm Tim Duncan or Kevin Garnett, I'm not exactly excited about losing $1.5 million or so every couple weeks.
Posted on: October 8, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 5:24 pm

Durant wouldn't give up $20 million over CBA

Posted by Ben Golliverkevin-durant-smile

On Thursday, Yahoo Sports detailed the active role played by Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett in the ongoing labor negotiations. Garnett, who is 35 and set to make $21.2 million in 2011-2012, has been urging his fellow players to stand firm in collective bargaining negotiations despite the fact that he stands to lose more money than anyone not named Kobe Bryant if the coming season is delayed or cancelled.

Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant said on Friday he wasn't capable of the same sacrifice that Garnett is prepared to make during a Twitter conversation with Nate Jones, an employee of the agency that represents him, Goodwin Sports Management. 

"Would u give up 20 million for the better of the CBA?" Durant asked Jones. "I wouldn't do it."

Jones rightly pointed out that Garnett isn't necessarily "giving up" the money, but simply putting the money at risk in the name of leverage in the ongoing CBA negotiations. Jones later clarified that Durant "wasn't saying he thinks the players should just accept 50/50," a reference to the owner's current reported down-the-middle proposal for a revenue split. The National Basketball Players Association has been pushing for something closer to a 53 percent share for the players, which is still down from the 57 percent they were paid under the last agreement.

This is a very interesting and honest admission from Durant, but it shouldn't be surprising, even though he is one of the league's brightest stars. His statement isn't evidence that he's a "greedy millionaire" and it doesn't represent disloyalty to his union.

Really, it's evidence that his perspective is shaped by two key factors: the presence of restrictive rookie contracts in the just expired CBA and his age.

Durant, 23 years old and the NBA's scoring champ for the past two seasons, has had his salary set in stone by the NBA's collective bargaining agreement for his entire 4-year career. Basketball-Reference.com puts his career earnings at $19.5 million over four years and while he has numerous national endorsement deals, there's a decent shot that after taxes and expenses Durant doesn't have $20 million in the bank. In other words, all Durant is saying is that he wouldn't give up what amounts to his lifetime savings to secure a stronger collective bargaining agreement. That seems to be a fair position.

Garnett, on the other hand, has banked some $270 million in salary over the course of his 16-year NBA career. Six times he was paid more than $20 million per season; another six times he was paid between $16 million and $20 million. Over the past two seasons, Durant has been in the MVP discussion and has been of similar importance to the Thunder as Garnett has been to the Celtics. Durant took home nearly $11 million; Garnett was paid more than $35 milllion.

While $20 million is $20 million, the relative hit that Garnett would take from such a sacrifice is peanuts compared to the impact a similar sacrifice would have on Durant. It's quite possible that in 10 years, with an extra $150 million in contracts in hand, Durant would feel differently than he does today. 
The worst thing that you can say about Durant here is that he's self-interested. That's no crime in the ongoing lockout or anywhere else in our country, a nation built on pursuing self-interest free of restrictions. NBA officials, NBA owners, rich NBA players, average NBA players, below-average NBA players, agents, stadium employees, media and fans have are all self-interested in this labor struggle. 

The bigger issue raised by these comments is where non-stars stand in all of this. Durant, now that he has completed his rookie deal, has a lucrative five-year, guaranteed contract coming his way no matter what. Indeed, he is set to make $13.6 million next season. For players without multi-year contracts and without the skills to ensure large amounts of future income, the temptation to take whatever deal is on the table and get back to work is very real, and increasing by the week.

Garnett has, without question, put his money where his mouth is this week. But his money, frankly, is unimaginable to the average player. It's virtually impossible for Garnett to lead by example here because his earned income, despite public perception, is such an exception, rather than the rule.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com