Tim Duncan reportedly strongly dislikes Kevin Garnett

In a brilliant feature penned on the reclusive Tim Duncan by Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated, there's an interesting little nugget about Duncan's most disliked foe -- Kevin Garnett.

In fact, Duncan hates Kevin Garnett. Hates him the way liberals hate Sean Hannity. This information comes from very reliable sources, who talk about how KG has made a career of trying to punk Duncan, baiting him and slapping him and whispering really weird smack into his ear. They talk about how funny this is, because the worst thing you can do as an opponent is piss off Duncan. Then, as Malik Rose says, "he f------ destroys you." Duncan's lifetime numbers versus Garnett's teams, by the way: 19.4 points per game, 11.6 boards and a 44--17 record, including the postseason.

Duncan is diplomatic about the topic. Asked if perhaps all those years battling Garnett have softened his feelings for the man, led to a Magic-Larry type of kinship, Duncan leans back on the couch in his hotel room and grins. There is a pause. A longer pause. Finally he says, "Define kinship."

Now the question is, who really likes Garnett at all? He's established himself as one of the top trash talkers in recent NBA history, is as intense a player as there's ever been, so it's kind of understandable that one of the most professional, understated players ever might not totally enjoy his presence.

Garnett and Duncan have done commercials together though, but then again, so did Magic and Bird. Is it a shocker that Duncan doesn't like Garnett? Um, no. The real story probably would've been if Duncan had said they're good friends.

Here's the fun thing: With the Heat hurting and the Spurs looking more dominant than any team in the postseason, there's a relatively good chance Duncan and Garnett could meet in The Finals. Now wouldn't that be something -- especially now.
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