2020 Basketball Hall of Fame finalist Kevin Garnett revealed that during his rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he once tried to trash talk Michael Jordan during a game against the Chicago Bulls. Garnett ended up paying dearly for his youthful exuberance.
Unlike Tim Duncan, who Garnett revealed this week was sneakily one of the best trash-talkers he ever played against, no one has ever questioned His Airness’ ability to talk smack. That is, except for maybe greenhorn rookies who think they they can step on Superman’s cape and get away with it.
During Garnett’s recent appearance on All The Smoke for All-Star Weekend, the big man from Chicago shared one of his favorite MJ stories.
“We’re in Chicago, it’s my rookie year, second half of the year. You know, how you done caught on now, right?” said Garnett. “Now you got your little one-two movies, you’re gettin’ ’em all, you got some confidence, right? So I’m in that.
“J.R. (Isaiah Rider) is having a good game,” he continued. “So as we come out of the time out, just, I’m on, y’all, I can’t even explain. I was like, “Yo, keep killin’ that n—-, own him, yo, straight up, you’re having a good game, keep going.’ So as I’m walking off, he’s right here. Mike can hear me. But I don’t really give a fuck so I double back. ‘Keep killin’ that n—-, keep killin’ that mofo.’
“As I say that, I feel it. Hands on hips, legs locked. Then he stared at me for about 15 seconds,” Garnett recalled. “So I start to feel it. There’s two ways you can go in this. I can walk this off like I don’t even feel him and play it off and dummy out, but fuck that, I’m in here, I got 70 (people in the stands)…. I’m on. I’m on.
“So I hear J.R. go, ‘Alright fellas, yeah, keep going, you too.’ So he’s trying to get me off,” he continued. “I don’t even… now that I recall it he was trying to kind of get off a little bit. So I double back and get ready to say something, and he goes, ‘Hey look, Mike, he don’t even know…” I see him and Mike having a conversation, ‘He don’t even know. He’s excited.’ So now MJ on the back leg joint.
“I can’t even really describe the next six to seven minutes of play, y’all. In the next six to seven minutes of play, y’all, we get two. not one, two 10-second calls. You know, when you bring that ball up? Two 10-second calls. We down 25 now, it was just at two. Mike had 18, he had 40 now. J.R., myself, we ain’t scored in like, about four minutes. Then Flip subbbed like three of the starters, Finally, Flip… it got bad quick, yo.”
Garnett added that went he went back to bench, completely out of breath from feeling like he’d been on defense forever, he told Rider, “My bad. My bad, yo, I’m sorry, man. I’m sorry.”
“He told me, ‘It’s cool, man. I told you… just shut your ass up. You’re not funny.'”
When Jordan saw them sitting he walked by and said, “Damn, ya’ll done?”
“Never talked shit to Mike ever agin in life,” Garnett said to close the story.
Watch Garnett’s entire appearance below…
And check out trailer for the Showtime documentary featuring Garnett that will air this coming fall.