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Charlie Villanueva: Kevin Garnett Called Me a “Cancer Patient”

Charlie Villanueva (GETTY)

Kevin Garnett is widely known as one of the best (or most obnoxious) trash talkers in NBA history, but at least according to Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, he went too far. After Boston beat Detroit 109-86, Villanueva sent out a bizarre tweet about wanting to fight Garnett:

“KG talks alot of crap, he’s prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him,” Villanueva said in a tweet.

Villanueva, who suffers from alopecia universalis (a disease that prevents him from growing hair), later clarified that Garnett went over the line with his trash-talking on Wednesday night.

“KG called me a cancer patient, I’m pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he’s tossing it like it’s a joke,” Villanueva wrote on his Twitter page. “I wouldn’t even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way (too) many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place (for) those.”

Wow. There are so many ways I could go with this. But, allow me to address Garnett’s side of the story.

Garnett later responded on Wednesday to Villanueva’s accusation:

“My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact, ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league.’ I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball.”

To be honest, I have a strong feeling that KG did call Villanueva a “cancer patient,” which is in unbelievably bad taste. But, I’m glad to see Garnett publicly respond to the accusation, and at least acknowledge that such a remark would be distasteful.

On the other side of the coin, was Villanueva wrong in tweeting what he thought Garnett said? Isn’t what’s said on the basketball court between the players and not for public discourse? I think so.

Doc Rivers agrees, and came to the defense of his power forward.

“I actually heard what Kevin said. I was right there, what he really said is in the statement. I’m going to leave it at that,” he said. “I don’t like the whole tweeting thing. I’m going to state that as well. Guys talk on the court. It doesn’t mean they should or shouldn’t. The fact that we’re talking about this, it’s just silly. It really is. We had a hell of a game yesterday and we should be talking about basketball.”

“Talking about what the guys said during the game, there isn’t a place. I don’t find a place for it.”

So, what do you think? Was Garnett out of line at all? Who do you believe?

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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2 comments for “Charlie Villanueva: Kevin Garnett Called Me a “Cancer Patient””

  1. I also agree that KG probably did call him a cancer patient. It’s unfortunate. But with that being said KG’s comments were made in the heat of the game, and while it may have been insensitive, trash talking is part of the game. I assume this wasn’t the only insensitive thing said on the court that night.

    I think the bigger story here is Villanueva using twitter to accuse KG. Can we really take his comments about “getting in the ring” with KG seriously when he won’t even confront him about the issue face to face? let alone say it face to face to the media.

    It’s actually quite embarrassing. Embarrassing that Villanueva whose team btw has yet to win a game this season, would post something like this on twitter, and that this story, which really has no legs, has gotten so much coverage.

    I agree with Doc. What is said on the court between players should stay on the court.

    Posted by Andrew Kipp | November 5, 2010, 6:25 am
  2. […] because until the birth of Twitter, what was said on the court stayed on the court. Kevin Garnett allegedly called Charlie Villanueva a “cancer patient,” and every ex-NBA athlete came down on Villanueva for Tweeting on-court stuff. Even the greatest […]

    Posted by A Letter to Bulls Center Joakim Noah, Re: Kevin Garnett | Sports of Boston | November 12, 2010, 11:25 pm

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