State Rep. Pat Garofalo spent Monday backpedaling faster than an NBA player trying to defend a 3-on-1 break.
The Farmington lawmaker reminded us all of the power of making public a comment that would be questionable even in private when he tweeted Sunday night, “Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.”
Whether you thought it was racially charged, merely insensitive or taken out of context, the tweet caused a national stir. He spent Monday apologizing in various venues, including a statement that read, in part: “The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country. Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize.”
Garofalo was most fortunate in this regard: those he referenced in his tweet, at least by association, chose to take the high road and prove his apology correct.
A good-sized media contingent awaited the Timberwolves after their Monday practice, and Garofalo’s tweet was inevitably a hot topic. Players and coaches smartly tried to stay out of the fray.
“I’m not talking about that,” head coach Rick Adelman said. “It’s got nothing to do with us. ... I’ve never even heard of the guy or know who he is.”
Next question, move on.
“I really don’t care. I didn’t see it, but they told me about it when I got here,” forward Corey Brewer said. “It’s his opinion, man. People out there have opinions. He said what he wanted to say. Who cares?”
I was talking to Brewer alone, so I pressed him a little. But you don’t agree with him, I said with a laugh.
“I don’t agree. Of course, why would I agree? It’s stupidity, but it’s his opinion,” Brewer said.
The last person to get the question was rookie Shabazz Muhammad. He danced around it magnificently and displayed the same deft touch he has shown around the basket recently.
“I don’t pay attention to that,” he said. “We have a really good group of guys. Being a rookie, you know how rookies are … but everyone has taken care of me and all the other rookies. I feel like we have a really good team. I don’t know what was said, but I think we have a really good team and that matters a lot in the locker room.”
Veteran quote. By the time he was done, nobody could even remember the question.