Had Kevin Garnett been playing for the SuperSonics Wednesday, Seattle fans might have seen something more than Gilbert Arenas stripping off his jersey and laying it on the court.
SEATTLE - Had Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett been playing for the SuperSonics on Wednesday night, Seattle fans might have seen something more memorable than Washington's Gilbert Arenas stripping off his jersey and laying it on the court near the three-point arc. That's what the showboating Wizards guard did after hitting a running bank shot to win 108-106 as time expired at KeyArena.
Obviously, it was way too in-your-face for Garnett's liking.
"I probably would have got fined for something," he said. "That's pretty insulting. There are just certain standards, man. You can hit shots and, y'know what, 'I'm good, you're good, you hit a shot,' it's cool. But that's like T.O. going to the star."
NFL receiver Terrell Owens, several years ago, offended many when he celebrated a touchdown catch against Dallas by running to midfield and stomping on the Cowboys logo. Arenas claimed it was a dream of his to do that, then later admitted he should have saved it for a home game.
"I'm not any rootin', tootin' bad [guy]," Garnett said. "I don't think I would be the only one who would address that on this team, if not all 13, 14, 15 of us."
Then the Wolves star went elder statesman: "Hey, it's a young league right now. These young boys feel like they can do that, and until you do something about it, that's just what it is."
The Sonics, stunned by the loss, were leaving the floor and missed Arenas' schtick. Seattle's mascot, Sasquatch, snatched Arenas' jersey and threw it at him.
But next time? "They're a competitive team," said Garnett, who knows several Seattle players. "I would anticipate that would be very stuck in the back of their heads."
More on leaders
Garnett expounded after the shootaround on coach Randy Wittman's remarks earlier in the week that the Wolves lack locker-room leadership.
"When you're worrying about 13, 14 other guys and whether they're ready to play or not, sometimes it's draining," Garnett said, after citing leadership qualities in three or four teammates. "I know I'm the leader on this team. ... But sometimes I'll admit that it's draining, trying to get people in positions and trying to make sure they're ready. The only thing I can do, half the time, is make sure I'm ready to come out and compete, and if you lead, they will follow. And if they don't, so be it.
"But I'm not a babysitter. And I'm not ... I guess at times he feels some people should speak up -- or he has a voice too. The dilemmas on this team don't just fall off on one person."
Wittman, in Phoenix on Monday, had talked of the need for more veterans in the locker room -- even though the Wolves have five players age 30 or older. "We don't have a quote-unquote leader that is going to control the locker room," the coach said. "When [stuff] is going on that shouldn't be going on and somebody stands there and says, 'Hey, enough. Enough of this.' I don't think we have that.' "
Tubby? Good choice
New Gophers coach Tubby Smith was an assistant on the Team USA squad that included Garnett and won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games. So it was no surprise that the Wolves star likes the choice.
"I'm happy for him. Tubby's going to do well for the school, man," Garnett said. "I hope I get to run into him one of these days or at least say 'What's up?' That's my guy. Funny guy, real cool guy. Good for kids. Very structural person. Very well-educated in his basketball teachings. Knows what he's doing. Very confident man."
Wittman probably leaned toward his former coach at Indiana, Bob Knight, for the job but was gracious. "He's a good hire," Wittman said. "Getting a guy of his caliber and where he's coached ... I think it's great. To be able to bring in a guy respected the way he is and name-recognition. Kids know the name."
Steve Aschburner firstname.lastname@example.org
|Seattle - LP: C. Furbush||8||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: J. Smith||10|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke||5||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: R. Dickey||7|
|NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson||6||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: P. Strop||4|
|Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto||4||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: S. Marcum||3|
|Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels||1||FINAL|
|Miami - WP: A. Sanabia||5|
|Minnesota - LP: K. Correia||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran||5|
|Oakland - WP: B. Colon||9||FINAL|
|Texas - LP: J. Lindblom||2|
|Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw||3||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo||1|
|Boston - LP: J. Lester||4||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - WP: D. Axelrod||6|
|Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie||5||FINAL|
|Houston - WP: D. Keuchel||6|
|Arizona - WP: P. Corbin||5||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: J. Garland||1|
|St. Louis||2||Top 9th Inning|
|Washington||0||Bottom 8th Inning|