Mailbag time and anything is possible.
Well, not really. It seems that it's not possible for some Celtics fans to understand why there might be some ill will around the league toward Kevin Garnett. So a couple of those folks -- who no doubt use the word "we" when referring to the Celtics, believe that every national announcer hates every Boston team and is convinced that certain referees have it in for Celtics -- let me have it this week over my Garnett column from Wednesday. Yay for them -- now please go back to screaming in glee at a JumboTron montage of Shaq dunks and leave me alone.
Garnett is the headliner this week, of course, but we also break down the NFL Draft (not really, but I do throw out a tired cliche and float an absurd question), rank the five most underrated movies of the last 20 years, learn why I'll never be Peter King and lament the utter disgrace that is Spike Lee.
So to the 'bag we go (and feel free to email with anything to firstname.lastname@example.org) ...
Do I care what you think about Garnett? Heck no. he's a Celtic and I very much like how he's gotten into a lot of folks' heads. Keep going Kevin just the way you have your whole career. Fourteen or 15 time All-Star player. You're doing something right.
A: And that was exactly my point. If you are a Celtics' fan of course you are going to love Garnett. Why wouldn't you? He's been a terrific Celtic. That's how it goes: You ignore -- or even embrace -- the stuff that makes Garnett so disliked around the league because he's your guy and your team is winning. That's just being a fan. I get it. But the trade-off of that deal should be this: We can't hear you guys killing players on other teams when they throw an elbow at Rondo, or if they hit Ray Allen in the twins or go on some bizarre screaming rampage. But we all know that kind of deal will never happen. No consistency. Call it the Tommy Heinsohn Syndrome (and I've had my fill of Tommy at this point -- the joke has long stopped being funny. But that's another column for another time).
It's funny, it seems like this season every couple of weeks there's somebody writing about what a punk, or what a dirty player, or how KG is the" MOST HATED" player in the NBA, and this is a good thing, Want to know why?? The reason is simple KG is healthy, thus KG is back to being KG - the best defensive player in the game, an intimidator, a double-double machine, and the Celtics' DeFacto Captain.
Last year when KG was not healthy, playing on one-leg, and getting outplayed by players he used to dominate himself, nobody was talking about how much they hated him, instead they were talking about how he was beginning his decline, and the limitations of his game, blah, blah, blah.
Well ladies and gentlemen, KG is BACK, and if he can lead the C's to another championship, Celtics' fans will love him, and the rest of the NBA will still hate him, and I'm sure KG would not want it any other way.
A: Agreed on all points. Well, maybe he's not the best defensive player in the game, but he's in the conversation. And it's a good point -- if Garnett were still limping around like he was a year ago, getting humiliated by guys like Andray Blatche but acting the same way he is right now no one would care. But the truth is that he's been almost as good this year as he was in 2007-08. Hard to believe, but I just don't see a huge difference. And that, of course, is why people care so much on both sides of the argument.
Kevin Garnett has the skills to be above the tough guy role he tries to play, but he doesn't. He picks fights with players that he thinks are weaker or that he might be able to intimidate, but the split second somebody jumps back at him he's running away or crying to the refs. Dude needs to play ball and shut up... or get punched in the mouth ...I'd prefer to see him punched in the mouth.
A: A little strong, but I felt it was necessary to hear from the other side. And there's a lot of truth here: Garnett is a bully. No doubt about it. And for a guy who sure talks a lot about personal accountability on the court -- taking care of your own business -- there is way too much bitching to the refs. But I'm thinking a punch in the mouth probably isn't the solution we're looking for.
I feel as if he's a good guy with his team, off the court and to his family. Who cares about what he does and says on the court, he's in the zone and making things happen. His opponents are his enemy, he doesn't treat them like friends and shouldn't. If he was on another team, I wouldn't hate him, I'd be worried about him, when he's matched up with the Celtics. Worried that he would mentally get into Paul's head, Rondos or anyone else. HE MAKES THINGS HAPPEN. Not only with baskets.
A: Ugh, the "in the zone" defense. Please. I understand some of you want to believe that athletes are different than the rest of us. Here's the difference: They run faster and jump higher. That's it. There have been a lot of stories on Garnett over the last three and half years, most of which largely focused on how intense he is, how much more he cares than anyone else, how it's war for him. Lots and lots of puff. I get that he's into it, OK? But he's just a human being. I have no proof that he wants to win more than, say, Ray Allen. But since we never see Allen sneering or getting into it with players on other teams our perception is different. And I simply don't believe that the reason he popped Andrew Bogut or Quentin Richardson is that he was so worked up, so fueled by desire that he couldn't control himself. Come on, that's hero worship stuff.
RE: How did Garnett become the most hated man in the NBA
Because he's a giant a-hole on the court? There, I saved you 1,144 words.
A: And with that, I believe WEEI.com's 29-month search for an ombudsman has finally ended. Too bad, I was quietly pulling for Frank Deford or Danny from Quincy.
Kevin Garnett is not a 14-year veteran. Wrong. This is his 16th year. Would some research kill you?
A: So if Kevin Garnett's career lasts one more year, and moves to New York, Mark Sanchez can date it? Try the veal, folks!
You answered your own question, “is Kevin Garnett a punk?”
But I asked what does Spike’s directorial slate since 1996, your opinion, have to do with his opinion of Kevin being a punk?
It doesn’t invalidate his thought.
A: I wrote in the column that Spike Lee has made one passable movie since 1996 ("25th Hour" -- and that was nearly ruined by a ludicrous ending) and really should worry more about his work than trying to force-feed a feud through the media. Just reeks of desperation. You know, I write about Garnett being 34 years old and how he should know better. Spike Lee is 53 years old. And he's still wearing the hats and the game jersey and talking trash to players. I guess it was kind of cool in 1995, when we thought Lee was still capable of making great films. But the difference now is that the players only know him as a guy who used to talk trash to Reggie Miller. That's all he has. He's the freaking Wooderson of NBA fans. I'd be stunned if any NBA player under the age of 25 has even seen a Spike Lee movie in the theatre. So sure, Alex, his thought isn't invalidated, but it means no more or less than the thoughts of any other person in an NBA arena. What, I'm supposed to listen to him because he directed the horrifying "Kobe: Doin' Work" for ESPN, which was basically the kickoff for the Kobe Bryant Redemption Tour? I think I'll side with Garnett on this one.
Guessing what the Patriots will do for the draft is impossible. They are the least predictable team in drafting. Could you see them trading up to get someone like Robert Quinn (6’5” 275)? Most experts have him going in the 6-12 range. Currently the Patriots do not have enough roster spots for the amount of draft picks they have so it would make sense to trade up, in my opinion, because all this team needs to get to the Super Bowl is a few key parts here and there on defense. Adding a special OLB/DE like Quinn would and could turn this LB Core into a Pittsburgh type D which already has Mayo, Spikes and Cunningham. They already have sufficient starters at the corners (McCourty and Bodden), safeties (Chung and Meriweather), and D-line (Brace, Wilfork and Warren) already but trading up to add one stud (a definite starter) and fill that gaping hole of a pass-rusher/OLB would be much better than just “stock-pilling future picks” and push this team toward the ultimate goal: a championship team. An opposing player was quoted this year saying that they (his team) no longer “feared” going to NE which in the past boasted players like Seymour, Harrison and Bruschi. Adding an elite player such as Quinn would go a long way to adding that fear-factor this team sorely misses.
Maybe they sign a FA like LaMarr Woodley but I still think this team needs to draft an OLB/DE of the future and Quinn just seems to be the guy (and my obsession).
A: First of all, this is a question for the Bean Bag. DJ Bean has been killing it with his mock drafts (here's the latest). I ask this: How many NHL beat writers can give you 500 words on Gabe Carimi? Just one.
But yeah, I would imagine that they'll go get a pass rusher, provided one they like is around at 17, 28 or 33. I know that we never know with the Pats when it comes to the draft, but this just makes too much sense. It wouldn't shock me to see them move up and take a guy like Quinn (who I think is going to be a future All-Pro) and it wouldn't shock me if Belichick punted completely out of the first round. The McCourty picked was the straw for me -- I'm done trying to figure out what the Pats are going to do in the draft. But gun to my head? I'd guess a defensive end with one pick and an O-Lineman with the other.
(Here's one for you: For the sake of an argument, let's just say that Belichick thought Ryan Mallet was going to be a franchise quarterback. You think he pulls the trigger and takes him, knowing he will bring nothing to the team for at least three, four years? Worked for the Packers, right? This is nothing to do with Mallet, really, I'm just wondering if it's time to think about it. Brady has had five surgeries and is 33 years ago. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that the Pats are "two years away from a "do we or don't we?" scenario if a QB they really like is on the board in the first round," but that was wrong. If they think the guy to eventually replace Brady is on the board they should grab him. Why? A) Most important position in football, B) They might not get a chance to get a top QB in the next couple of drafts, never know and C) for all the doomsday stuff around here since the Jets game this is still the kind of team that can get away with using a first-round pick on a player that will be of zero on-field use for the next couple of years. Again, no clue if that QB exists in this draft, actually if I had to guess I'd say there wasn't.)
Re: Goodell Story
A little Glengarry Glen Ross comparison for you:
Belichick is to Goodell as Richard Roma is to John Williamson
A: You just cost me six thousand dollars. Six thousand dollars. And one Cadillac. That's right. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it, a--hole.
("Glengarry Glen Ross" is -- and I will not argue this -- one of the five most underrated movies of all-time. Name me a better cast. Pacino (still throwing about 98 MPH), Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin and Alec Baldwin in the scene-stealer to end all scene-stealers. And David Mamet at his peak. If you haven't seen it, do it know. Why would you waste your time reading this lousy mailbag if you haven't seen "Glengarry Glen Ross"? Come on. The other four on the all-time underrated list? "Midnight Run," "The King of Comedy," "Zodiac" and "The Squid and the Whale." All great, all smart, all incredibly re-watchable, and all almost completely forgotten by filmgoers, a great many of whom will go see Adam Sandler's new movie this weekend. Which is understandable, because God knows how more chances we as a nation will have to watch Adam Sandler get hit in the balls on the big screen. I can't get enough of it, myself. Throw in a Rob Schneider cameo and three or four brutally underwritten female characters and you've got a $200 million hit. And a piece of advice for Jennifer Aniston, who I know is a devoted WEEI.com fan (she once told me that she can't get enough Larry Johnson cartoons): It's OK to say no once in a while. Digging through Kate Winselt's garbage to find scripts might not be the way to go, though it's a great way to find old People magazines. Trust me.)
Now Peter King joins the list of media members you bash out of pure envy. Way to go. If Roger Goodell gave WEEI.com the green light for a story and your boss picked you to write it I bet the story would be the ball-washer to end all ball-washers. Easy to knock King from the bottom of the media pile. Stick to mailbags and diaries and leave the real reporting to real reporters.
Kirk M. Sux
A: There are two divisions to the "Ball-Washer to end all Ball-Washer" categories: ESPN and Non-ESPN. But I have to believe that if I was given a 6,000-word platform to interview Goodell I think it would feature the words "concussion" and "head injury" more than once each. Peter King is the top football writer in America, has a million readers every week, is on the pre-game show for the top-rated program on TV and basically got a 15-minute lap dance from Mary Carillo during a "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" profile last month. Everyone loves him, and he's great at what he does. But I thought his Goodell story was a miss. It happens.