The special thing about the almost trivial moment of Kevin Garnett getting into a war of words and some bumps with another player is that he was facing Austin Rivers, the son of Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers right now but previously of Garnett and the Boston Celtics, including the 2008 NBA title run.
What’s all the ruckus about? Garnett was aggressive with Rivers all game long, including an elbow to the head of the young shooting guard who is probably still in the league just because his dad is giving him a job. Rivers isn’t special on defense and is even less impressive as a shooter. But nepotism is a powerful thing to have on your side.
So what actually happened? Rivers intentionally bumped into Garnett on his way to the bench late in the game (which the Clippers won 110-105). Garnett didn’t just let that pass and hit Rivers back, leading to some back and forth jawing between the two. It ended in a double technical, and mostly Rivers talking about Garnett after the game.
He elbowed me in my head, and that’s not going to fly, really. I have all the respect in the world for him. He’s one of the best players to ever play the game, but at the end of the day, I’m a man just like he is, and that’s all there is to it. I let it go, and then we went and I didn’t have the ball, and he just hit me in my stomach and knocked the wind out of me, and Chris Paul threw me the ball, and I wasn’t prepared for it because I had just lost my wind, and I threw it back to him. The play went on and just because I bumped him a little bit, he turned around and did all that stuff. I was walking to my bench, and he was in my way, and I wasn’t moving.