Kevin Garnett Seeks Out George Karl to Clarify 'Cancer' Comment
Boston beat a Denver team playing without Carmelo Anthony by a final of 105-89, but the more interesting development came after the final buzzer, when Garnett headed for the Nuggets' bench to share a few private words with George Karl.
Garnett, as you may recall, drew quite a bit of criticism after the Pistons' Charlie Villanueva took to Twitter to say that Garnett had called him a "cancer patient" during a game back on November 2. Garnett responded by issuing a statement to defend himself, which read in part, "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."
Karl, who missed part of last season due to battling throat cancer, responded at the time by saying, "It's disappointing and crossing the line ... philosophically, if Kevin and I were close friends, I'd probably call him up and say, 'I don't think that's right (what you said).'"
Ganett didn't get too specific with what was said between the two, but he did share the gist of the conversation.
"I went up to him as a man and what I said is that I had nothing personal toward him nor any other cancer patient that is out there struggling and dealing with life situations," Garnett said. "I wanted to say that to him, man to man."
A lot of things are said on the basketball court in the heat of the moment, and Garnett has a long-standing, well-earned reputation in this department with opposing players. And some might argue that if he didn't cross the line with these types of comments in the first place, then there would be no need for clarification or apology. But whether he said exactly what Villanueva accused him of saying or not, the fact that he went out of his way to make things right with Karl is still an admirable act, and Karl seemed to agree.
"He just came over and we talked, man to man, I appreciated that," said Karl. "I thought it was a classy gesture."