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Kevin Garnett plugs movie, makes claims

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The back pages of New York’s tabloids are filled with Kevin Garnett’s comments on Kyrie Irving ... that he didn’t have the “cojones” to play in Boston — ”Boston’s a tough town, Dawg”— and that Kyrie and KD should have chosen to play with the Knicks rather than the Nets because “the first superstar to hit New York and be vibing is going to be bigger than life.”

Well, of course, Knick fans are going to seize on to what the former Celtic, Net and Timberwolf had to say. They’ve got nothing else. NOTHING.

Their team has the worst record in the NBA. Their coach is about to get fired, according to reports. Their GM’s strategy of signing every available power forward has left them with four wins and NO cap space. Meanwhile, the fans and the owner play a game of catch-me-if-you-can ... can they chant “sell the team” without getting banned for life from the Garden?

KG made his comments while in Manhattan plugging a new Adam Sandler movie, “Uncut Gems.” KG plays himself as a customer of Sandler, a New York jeweler and degenerate gambler named Howard Ratner (Really).

So, let’s take things one at a time. First, Irving has become a convenient whipping boy for Celtics and Knicks fans. He abandoned one and laughed at the other’s entreaties to come join the circus. Now, he’s hurt and has missed half the season thus far with a shoulder impingement. He does not suffer fools gladly and will say so. He’s an easy target.

Kendrick Perkins, who famously predicted Kyrie and KD were headed to New York, claimed that Irving deliberately avoided playing in Boston, in effect encouraging fans to claim Irving was a “coward.” The proposition is so silly and such clickbait that it doesn’t deserve any response.

Garnett, of course, is not Perkins so his words carry more weight, get more play on tabloid back pages and on local sports shows. (Of course, his remarks could have been calculated to get more publicity for his movie. Ya think?)

But to suggest that Irving going from Boston to New York reveals some inner lack of guts or “cojones” is just plain silly. New York is the media capital of the world with dozens of reporters regularly covering the NBA ... Nets, Knicks, etc. Sports media feeds on controversy. Boston has intense fan base, but so does Philadelphia. Neither are New York.

And really, KG, Irving has a record of clutch performances —including the dagger in the 2016 NBA Finals— that is nearly unparalleled. Did he have ”cojones” when he took that shot with Steph Curry in his face? And it’s not as if KG’s track record is that different from Kyrie’s.

Irving, like Garnett, has one NBA championship and one Olympic gold medal to his credit, both won with a stellar supporting cast. Irving went to the NBA Finals three times, Garnett twice and Irving is one of four NBA players to win an NBA ring and an Olympic gold in the same summer. Garnett is not one of the other three. Irving was also voted MVP of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

As for the idea that the Nets two superstars should have joined the Knicks instead, pull-eeze. The Knicks, by virtually any measure, are the worst franchise in the NBA, with the worst record over the past 20 years, past 10 years, past five years. Top to bottom, they are a disaster and there is no hope in sight. As the losses and controversies mount, the chances of any free agent joining the Knicks diminish. They have one extra draft pick in the next five years, which they got in return for a 23-year-old foundation piece. The NBA teams with the best histories are teams who have the best owners, CEO’s, GM’s and coaches. The Knicks have none of the above.

Perhaps those writing about KG’s comments and those cheering them on should have focused attention on another Garnett comment.

Garnett acknowledged he wouldn’t have signed in New York without help.

“You got to come with pieces. I don’t think (the Knicks) put superstars around Melo (Anthony),” Garnett said. “Obviously, they had the pocketbook to be able to bring players here. But for some reason, they haven’t put it together.”

Some reason? How about some reasons, plural.

Later in the day, Fat Joe, rapper, actor and unhappy Knick fan, chimed in on the idea that Kyrie and KD should have gone Manhattan. Durant dismissed it in a subtweet...

Carry on, everyone.