Doc Rivers admits that NBA trash talking can get out of hand, but on Thursday he insisted that Kevin Garnett did not cross a line while chirping at the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony during Monday’s 102-96 victory.
Some reports emerging after the incident indicated that Garnett had made his talking personal, mentioning Anthony’s wife. Whatever he said, it clearly infuriated Anthony, who drew a one-game suspension from the league for waiting for Garnett outside the Celtics’ bus after the game.
“I know what’s being reported did not happen. I know that as a fact,” Rivers told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show. “You know how this works, a guy does something crazy like Carmelo did, and the way to get of trouble is to say someone else said this. It happens all the time. And what bugs me about this is that this is not a Kevin Garnett issue. And it was made into one and it shouldn’t have been made into one.”
Rivers did say that sometimes such trash talking can become very intense, but he continued to insist that Garnett knows the line and did not cross it.
“It’s pretty crude, I can tell you,” Rivers said. “Out there at times, you hear some crazy stuff. But when it gets racial or personal to family, then that crosses the line. But I’m going to say it again: In this case, that didn’t happen. [Garnett] does [know where the line is]. He does. I will say that. I’ve never heard him cross the line. And usually when he talks about guys, it’s usually about their game or their team or what he thinks if the guy’s a winner or loser.”