Hidden behind a cloak of namelessness, an NBA player known only as "Player X" wrote in his most recent column for ESPN The Magazine that Celtics forward Kevin Garnett is a "punk," a "coward" and is "like a playground bully who barks but doesn't bite."
Here's the full analysis of Garnett, from The Masked Jumpshooter:
"Trash-talk can go too far fast, though, so there is a code. Off-limit topics: moms, wives, girlfriends, kids. And health. Honestly, I never thought anyone would cross the line to crack on an opponent about a medical condition. But according to Charlie Villanueva, that's what Kevin Garnett supposedly did earlier this season when he called the Pistons forward a "cancer patient." Garnett later claimed otherwise, saying he had called Villanueva — who's hairless because of a skin condition — a "cancerous" player.
I don't know who's telling the truth, but I don't care. Garnett is a punk and a coward. I know, I know. Easy for me to say behind this column. Don't worry, I'll tell him to his face, too. And I'm not the only one who thinks that: If you're not on his team, chances are you hate the guy. You can learn a lot about him by watching his eyes. If he's talking to you — and he's always talking — he avoids eye contact. My advice to other guys in the league: Stare him down, and he'll retreat. From what I've seen, he'll never mix it up with a player who's bigger than he is. Personally, I think he's scared to fight — like a playground bully who barks but doesn't bite."
Aside from the obvious self-contradiction in anonymously calling a superstar a coward, the thoughts of "Player X" are hardly revolutionary. Bulls forward Joakim Noah hasn't been afraid to speak out publicly against Garnett, calling him "mean" and "ugly." Noah also called Garnett a "dirty player," while Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski called him a "bully."
"For years, he's gone after smaller, younger players. He never goes after tough guys. Never," Wojnarowski wrote in the wake of the aforementioned incident with Villanueva.
In this current case, "Player X" is a fan of trash talk — just not KG's trash talk. But don't worry, he'll tell KG to his face, too.
Sure thing, "Player X." We have no doubt.