Kevin Garnett set the tone for the Boston Celtics, on and off the court.
Kendrick Perkins, who spent parts of eight seasons with Boston (four alongside KG), shared a legendary story on the latest episode of NBC Sports Bay Area’s “Runnin’ Plays” podcast. It centered around Garnett facing Glen “Big Baby” Davis in an arm wrestling match on the Celtics’ team plane during the 2007-08 season.
Allow Perkins to paint the scene:
All of the sudden, we went from basketball talk to who is the strongest to all of a sudden now, Big Baby and Leon Powe are arm wrestling for money. So they’re arm wrestling for money, and Big Baby beat Leon, right? So Big Baby stands up, he’s huffing and puffing. So KG’s kinda lookin’ at Big Baby and Big Baby’s lookin’ at him. And Big Baby ain’t said a word so KG’s like, ‘So what you saying?’ So Big Baby’s like, ‘What you mean?’ So KG’s like, ‘What you saying? You want some of this?’
Now, let’s stop for a second.
Davis, then a rookie, didn’t back down from the challenge. So, hats off to him. He certainly bit off more than he could chew, though, as Garnett’s competitiveness wasn’t something to mess with.
Take it away, Perk:
So, they sit down at the table. Card game broken up. Everything. So they get into it. KG’s looking at him like this so Paul’s got his hand, and he said ‘Go.’ And Big Baby tries to go. He’s straining. So for like 10 seconds, KG’s just locked in and he’s like, ‘I ain’t goin’ nowhere, m-fer. I ain’t goin’ nowhere, m-fer. I ain’t goin’ nowhere, m-fer.’
And the all of a sudden, KG keeps going and keeps going and BOOM! He slams Big Baby. Stands up. Takes his shirt off. He’s in a full sweat and — might I tell you, when we was making those runs with the Celtics, right, we used to have fans that were traveling on the plane with us. It was like 15 fans. You could like win a trip to travel on a two-day road trip with the Celtics. Go to the game, stay in the hotel room. So, they’re on the planes.
So, KG wins. The music’s jamming. He stands up, takes off his shirt, he’s in a full-out lather. Might I tell you, the coaches had come up front to watch it, Doc (River) and all them. So, he wins, he stands up, he yells, ‘AHHHHHHHH! I’m the m-fing silverback in here. Who else wants some?’
We’ll venture to guess no one else wanted any of The Big Ticket in that moment, as Big Baby learned quite a lesson — the hard way.
And for those scoring at home, Paul Pierce predicted Garnett would win the arm wrestling match, according to Perkins, while everyone else expected Davis to continue his hot streak.