BOSTON (AP) — Boston coach Doc Rivers feels what is said on the court should be left on the court.
Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva took it to Twitter on Tuesday night, writing on his account that Kevin Garnett called him a “cancer patient” during Boston’s 109-86 road win.
Villanueva suffers from alopecia universalis, a medical condition that results in hair loss. He does not have hair on his head.
Garnett, known as a trash talker, stuck to his usual routine and did not speak to the media before Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
He did issue a statement before the game.
“I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact: You are cancerous to your team and our league,’” Garnett said. “I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball.”
After Boston’s overtime victory over the Bucks, he was asked about his emotions on the court the past two games, but not specifically about Villanueva’s tweet. He also drew a technical along with Andrew Bogut in Boston’s 105-102 victory.
“I’m a passionate player,” he said. “If you don’t like the way I am … I play this way the last 15, 16 years. I leave it on the court.”
One of Villanueva’s tweets read: “KG called me a cancer patient, I’m (mad) because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he’s tossing it like it’s a joke.”
Rivers defended his forward while wondering why someone would need to share in-game comments.
“I actually heard what Kevin said. I was right there, what he really said is in the statement. I’m going to leave it at that,” he said. “I don’t like the whole tweeting thing. I’m going to state that as well. Guys talk on the court. It doesn’t mean they should or shouldn’t. The fact that we’re talking about this, it’s just silly. It really is. We had a hell of a game yesterday and we should be talking about basketball.
“Talking about what the guys said during the game, there isn’t a place. I don’t find a place for it.”
Villanueva was bothered by what he thought he heard.
“I wouldn’t even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place 4 those,” the message reads.
He also wrote that Garnett talks a lot but has probably never been in a fight, and he’d love to step in a ring with him.
Boston guard Ray Allen was on the court, but didn’t hear the alleged comment.
“I don’t know anything about it. The first I heard about it was actually this afternoon when I was eating and ready to head over,” he said. “I don’t know what was said. They had words and they were kind of going at each other.”
He also said players should be careful with any tweets or pictures taken off the court.
“Definitely in this day and age we come across so many people with cameras and cell phones and Twitters,” he said. “The social network is such a huge thing in this day and age. You have to be consistent with your message.”
Allen said he does not tweet any longer after an incident involving his account.