All-World yapper Kevin Garnett got into it with Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva with 2:39 left in the Celtics’ victory over the Pistons at Auburn Hills, Mich., Tuesday night. Villanueva suffers from alopecia universalis, a skin disorder that causes hair loss, and after the game, he tweeted that Garnett had called him “a cancer patient.’’ As part of a taunt.The rational person would think the story ends right then and there, but this is Shank we're talking about. While this column does not rise to the level of "Shank's on his high horse again", we are treated to his level of tolerance:
Do not underestimate the power of the tweet. The story took on a life of its own. ESPN was quick out of the gate, then the story hit local sports radio. Just after 4 p.m., Garnett issued this statement: “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.’
“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.’’
“I actually heard what Kevin said,’’ Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before last night’s 105-102 overtime victory over the Bucks. “What he released is what he said.’’
But the disclosure of Tuesday’s events was a rare window into what goes on between the lines, where the basic rule of engagement is that there are no rules of engagement. Nothing is off-limits. What has changed is that now we find out about vile garbage that dares not speak its name. We never would have known about it in the genteel good old days.Further into the column, Shank demonstrates his hypocrisy (We never would have known about it in the genteel good old days.):
Whichever version you believe, it’s tasteless. It’s offensive. It’s way beyond the typical schoolyard, “You’re fat, you’re ugly, your mother wears army boots.’’ There’s nothing funny about poking fun at cancer. It is a universal scourge. It is off-limits in every arena of mankind.
“You could not print all the things we said,’’ said Cedric Maxwell, Ainge’s teammate from the 1980s and a Hall of Fame trash talker. “You could not write it all down. The families. The moms. Didn’t make any difference. We didn’t have to be politically correct. We could be asinine.Does anyone seriously think this (or the 1984) column get written if Larry Bird was the trash talker in question?
“I remember one guy, before the start of a playoff series, saying, ‘No way that bitch is getting 40 points off of me.’ Somebody wrote that down and it actually got in the paper.’’
I know. Because Max said it about Bernard King, and I wrote it down, and it appeared in the Sunday Globe on the day of the first game of the 1984 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Celtics and Knicks. King refused to shake Max’s hand before the game. King didn’t get his 40 until Game 3, but the Celtics won the series.
Like writing about Jacoby Ellsbury getting 'carved up' on Boston sports talk radio, with Shank being one of the carvees, he bemoans the trash talking in the NBA, but eagerly participates in its dissemination when it suits his purposes. This is the picture perfect definition of hypocrisy. If there was any to be had in the first place, this column serves to pour Shank's credibility down the drain.
UPDATE at 6:40 PM - commenter 'redsock' points out something Shank wrote some time ago. I can't find the original article; looks likely that the Globe deep-sixed it, and for good reason: (link isn't working - copy & paste http://sonsofsamhorn.net/wiki/index.php/Dan_Shaughnessy )
Once ripped on a mentally-disabled ballplayer (Jeff Stone) for his lack of intelligence.I'd like to see the original article before commenting further, but if this is right, Shank goes far beyond hypocrite, and I'll leave it at that. Commenter 'g' - I know where you're coming from, but I need to see the original article in some form before ripping the sonofabitch. I'll do some more digging and report back anything I find.
UPDATE II at 7:15 PM - I bet it's this article, which sits behind a pay wall. I'm not going to break a sixteen year streak of not giving the Globe money, so there it will sit.