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Kevin Garnett and Charlie Villanueva have two different versions of what was said Tuesday.Boston Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge on Thursday afternoon spoke out strongly in defense of Kevin Garnett, who was accused by Charlie Villanueva of calling him a “cancer patient” during a game earlier in the week.
During his weekly call-in to Boston sports radio station WEEI, Ainge called Villanueva a self-promoter and said his accusations were “ludicrous.” Here are some of Ainge’s remarks:
* Ainge on Villanueva as a self-promoter:
"There's one thing that I know for sure, and it’s that KG would not offend cancer patients. That makes no sense. It makes no sense on a lot of fronts. Not only is he experiencing it in his own family, but that's just not something I’ve ever heard -- in 30 years -- ever say, in trash talking. What is logical in a trash talking situation for a player to say to another player, 'You have cancer' or 'You are cancer'?
“And the other point I'd like to make, before we move on to real basketball, is ... tweeting is about self-promotion in most cases. He's [Villanueva] not trying to be a public servant by telling everybody. As a matter of fact he's the one who brings light to this attention, and if anybody is offended it's Charlie Villanueva who has brought that to attention, not KG.
“Second of all, Charlie would never tweet 'KG said to me I am a cancer' because that's embarrassing to Charlie. So he tries to discredit Kevin Garnett and he tries to bring sympathy to himself.
“There's self-promotion in tweeting -- all the time. You are talking about a guy who tweets in the middle of a game. Talk about self-promotion. I just think this is just, we know who KG is. Talk about what you like or don't like about KG this is ludicrous."
* Ainge on how this incident is an example of the dangers of Twitter:
“This whole tweet thing, how many times have you seen people tweet something that doesn’t promote them, or something that doesn’t help them or sever a purpose for them?
“And the other thing is, if Charlie Villanueva is not telling the truth, which KG says he’s not, everybody is going to believe it and it and it becomes a story. And that’s another thing I don’t like about it. It’s too easy to just sit there on your phone and not stand in front of a TV camera and fess up to some of these things. It’s much easier to just put it out there and people are going to believe it. I don’t like that fact that anybody anywhere can just write something. You can ruin a person’s reputation ... anytime you want without any consequence, I don’t like that. I think it’s wrong. I think that Charlie was wrong -- and there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it -- by doing this.”
* Ainge on who he believes in this situation, KG or Villanueva:
"First of all, both players have completely different stories. One guy has a twitter account where he blurts things out, that's the first thing. Doc said he heard what KG said and I believe Doc. Doc’s not going to say that if it's not true. I believe Doc and I believe KG."
Ainge also said he did not expect the league to get involved in this incident. Click HERE to listen to the full interview.
Earlier in the day, Rivers was on WEEI and made some similarly critical comments.
* Rivers on the "unwritten rule" in basketball of what is said on the court stays on the court:
"I can't go in and say 'Hey guys let's make a rule that there's no Tweeting.' That's nothing I'm going to do. The Tweeting thing doesn't bother me, it's what we're Tweeting about and when. I couldn't imagine someone going to the press after a game because someone said something to you on the floor. That's an unwritten rule I thought we didn't cross and we did that the other night."
* Rivers on whether he thinks players will see Villanueva and KG in a different light in the wake of this incident:
"They probably think of [Villanueva] a little less. They may think of Kevin a little less. People are going to take sides. Kevin has a reputation. He does talk a lot, there's no doubt about that. The players absolutely don't want what's said on the floor now to come out on Twitter, otherwise we'll be reading stuff every day."
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