Refereeing stirs Hawks co-owner's ire

Atlanta Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. was a guest speaker Wednesday at an event sponsored by the W.E.B. Du Bois Society, but he reserved some choice words for Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett.

"We don't get any calls, which I know everybody always hears," Gearon said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But I'll give you a stat. Last night, we are playing this old physical team. They are old. I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul. [Kevin] Garnett is the dirtiest guy in the league. We are playing Boston last night and they had two fouls the whole first half. We had five times that and we're athletic."

In his comments at the luncheon, Gearon also complimented Hawks players Al Horford and Josh Smith for battling through injuries to make valuable on-court contributions.

"Did you see what Al Horford did (in Tuesday's Game 5)?" he said. "The timeline for recovery for his injury is another three months. He's not even supposed to be playing and Josh should not be playing. Zaza (Pachulia) can't stand up, but if we can get past this round there is a chance that we can get him back. So this is a team that is overcoming adversity. I wish ... some of the national media or even some of the local media, more the paper than the TV guys, recognize how hard these guys are playing based on how injured they are."

The Celtics lead the Hawks 3-2 in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series. Game 6 is Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in Boston.