Noah calls Garnett 'a dirty player'

CLEVELAND -- Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett is a dirty player, at least according to Bulls center Joakim Noah.

Garnett was ejected during the fourth quarter of Saturday night's Heat-Celtics game when he threw an elbow at Heat guard Quentin Richardson's head during a scuffle on the sidelines. The NBA handed down a one-game suspension on Sunday. The entire episode did not surprise Noah at all.

"He's a dirty player, man," Noah said after the Bulls' practice on Sunday afternoon. "He's a dirty player. That's messed up, man."

Noah said Garnett constantly is swinging his elbows.

"I'm hurting right now because of an elbow he threw," Noah said. "It's unbelievable. He's a dirty player. It's one thing to be competitive and compete and all that, but don't be a dirty player. He's a dirty player."

Garnett's explanation after the game did not fly with the young center.

"He knows what he's doing," Noah said. "It's messed up. It's just wrong. It's not right. And that after that say ... whatever. I shouldn't even talk about it. It's crazy."

When Noah's comments got back to Boston, Celtics coach Doc Rivers could only laugh.

"Noah? Noah's in this series now?" Rivers jokingly asked. "I have no comment. If Noah had said that last year [when the Bulls and Celtics met in the postseason], I would have had a comment, but since he's in Cleveland and dealing with that, I think I'll let him focus on [Shaquille O'Neal] and that group right now."

Noah is looking forward to seeing how the rest of the Heat-Celtics series unfolds.

"I'm really excited about that series," Noah said. "It's going to be fun. I hope they put [Jamaal] Magloire in more."

Nick Friedell covers the Chicago Bulls for ESPNChicago.com. Information from ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg contributed to this report.