Even without the winning, what remains a great thing about rooting for the Celtics is how much they talk. To each other, to opponents, to journalists…they’re the league’s most loquacious team, everyone in the world agrees.
This quality is well-represented by Kevin Garnett’s tendency to go off on elaborate metaphors in interviews. Sheenian in his capacity to metaphor, KG does not hesitate to express his feelings about basketball by alluding to a similar concept usually involving food, animals, or relationships. He even did it in his first interview question after winning the championship in 2008. He was asked what it was like to finally win it all, and he compared it to knocking a bully “ass out” in school.
“He’s sitting there waiting to pat your pockets and mess with you. Then one day you say, this is going to stop today. You walk in and as soon as he pats your pocket you lay his (butt) out and you see the expression on his face, and you’re sort of kind of shook because you know what? You just knocked the bully out and you don’t know how he’s going to come back.”
That’s a good metaphor, but it’s not in the top five, guys. Despite the significant circumstances, it’s honestly not the best KG can do in terms of originality. But it was an emotional moment for him. The important thing is that he went straight for the metaphor.
Also omitted from the list are the two metaphors that got Garnett in trouble. One is the familiar line in which he allegedly compared Charlie Villanueva to a c-ncer p-tient, probably not for Villanueva’s courage in the face of adversity. The other is when he basically said he was going to shoot Chris Webber with a missile launcher.
That is probably not a great thing to say, but it’s a perfect example of how seamlessly KG shifts into abstract speech when he has a microphone in his face. After the jump you’ll find, in my estimation, his top five interview metaphors. (And similes. I know most of them are similes.)
5. Doc Rivers :: a birthday cake
“Playing for Doc is like coming home to a birthday cake, you know?” said Garnett. “Coming home to a birthday cake. Every day it’s something. You don’t know if it’s going to be sprinkles, [but] you know it’s going to be sweet. You know it’s going to be beautiful. But what you don’t know is, sometimes [they] might use too much salt in the recipe and you bite into the cake and get a salty taste. But you have to remember that every day is a birthday cake in here waiting on you. So if you can figure that riddle out, that’s what it’s like to play for Doc Rivers.”
This one is a little hard to parse. He’s saying that playing for Doc Rivers is like getting a birthday cake; it’s just that sometimes that birthday cake is disgusting. But to KG, just getting a cake is pretty great, even if the cake has so much salt in it as to be completely inedible.
According to David on allrecipes.com, a traditional yellow cake calls for 1/2 cups of sugar and a half teaspoon of salt. So if you can imagine someone mixing up the salt and the sugar and then eating the result, you might have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to play for Doc Rivers sometimes.
4. Shaq :: fresh laundry
“You ever wash your sheets and then go outside and hang them out, and the sun dries them? You ever smell the sheets? That’s what Shaq is, Shaq is like,” Kevin Garnett told reporters, pausing to breathe in deeply. “I don’t want to give any products any tags right now, but you know what I’m saying. For anybody who’s ever hung out clothes, they know what I mean.”
How happy is every laundry detergent company that Garnett didn’t name any of them in this quote? If he did, everyone who read it would be standing in the CVS aisle like, “Hmm, Tide…is that the one that smells like Shaq? I do not want that one.” Huge sigh of relief from every laundry detergent company here.
3. Kevin Garnett :: Caesar salad
“If I was a Caesar salad, the croutons would be my friends, the lettuce would be my family and the dressing itself would be my mom,” Garnett said. “Because you can have the lettuce and the croutons, and it can be called a Caesar, but until you have the dressing and it actually tastes like a Caesar. . . .”
“Now Cobb salad,” Garnett continued, “that’s a different story. If I was a Cobb salad, my wife is the lettuce…no, sorry, my daughter is the lettuce. My wife is the bacon strips. My friend Steve is the avocado. Cassell and Ty Lue are each a grape tomato. Tom Gugliotta is the chives and also the hardboiled egg. All my childhood pets are the cheese. And my mom is the Caesar dressing. I ask for Caesar dressing on my Cobb salads.”
2. Kevin Garnett :: a woman who is trying to get pregnant
“I’m in it to win, man, I’m not in it to be coming back talking about next year. I’m 30. I’ve probably got 4 to 5 years, you know what I’m saying? My clock is ticking, man. I’m almost like a woman who’s trying to get pregnant. My years are limited, so my clock is definitely ticking.”
But then everything was resolved when Kevin Garnett got pregnant in 2008. Hey, KG turns 35 in May! If he gets pregnant this year, the risk of Down Syndrome is going to seriously spike. What does this mean? Is that concern affecting his play over the last few games? You’re not really feeling this discussion? Okay.
1. Four assists at halftime :: a green squirrel
“We had four assists at halftime, that’s not us,” said Garnett. “That’s like a green squirrel; Like, ‘What’s going on?’”
This one is the best because he gets out the whole idea in just a few words and it makes no sense. Please understand, Garnett is saying, that squirrels come in many colors. Grey, sure. Red? By all means. Sometimes squirrels can even be some kind of weird grey that looks blue in certain lights. But green? Green is not one of the colors. If you see a green squirrel, it is time to ask what is going on.