“Just Stop Talking” Division: 3. Kevin Garnett vs. 6. Charles Barkley
3. Kevin Garnett
If you’ve ever gone head-to-head against Kevin Garnett, the chances are high that he’s insulted you at some point. It’s just the Garnett way — he liked to use his mouth to get under his opponents’ skin and play mind games to gain a competitive advantage.
Well, actually, even Garnett’s teammates weren’t safe from his barraging, as he reportedly made teammate Glen Davis cry during a 2008 game against Portland.
According to Paul Pierce, Garnett once even asked to rub Joakim Noah’s hair when he was a rookie, which Noah took as disrespectful. “I looked up to you, man,” said Noah to Garnett. “He’s a very mean guy,” Noah later said in a 2010 ESPN article.
When it comes to issues with the Spurs, there’s been a story floating around that’s never been confirmed, however, is a well-known rumor in NBA circles. In 1990, Tim Duncan’s mother passed away from breast cancer. The rumor says Garnett once told Duncan, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mother******” as he went to the free throw line in a 1999 matchup.
Again, this has never been confirmed, but it’s clear that Tim Duncan never liked Garnett as a person, so it wouldn’t be that surprising. Duncan ended his career with a 33-19 head-to-head advantage over Garnett, including a 6-2 record in the playoffs.
6. Charles Barkley
During the Spurs’ dominant runs in the 2000s, they were frequently featured on TNT due to their frequent, deep playoff runs. It was during that stretch that Charles Barkley decided to pick on the city of San Antonio.
Before I get into it, let me preface this by saying I appreciate Barkley’s sense of humor and the sense of humor of Inside the NBA as a whole. There’s a reason it’s an Emmy-Award-winning show. Looking back at Barkley’s comments, I can tell he was mostly joking to create a fun rivalry with the city. I’ll get back to what really bothered me, but first, let’s jump into what Barkley said about San Antonio.
“Them women down there, they ain’t got not skinny women,” said Barkley during the 2010 NBA playoffs. Barkley went on to double down repeatedly on this statement in subsequent broadcasts and continued the bit over the course of years.
Sir Charles also claimed San Antonio to be a “Podunk” city, which, by definition, means a small, insignificant, dull town. In 2013, he kept up his premise by talking about the “big ol’ women down in San Antonio.” Finally, in 2017, Barkley issued an “apology,” in which he said he understands why the women of San Antonio are so big after finding out how delicious churros are.
Personally, some of his comments were funny when taken in the lighthearted spirit I believe he meant them in. What irks me more is how Barkley has kept this bit up for over seven years. I’m a fan of comedy as well as basketball, so at some point, I feel like Charles needs some new material.
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barkley drag this old joke up when the Spurs play on TNT again next season.