Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 at 9:20 am  |  53 responses

Ivan Johnson: Kevin Garnett is a Dirty Player

It wouldn’t be a Boston Celtics/Atlanta Hawks Playoff series without some bad blood. After just one game, there’s already a bit of beef between Ivan Johnson and Kevin Garnett. Per the Boston Herald: “Add another name to the ever-expanding list of Kevin Garnett critics. Hawks rookie forward Ivan Johnson became the latest to join the chorus this afternoon after Hawks practice. ‘Garnett, he’s a dirty player,’ Johnson said. ‘He gives me a lot of elbows, and I can handle that.’ Johnson said he expected that Garnett and the Celtics would attempt to do things to incite a reaction. ‘I was prepared for that,’ Johnson said. ‘I already knew how KG was going to come at me. They’re a whole bunch of mess-talkers.’ Johnson said he didn’t let the tactics get under his skin in Atlanta’s 83-74 win in Game 1 last night. ‘I know we’re not going to fight on the court,’ Johnson said. ‘I can handle it. I can take some hits. I try not to (give hits) because I’m usually the one that gets caught.’”

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  • Myung

    In other news, water is wet.

  • Myung

    I tell you one thing… if you know anything about Ivan Johnson’s history of anger/temper problems, you know NOT to mess with him. And have you SEEN this guy? Is there a scarier looking guy in the NBA? He looks like he could play middle linebacker for the Ravens. KG is a paper tiger. He does NOT want some of Ivan Johnson. This series is perfect for a guy like me: Hawks (my favorite sports franchise), playing KG (my least favorite NBA player) and the Celtics (my least favorite sports franchise). 3 more wins! Let’s get ‘em, Hawks!


    he’s dirty because he throws elbows? come on man unless its blatant like ron ron’s EVERYBODY DOES THAT. And the player who’s been banned by the korean league for fighting everybody, really shouldnt be talking AT ALL.

  • Heals

    Win an MVP while lifting teams to the playoffs and maybe you won’t get caught as much. If KG did what Dirk did (I have no issues with it) last night heads would be going crazy over how “dirty” and “fake thug” he is…

  • http://slamonline.com raylan

    If Johnson is that scary looking, where are those that said KG only mess with smaller guys

  • Myung

    Guys, it’s not even fair to compare Ivan Johnson to KG so let’s not go there. While I can’t stand KG, we all know he’s one of the best players of his generation and a first ballot Hall of Famer. I love my Hawks, but Ivan Johnson is basically just a hustle guy who plays hard and roughs people up. The reason he can’t get away with anything is because he’s a journeyman rookie so he’s basically at the bottom of the totem pole. He can breathe on Pierce or KG, and he’s going to get whistled for a foul. But just because Ivan is not even close to being in KG’s class as a player doesn’t mean he can’t call him dirty. I’ve thought KG was a dirty player for a really long time. Other guys with that reputation include Chris Paul, John Stockton, Rick Mahorn, Bill Laimbeer, and Reggie Evans. Some call it “crafty.” I call it “dirty.” But ultimately, if they’re getting away with it and the refs aren’t calling fouls, then more power to them. I think KG is dirty, but I still think he’s had an amazing career and as much as I dislike him, I respect him. Even if he’s a paper tiger.

  • Myung

    KG hasn’t messed with Ivan so far.

  • Heals

    If your Hawks had KG you wouldn’t feel the same way (or have lost as much to the C’s), read about him as a teammate and not an opponent to get the real picture…

  • http://aol.com The Iron Lung

    I love kg but he is dirty. Just because u are a hoall of famer dowsnt mean u didn’t play a little dirty.being a dirty player is a craft and kg has mastered it.(cp3 is dirty too)@heals what did dirk do that was wrong? Perkins was coming over to punk him and sirk stopped him in his tracks like”this ain’t that dude”

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I think it was Dennis Rodman that said “Receiving a pick from John Stockton was like running into a fire hydrant(elbows out at crotch level)”. I see KG being more on the “crafty” side, throwing cheap shots and elbows that are annoying, but at the end of the day, are not career threatening. When I think of dirty players, I think of the Bowens, Laimbeers, and even Bynum (when he’s being an idiot), guys who will step under you, undercut you, or even clothes-line you when you’re most vulnerable.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Ivan Johnson looks like he would destroy KG in a punch-up. Actually, I’d be comfortable taking him 1 vs 1 in a fight vs anyone except James Johnson. MMA>Brawler. Every time.

  • Myung

    Heals, that part is probably true because I’ve rooted for JR Rider and Christian Laettner (ugh) and Stephen Jackson, all because they were on the Hawks. So yes, THAT PART, I agree with. If you’re on the Hawks, I will root for you, even if you have flaws or even if I normally wouldn’t root for you. That being said, I’ve known guys who worked for the Hawks, and they’ve said their interactions with KG have been very negative. They’ve talked about how nice some of the opposing players are, but KG was one of the rudest people they’ve ever encountered. That kind of stuff sticks with me. In addition, I never liked KG, even when he was on Minnesota. Once he joined my least favorite team, that cemented it for me. It was a perfect marriage. And heals, there’s another side to this: just because a guy is on the Hawks doesn’t mean I am blind to his negative sides. Have you ever seen a bigger Josh Smith critic than me? And I constantly kill Joe for being overpaid and for being an emotionless robot. Just because you have a favorite team doesn’t mean you turn a blind eye to everything. Again, I understand why Boston fans stick up for KG, and I’m sure I’d do the same… but I know what I see: a guy with a foul mouth who loves to talk crap on the floor yet rarely backs it up during a physical confrontation. We’ve seen that over and over again in his career. He can talk with the best of them, but notice how quiet he gets when his team isn’t winning. He’s a front running paper tiger. I’ve felt this way about him for a long, long time. It doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a first ballot hall of famer. He absolutely is, and he’s a trailblazer for all the young cats who made it into the NBA straight out of high school (like Kobe, Bron, and Dwight). Much respect. I just wish he’d stop running his mouth.

  • Myung

    Hursty, Reggie Evans looks like he could do some damage too. And we already know he doesn’t mind giving a cheap shot or two. But Ivan is seriously one scary looking dude. I’ve yet to see him smile once this year.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    fransisco elson’s nut sac co-signs

  • FnF

    Water is wet

  • FnF

    On second thought, I’m just going to cosign Myung

  • Myung


  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yAgRAwH_8U what

    Ivan kind of made it as an offhand remark in his interview, though. Click my name. His comments are being a little overblown.

  • Youngindy21

    Everybody Knows KG is a dirty player. NEXT.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    ‘I know we’re not going to fight on the court,’ Johnson said.
    Ivan drops a subtle bomb on KG.

  • ClydeSays

    Locker Room material, rook.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    Reggie Evans is a tough looking dude, for sure. I’d still take Ivan though. Him or maybe Pekovic. Pek looks thug as hell. For some reason I laughed uncontrollably when he congratulated Brad Miller as Miller left the game for Minny this year. Pek’s emotions were not something I expected from a guy who looks as fierce as he does.


    Myung stfu

  • Myung

    Um, OK, Orange.

  • Heals

    Naw Myung you misunderstood where I was coming from. I didn’t mean you’d root for him just cause he’s rocking a Hawks jersey, I meant you’d ucking love him cause of how AMAZING he is as a teammate. Sure his shht with TD (another one of my favs, but for his cool demeanor) was annoying when he played for Minny, but for Ticket it’s family first and everyone else, well whatever their inconsequential to him. His teammates are his family (see MalikSealy) and he’d do anything for them. It’s been some of the most unselfish, grind it out, intense basketball I’ve ever seen a group play with. He’s the spark that made that happen. You know he’d fit right in with those raucus a$$ Atl crowds…

  • nailz

    co-sign lung and meat hook

  • nailz

    KG style is how everyone should be playing ball. Screw shaking hands before games, having chit chat between plays and all that other garbage. Heals said it best. KG’s team is his family. People hate on him, when they know they would love to have him on their team in a second. KG represents whats missing in today superstars.

  • Myung

    Heals, the city of Atlanta thanks you for overestimating (by a lot) how raucous you think our sports crowds are, especially for Hawks games. I was actually surprised by how loud they sounded on Sunday (and whenever they hand out those towels, it sort of helps). Plesantly surprised. But normally, our crowds are the opposite of raucous. That being said, I get your point now. Thanks for clarifying. I’m sure he’s a good teammate. Still, if you weren’t a C’s fan and if he played for another team, I think you’d probably find him to be annoying as well. :)

  • bike

    KG verbally and physically harasses opposing player. Opposing player gets mad. Opposing player attacks KG. Opposing player gets ejected, fined, or suspended.
    Don’t fight KG.

  • vtrobot

    Most of the great are/were dirty/crafty. Our view of whether it’s more dirty of crafty probably gets skewed by their other actions on and off the court. You want KG on your team. KG is a champion who ALWAYS tries his hardest and is one of the rare few who can change a whole team and an organization’s culture for the better.

  • Myung

    ^ Can’t argue with that, vtrobot.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    To me a dirty player is a player that does things on the court to injure/harm another player. KG might throw a cheap elbow here and there, bark at little point guards, talk smack but i’ve never seen him do anything to injure someone. Other than the Elson thing. lol. To me, Bruce Bowen should be the measuring stick for what a dirty player is.

  • http://fjklsf.com Jukai

    I thought James Johnson was a kickboxer and not an MMA guy.


    Cosign vtrobot. It’s the playoffs. Do or die time & only chumps moan about dirty players. Step up or get swept up.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Obviously they are trying to get in your head Atlanta Hawks. And obviously it’s working in a sense. If it really didn’t bother you, and you were actually prepared for it, you wouldn’t be bringing attention to it.

  • http://slamonline.com samoaninlondon

    The Iron Lung has the worst grammar/punctuation on the planet.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Bruce Bowen call’s anything dirty KG has done in the past 4 years combined, “A slow Tuesday”.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Derek Fisher: Dirty or crafty?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk


  • http://www.slamonline.com megatron

    lol ^

  • Heals

    The crowd on Sun was no different than the playoff games from 4 years back…

  • Myung

    Heals… no different? No, sir. I was there in 2008. One thing that’s always the case with Celtics games in Atlanta: a TON of Boston fans in green. That being said, there’s no way you can even try to capture how excited Atlanta fans were in 2008. We hadn’t made the Playoffs since 1999. Think about that sort of Playoff drought. I was a season ticket holder during our worst days (remember: we won 13 games during Mike Woodson’s first season). We went through some really dark days in Atlanta so when we finally (FINALLY!) made the Playoffs again in 2008, it was crazy here in Atlanta. We were so thirsty for winning Hawks basketball that we willed an under 0.500 8th seed to three wins vs. the eventual champs. The crowd was really into it. The following year, we played Miami in Round 1 (pre-Bron and Bosh), and the crowd was also very alive in that series as well (the rally towels were out in full force). The past two seasons before this one were Milwaukee and Orlando. Maybe the fans here just sort of expected us to win in round 1 (which we did the past three years). Maybe it was because the opponents were “ho hum.” Whatever the case is, the crowds the past few years simply cannot compare to the 2008 crowd. Now that we’re playing Boston again, I DO think the crowds are more fired up than the past two seasons, but the flip side is, there are a ton of C’s fans at Philips Arena (compared to Bucks and Magic fans the past two years) so it kind of evens it out. Yes, a LOT of people here hate the C’s like I do, but the passion of the fan base just isn’t as alive as it was in 2008. Things have changed. The fans have gotten spoiled (if you can even “spoil” a fanbase mired in mediocrity and a 2nd round celing). The crowd was into it Sunday, but I’m sorry… it wasn’t like it was in 2008. No comparison.

  • js

    Sounds like Ivan’s cracking under the pressure. Leave it on the court.

  • http://dennysisforwinners.blogspot.com DennysFishTacos

    Who’s Ivan Johnson?

  • Drew

    Just focus on Garnett for 5 minutes while watching the Celtics and it’s obvious he’s dirty. On defense he has his hands on the guy he’s guarding constantly. On offense his screens are always finished with an extra elbow shove. And the guy complains on every call. Yet he can’t take it when another guy touches him:


    Just search “Kevin Garnett dirty” on youtube and enjoy (or get further enraged). The guy’s a punk. Anything is possiblllllleeee…

  • Shecky Shabazz

    As Charles Barkley would say, “Ivan Johnson is on the list.”

  • smoove

    if your scared go to church

  • Elliot

    KG’s default comeback to anyone that calls him a dirty player “It doesn’t matter he’s a nobody” and he’s right.

  • kirklan

    some of these punks need to watch original nba and see the beating guys use to take…how come he wasnt dirty all along just now when the league is filled with cry babies

  • http://csnne.com chris

    When kg became a celtic is when this dirty player crap started when he was in minnasota u didnt hear about it.

  • marilyn

    King G is just MIGHTY and AWESOME…wah wah wah to all you crybabies..now World Peace [what a misnomer THAT is]is the DIRTIEST of the dirty..HE should be BANNED from ever playing in the NBA again…or WAIT…with his convoluted brain he probably thinks he’s playin for the NHL or the NFL…what a piece of DIRTY work WP is…go elbow HIM in the jewels…I’d kinda like to see that…as for IVAN the terrible..what can you expect from someone named after HIM??

  • Renato S.

    KG is not dirty, he is just too old school for the kids from these days. If you listen to some retired players’ interviews like MJ, for example, he talks about the little things you do to mess with your opponent, to get under their skin, the trash talk. Today’s kids use twitter to whine, trash talk is considered taunting, it’s just different days.

  • Drew

    Garnett is a fake tough guy who will only mix it up with the Villanuevas and Fryes of the world. Hopefully the Lakers meet the Celtics in the finals again so Ron Ron can elbow him into retirement.