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Thursday, June 7th, 2012 at 12:50 pm  |  31 responses

Kevin Garnett Has Finally Earned Wally Szczerbiak’s Approval


KG’s former teammate in Minnesota, Wally Szczerbiak, was widely panned for criticizing Garnett on Twitter last week. Wally felt that Kevin often shrinks from the moment at crunchtime, but given the way the Celtics’ big man has played this postseason, Szczerbiak has had a change of heart and opinion. From the Boston Globe: “Szczerbiak did a bit of backtracking on his old friend-and-foe on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show on Wednesday. ‘Like he said in his interview last night, it’s incredible what he’s doing right now at his age,’ Szczerbiak said in the radio interview. ‘It is a credit to his craft, how professional he is. …He’s playing the best basketball quite possibly I’ve ever seen him play, at the biggest moments. It’s just incredible. The reason why I put the tweet out there about the clutch gene is to be objective. In our profession, our job is to be objective. We put LeBron on blast for not having the clutch gene. Watching KG throughout his career, now with Boston, I just threw it out there that, hey, let’s keep an eye on KG at crunch time and see what he does at crunch time. Because in years past, when we were with Minnesota, we had guys like Sam Cassell that took the big shot. Now with Boston he has Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. And to KG’s credit, why wouldn’t you defer to those guys at the end of games? They’re big-shot-makers. Paul Pierce showed it again last night.’ Then Szczerbiak threw out the major mea-culpa. ‘Having said that, KG proved me completely wrong last night,’ Szczerbiak said. ‘[He] made two huge free throws down the stretch and made a big 15-footer. If I’m one of the naysayers that’s helping motivate KG play at this level, then maybe the Boston fans owe me a little thank you. Because he’s just playing off the charts.’”

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  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Wtf is the clutch gene?

  • Fat Lever

    I get the feeling that the reason Szzzzurp made the initial comments is because KG hated him as a teammate and made Wally his prison jawn, essentially when they were both in Sota. I could be way off base, but based on how intense KG is as a teammate and Wally’s Zoolander-esque perceived demeanor, it seems like oil and water.

  • Kadavour

    balled with this dude at Island Garden a couple years ago. his J was WET from 3-4 feet outside of the 3 pt line.

  • Lloyd

    The “clutch gene” is a term which may have been coined by Skip (don’t know but he uses it a lot) to describe a player’s innate ability to come up big under pressure.

  • http://Slamonline.com Jzakoni

    You gotta be a FOOL to say that skip made up excuse me “coined’ the term clutch gene

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

    Wally got killed because he’s Wally, but he’s not totally off base here. I’m a huge KG fan, but he’s much like LeBron in the fact that he likes to share the ball before looking for him own shot. But He’s hit game winners in Minny and Boston. he completely took over game 7 against Sacto that year Minny went to the West Finals. he dominated the close out game in Boston against LA in 2008. So it’s not about him shrinking, its just most times he thinks to make the right “basketball” play first, instead of what it ultimately needed of him at the present time in the game.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Thanks Lloyd
    And dfrance I totally agree. KG has been known to dominate when the stakes are high and he’s hit game winners. I think Boston is benefiting from him being a little more selfish this year.

  • Kadavour

    He needs to put the ball on the floor some more though.

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

    ^Very true. Haslem bites on his pump fake every time and he’s a good enough passer to make a play after a couple of dribbles.

  • KrispyKreme

    Cosign Kadavour, he’s been settling for a ton of jumpers. I’m not sure how mobile he is anymore off the dribble bc he never seems to do it. I’d like to see an attacking KG. Nobody should be able to dee him on the block on that team.

  • kobe

    dfrance21 PREACH!

  • http://www.starting5.com.au NM30

    Tell Wally his approval has as much worth as a packet of chewed gum

  • bike

    Does the clutch gene have a racial component? Are black players more clutch than white players? Or is it more of a heredity thingy? If a player’s momma was clutch, then there is a high liklihood the player will be clutch.
    LMFAO!

  • joelfg

    Wally, you’re younger than KG. Why have you been out of the league for 4 years?

  • David

    Why is he being interviewed? And Sam was only there a couple years. Name me one other person who played big for Minnesota.

  • Seth

    I remember KG hitting big shots in both Minny and Boston. What I DON’T remember is Wally being clutch. I guess it’s easy to criticize players when you’re out of the game.

  • Da-REAL-Meat-Hook

    Look man Wally was keepin it real. Sometimes it goes wrong. But man o man, when it’s right it’s right.

  • Heals

    In the words of TBJ – Uck Wally Szer…. whatever, uck him. Dude routinely came up short when with Minny. Ucking Johnathon Taylor Thomas (where are my Home Improvement heads?) of the NBA…

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

    Lmao@ Heals. He does look a little JTT-ish

  • J. Lee

    All of this talk about clutch players is getting bothersome. Is this the new in word now. Where is it written the best player has to take the last shot? The last time i checked, there are 5 players on the court. The object of the game is to get the best shot possible.

  • Heals

    I agree J, I think this dissection of “clutch” whether it be players or plays is a result of 24 hour sports-news cycle. Why break down all the nuances of a close game when you can argue about 1 shot (or pass in LBJ’s case many times) on all your programs for the entire build up to next game. You can make claims and accusations much easier when you base them off a couple plays as opposed to the whole game…

  • http://www.starting5.com.au NM30

    Kg can now put Wally’s respect in his achievement cabinet next to his ring and other awards

  • http://cnbc.com New_Guy

    @David stephon marbury was big in Minny back in the day

  • Jerome

    KG is like the Honey Badger when it comes to most things, but especially when it comes to what WallyWorld thinks of him.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Rest easy Kev. Rest easy.

  • IDOT

    If I’m KG I wouldn’t give a damn about Wally’s approval. Wally stayed injured than he did playing. KG has a ring. Wally is Wally.

  • Mega

    joelfg kG’s a year older then Szczerbs

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    Zerbs the word. Wally speaks the real deal full of steal. Choke on a banana peel.

  • Tempest

    NM30 FTW.

  • TheWhiteMarkPrice

    I can’t even consider Wally a has-been, more like a never-was.

  • ClydeSays

    Wally had a couple of career years in Minny a decade ago (almost 50% fg, 40%,3pt, 85% Ft) and then it all fell apart. Injuries and his lack effort on D, brought him back down to Earth. You can imagine why KG didn’t give him much time, especially when Wally sat out good chunks of the TWolves seasons…

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