Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan were two of the greatest big men of their generation but their different demeanors are what made their rivalry so fascinating.
Kevin Garnett was famous for being one of the most intense, aggressive and often petty players in NBA history. He was constantly barking, yelling and screaming on the court and his trash talk was legendary. Tim Duncan, on the other hand, was as cool as a cucumber. His most famous on-court blow-up happened when he was ejected from a game for laughing on the bench.
But, on a recent appearance on the All The Smoke podcast, Garnett talked in more detail about Duncan’s trash talk. And just because you couldn’t hear it or see it on the television podcast, didn’t mean it wasn’t happening (h/t NBA Reddit): ‘People wouldn’t see him verbally saying stuff he wouldn’t talk in sentences. Timmy would hit you “Ooo”, “Almost”, “Nice Try”. Like subtle shit, no gangster shit, no real hardcore shit…’
Who won the individual matchup between Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan?
Duncan and Garnett had plenty of time to trash talk each other, having met 52 times in their career, across the regular season and playoffs. Their individual numbers in those matchups were remarkably similar but Duncan often had better teammates, winning 33 of those 52 games and both playoff series in which they met.
Duncan and Garnett were inducted into the Hall of Fame together earlier this year and Garnett even mentioned Duncan in his acceptance speech. They’ll be linked forever in NBA lore but the idea of Duncan whispering trash to Garnett while they were playing definitely adds a whole new dimension.