The Detroit Pistons’ Charlie Villanueva started a little drama this week, and it was all because of some tweets he wrote.
Apparently Villanueva stirred up some controversy when he accused Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett of calling a “cancer patient” during their game on Tuesday (November 2).
The Piston’s forward made it all public when he tweeted about the comment (@CV31): “KG called me a cancer patient, I’m pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he’s tossing it like it’s a joke.”
Despite how it may have sounded, KG called the incident “a major miscommunication”, and released a statement before his game on Wednesday (November 3) where he clarified what was said.
“My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact ‘You are cancerous to your team and our league,'” Garnett explained. “I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball.”
Seems pretty cut-n-dry right? Well, the fact that Villanueva tweeted about it to his 118,000 followers on Twitter made it a big issue … and since then, several people around the league are puzzled that he’d turn it into something that’s made headlines.
The Celtics’ director of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, spoke out about it this week, during a weekly call-in to Boston sports radio station WEEI (reports ESPN), in defense of Garnett.
“There’s one thing that I know for sure, and it’s that KG would not offend cancer patients,” Ainge said. “That makes no sense. It makes no sense on a lot of fronts. Not only is he experiencing it in his own family, but that’s just not something I’ve ever heard — in 30 years — ever say, in trash talking. What is logical in a trash talking situation for a player to say to another player, ‘You have cancer’ or ‘You are cancer’?”
Ainge continued, calling the motivation behind the tweets “self-promotion,” pointing how much Villanueva tweets on a regular basis.
“Tweeting is about self-promotion in most cases,” he said. “He’s [Villanueva] not trying to be a public servant by telling everybody. As a matter of fact he’s the one who brings light to this attention … There’s self-promotion in tweeting — all the time. You are talking about a guy who tweets in the middle of a game. Talk about self-promotion.
“It’s too easy to just sit there on your phone and not stand in front of a TV camera and fess up to some of these things. It’s much easier to just put it out there and people are going to believe it. … I think that Charlie was wrong — and there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it — by doing this.”
Others chimed in on the situation as well, including the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings and NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy, both of which say Villanueva should’ve kept his comments to himself.
“Personally, I don’t think I would have said anything to the media about (trash talk),” Jennings told the Boston Globe. “I know last year me and KG got into it, but I wasn’t going to tweet about it and tell you what he said because that’s nobody’s business.”
“He (Villanueva) crossed the line by tweeting it. He had a chance to do something about it during the game. Go to it,” Van Gundy said on ESPN Radio. “If you were that offended, and it is offensive if it was said, go to it right there. ..If he had a problem that he didn’t want to take care of on the court go confront him when you come out of Detroit. Both buses were right there. You can go stand there and let him know you didn’t appreciate it. There were many other ways to take care of this and I think the way that Villanueva took care of it was as wrong…”