NBA fans (and sometimes writers) often complain that the league no longer has truly great and emotionally resonant rivalries like it did in decades gone by. The general idea is that, with regular player movement and an AAU structure that forces them to interact at a young age, these athletes are too friendly to bring the same level of animosity to NBA competition. Something has been lost, and many want it back.
The good news for people with this view is that Kevin Garnett exists. Though Garnett is very much of this same buddy-buddy generation, his manic intensity casts every basketball game he plays in as a war, complete with ridiculous gun analogies and all kinds of personal beliefs that we can only guess at.
Since 2007, sharpshooting guard Ray Allen stood with KG in battle. However, now that Allen has signed with the rival Miami Heat, everything has changed. In fact, Garnett has now cut off all contact with Allen. At Celtics media day Friday, he said he doesn’t even have his phone number. From Chris Forsberg for ESPNBoston.com: