While the NBA is on COVID-19 hiatus, Jason Oliver is reliving some of the most notable upsets and best bookie beats over the years. This week, a rookie talks too much trash to the GOAT.
Kevin Garnett is one of the NBA’s great trash talkers. He is known for running his mouth as much as he is the Hall of Fame career he ended up carving out on the court. However, throwing verbal barbs at the opposition didn’t always work out.
In February 1996 – Garnett’s rookie year – the 19-year-old decided to run his mouth at none other than Michael Jeffery Jordan. This is Jordan and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls were talking about here. You know, the team that won 72 games in a season and the first of three consecutive NBA championships?
Nonetheless, down by only two points to the 50-6 Bulls, Garnett of the 16-38 Minnesota Timberwolves decided to get chirpy.
Isaiah Rider was having himself a game. He was the focal point of the Timberwolves in this one and their best chance at victory. Garnett decided to let Rider know:
“Keep going at him [Jordan] – serve him. He can’t guard you!”
Little did he know, Jordan was within earshot. The greatest of all time had just heard a rookie tell his teammate, he can’t guard him…
Keep quiet and look away, right?
Garnett doubled down:
“Keep killing him. He can’t guard you. Keep going at him.”
It’s 74-72 at this point. The Timberwolves are hanging in there and punters cheering for their +16.5 line are sitting pretty.
Jordan wasn’t happy, though.
He stood there, staring at Garnett and Rider before Rider approached him to explain:
“Yo Mike, he don’t know the rules of the game. He’s just a young pup.”
Rider’s pleading didn’t help.
Jordan proceeded to hit basket, after basket after basket. Each time looking back at Garnett and Rider. Before you could blink, Chicago’s lead is out to 25.
The Timberwolves disturbed the beast, and the beast ended up with 35 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a blowout 120-99 Bulls win.
Just like that, the +16.5 line was gone.
Despite messing with the greatest player in NBA history and coming out second best, Garnett continued to talk his way through an excellent NBA career. But on this day, he cost underdog punters who looked sure to cash in heading into the 4th quarter.