Sunday , Jun , 24 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Did Kevin Garnett Pass On The Boston Celtics Because Of Beef With Wally Szczerbiak?

Rumors are surfacing that an old beef between Big Ticket and Wally Szczerbiak killed the Garnett-to-Boston trade … These two didn’t click as teammates in Minnesota … But what role did their relationship play in Garnett passing on the Celts? … Click here for this story and analysis …

Mitch Lawrence, a writer with the New York Daily News, speculated on why Kevin Garnett refused a trade to the Celtics:

Garnett last week, Minnesota’s franchise talent was angered by the team’s recent trade talks with Boston. The Celtics never had a shot at landing Garnett – who wanted no part of a reunion with ex-teammate Wally Szczerbiak – because they didn’t have the pieces.

The Big Ticket and Wally’s World never clicked as teammates. Sixteen months ago, Mike McGraw, a writer with the Daily Herald News, covered Szczerbiak’s trade from Minnesota to Boston:

Minnesota seemed to create a divorce made in heaven last week by sending Wally Szczerbiak to Boston and away from Kevin Garnett.

The dislike between the two players has been played up ever since Garnett punched an unsuspecting Szczerbiak in the locker room after practice a few years ago.

When Szczerbiak was sent to the Celtics with center Michael Olowokandi for Ricky Davis, Mark Blount and Marcus Banks, Garnett tried to maintain he never had a problem with his teammate of 6 1/2 seasons.

"I want to clear this up," Garnett said in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I’ve never had a beef with ‘World.’ As the primary on this team, I felt it was my responsibility to have the ball come through me, and consolidate it and distribute it to everybody. "

"I don’t know if ‘World’ was bothered by that. But I have no beef with ‘World.’ You’d see us on the plane. You’d see us out. We don’t hang, but we’re teammates. "

My Quick Take: and never gelled as teammates in . But I think this had little to do with K.G. turning down a trade to .

He examined the Celtics’ roster and realized they lacked the pieces to compete with the elite teams in the East. Phoenix, another K.G. suitor, is an excellent team with a more desirable climate and lifestyle.

This is why Garnett had no interest in the green-and-white. But what would have happened if Garnett and Szczerbiak were reunited with the Celtics?

Not much. These two easily co-existed with the Wolves. And Szczerbiak would have had bigger issues than Garnett-like getting healthy and re-establishing his reputation around the league as a scorer.

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