Joakim Noah’s hatred for Kevin Garnett started when he was a rookie
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When Joakim Noah entered the league, he said he was a Kevin Garnett fan growing up, but that soon changed when he had an encounter with the 20-year veteran.
Garnett’s former teammate Paul Pierce said the first time Noah met Garnett on the basketball court, the very intense Garnett rubbed the then-rookie Noah the wrong way.
One time, he asked [Joakim] Noah if he could rub through his hair, like a female or something.…And I know that kind of made [Noah] hot. And this was when Noah was a rookie, too. I remember Noah looked up to KG. He was like, ‘Man, KG, I had your poster on my wall, I looked up to you, man.’ And then [Garnett] just said something like that, and was like ‘F— you, Noah.’ I was like, ‘Whoa.’ This kid fresh out of college, looks up to KG, just said he had his poster on the wall, and he tells him that! It crushed him. It crushed Noah.
Noah isn’t a quiet guy on the court either, so it’s easy to see why the two players didn’t get along. Noah said he isn’t a fan of Kevin Garnett and called him “a very mean guy” and “ugly.”
The two NBA big-men had physical altercations on the court, as well.
When Noah was a rookie, Garnett elbowed him right in the ribs after an offensive foul.
After all the trouble Garnett has caused for Noah throughout his career, Noah still thinks very highly of Garnett.
“So it’s always easy to get up for playing against him. He’s a helluva competitor. When he’s gone, I’m going to miss playing against him.”