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Kevin Garnett has never been shy about sharing his feelings with the world, and he was at it again recently when he went on the Bill Simmons podcast. This time, he was dishing about facing LeBron James in the playoffs in 2010 and 2012.
Garnett was on the Boston Celtics then, and they faced James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Celtics beat the Cavs in six games to move on to the Eastern Conference finals, and according to Garnett, the Celtics “broke” James during that series.
— The Ringer (@ringer) December 18, 2019
Simmons: You're trying to get into his head. You feel like you can break LeBron at this point [in the 2012 playoffs].
Garnett: We broke LeBron.
Simmons: In Game 5.
Garnett: So get your a-- out of here with that. You understand how he got to Cleveland. How he got to Miami, Bill? You remember that?
Simmons: Oh that's true. You broke him in 2010. Fair enough.
Not only does Garnett think the Celtics “broke” LeBron, he thinks that 2010 Celtics team was one of the main reasons James decided to leave his hometown team and sign with the Miami Heat just a few months later. He thinks the Celtics, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, chased LeBron out of Cleveland.
It’s hard to believe that the Celtics specifically chased James from Cleveland. The Cavs’ exit from the 2010 playoffs was disappointing, but it was the fifth straight year they’d been eliminated. James was also carrying a lot of the offensive load, and since he was finally reaching free agency, he was looking to play for a team where he’d have more help. With Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, he knew he’d have the assistance he needed to finally get that ring.
Garnett had more to say about facing James in the playoffs. He also told Simmons that in 2012, the Celtics weren’t afraid of him in the slightest. They barely rated him at all.
Garnett: Man, listen. Let me tell you something. The C's, we didn't give a f--- about LeBron. We didn't fear LeBron. And we didn't think he could beat all five of us. And that's how it felt.
Hmm, perhaps that’s why James had a monster Game 6 against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, which the Heat would win 4-3 on their way to their first of two straight NBA Championships.
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