Fearing Kevin Garnett trash talk, Steven Adams pretended not to know English

Kevin Garnett and Steven Adams get serious. (Getty Images)
Kevin Garnett and Steven Adams get serious. (Getty Images)

Kevin Garnett will leave quite the legacy as he walks away from an ungodly 21-year NBA career. He may very well have been the most versatile player in basketball history, in the discussion for the greatest defensive player of all time, and his ability to leave it all on the court was in place even when the Minnesota Timberwolves giant was a Timberpup, working as a teenager all the way back in 1995.

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Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams hadn’t even turned two years old when Garnett was drafted that year, and considering the hundreds upon hundreds of NBA players that KG lined up against prior to Adams’ NBA debut in 2013-14, it’s understandable that Garnett may not have been up on the where the Thunder rookie hailed from upon their first meeting.

The New Zealand native discussed as much with The Oklahoman’s Erik Horne on Sunday:

For those reading at home:

“He’s got this presence about him that’s intimidating,” Adams said. “He doesn’t talk to me at all.

“I played the English card one time. He said something and I was just like ‘oh … no English. No English, man. Sorry.’ He kinda left me alone, which is brilliant.”

This comes as a bit of a surprise, as Garnett was known for his tendency to go a little harder on foreign-born players with both his trash talk and taunting.

Prodded, Adams then dove deeper into what made Garnett’s intensity so special:

“The way he just talks to everyone. It’s not so much his trash talk – obviously he’s phenomenal at it – but it’s more so how he runs a team, how everyone picks up off his energy and does what he says. He’s a real smart guy and understands everyone. He’s real equal among his teammates, that’s what brilliant. People come to him and talk to him, but could also say something back. It’s a two-way road, that’s what I’d seen.”

It’s rather unfortunate that, even in a limited minutes capacity, we won’t get to see as much anymore. This league, even after 21 years of making ourselves familiar with him, will badly miss Kevin Garnett.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!