Kevin Garnett was one of Joakim Noah’s favorite players growing up. With that said, you can’t blame Noah for being excited to face Garnett in the NBA.
However, the former Defensive Player of the Year learned a valuable lesson during his first NBA encounter with Garnett that he kept with him for the rest of his career, via NESN.
“I don’t think he remembers because I think the story meant a lot more to me than it did to him, you know?” Noah said on Monday’s episode of Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take. “I remember because I had KG posters on my wall, I had a (expletive) KG jersey growing up, so this is the story. This is what happened.
“I remember asking him a question about, like, ‘You going to work out with Joe?’ I was just trying to be cool. I just wanted to say something to my idol and he just looked over like, ‘Yo, who the (expletive) you talking to? Who the (expletive) do you think you’re talking to?’
“From that moment on, I swear to God, I’m going at him,” Noah continued. “Every single time we play, we are going at it. It changed my career. That moment changed my career because from that moment on, I learned that there is no love in battle and this is competition. At the end of the day, I’m trying to rip your (expletive) head off, you’re trying to rip my head off, let’s go. I’m trying to win just as bad as you’re trying to win. I’m not trying to make no friends. That moment right there changed everything.”
Joakim Noah and Kevin Garnett had a fierce rivalry. It was always fun when the two defensive stalwarts went at it whenever they faced each other in the NBA.
Noah worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers after LA lost DeMarcus Cousins to an ACL tear, but the Purple and Gold wound up signing Dwight Howard over Noah and Marreese Speights.
Noah, a former All-Star, has career NBA averages of 8.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 667 games with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Grizzlies.