There is no arguing Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics' power forward, is a great player, though his knees have left him something less than that in the last two seasons.
Garnett a nice guy off the court, a monster on it
Still, he is an historically incredible player. Seven feet tall, and he can shoot and defend and play with remarkable intensity.
He is also a nasty elbow-throwing, cheap-shot artist. An all-time trash talker. And a walking volcano of barely contained rage.
Garnett is a contradiction. Off the court, he is a dutiful husband and father. He is actually quite shy.
When he talks, he does not look you in the eye. And he speaks so softly, as to almost be inaudible.
Yet on the court, he is renowned for his almost non-stop trash talking. That is hardly unusual or even objectionable. Larry Bird and Michael Jordan were legendary for talking trash.
But it is one thing to say: "Get that weak game outta here" or "I own you," and something else to make the verbal jabs extremely personal.
Garnett became embroiled in controversy last week when Detroit's Charlie Villanueva tweeted that Garnett called him a cancer patient during a game.
Villanueva has no body hair due to a rare autoimmune disease.
Garnett's reaction was to release a statement: "My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact, 'You are cancerous to your team and our league.'"
Oh, like that would make it OK. He doesn't get it, but then he never has.