The Celtics' 101-85 blowout might ignite a fire in the 76ers to defend their territory on Wednesday night. However, All-Star Kevin Garnett’s comments about the Philadelphia fans might tear the roof off in Game 6.
In a postgame interview, Garnett was asked to compare Boston fans with Philadelphia fans.
“Not even close,” said Garnett, “You’ve got fans, and you’ve got fair-weathered fans. Take that how you want.”
Trash talk on the court is completely acceptable. But to comment on the fans who have supported the 76ers all season is insulting. Fair-weather fans can be found in all sports and on every team, but describing a whole fan base as one is ignorant. Philadelphia has one of the greatest fan bases in the nation. Fans have come out in the thousands to see legends like Wilt Chamberlin, Julius Erving, and Allen Iverson do amazing things on the court.
The 76ers have had their rough patches over the years; such as the the 2001 championship run which featured many different coaches and the decline (and eventual trade) of Allen Iverson. Its been a rebuilding process ever since, which happens in almost every franchise.
Maybe Kevin Garnett doesn’t remember, but before he and Ray Allen got to Boston, the Celtics were also a bottom dweller.
The 76ers have seen a rise of interest in the team this year not because of the arrival of superstars, but because the team is playing well together. Coach Doug Collins has instilled a belief that anyone on the team can make shots, and playing stringent defense will create wins. This belief has connected with the Philadelphia fan base.
The old adage says "you should think before you speak". Kevin Garnett should especially know this. In Round 1, Atlanta Hawks owner Michael Gearon Jr. called him “old” and “one of the dirtiest players in the league.” Since then, Kevin Garnett has had one of the best postseasons of his career.
Garnett's comments about Philadelphia fans will surely resonate as they enter the Wells Fargo Center Wednesday, hopefully providing an extra spark to the team.