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Why People Are Overreacting to the Feud Between Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Ray Allen #20 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics watch from the bench at the end of the game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers won 82-75. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2012

If you can even call it a "feud."

Kevin Garnett's recent comments about deleting Ray Allen's number from his phone have created quite a stir in the basketball world, and it's really not hard to see why. The offseason is over and the regular season is about a month away, so there really isn't much else to talk about.

So, all you need is a slightly controversial remark from a well-known NBA player, and you have the formula for overreaction to the max.

So Garnett doesn't want to talk to Allen anymore. Okay? And? They are not on the same team anymore. Not only that, but they are on opposite ends of what is the greatest rivalry in the sport today. Why should K.G. want to bother with Ray?

This is just not sour grapes on Garnett's part. This is a competitive fire that has burned in K.G. throughout his entire career. It is that same fire that is missing from so many professional athletes these days.

Garnett isn't like LeBron James or Kevin Durant. He does not want to be buddies with his opponents off the court. It's not that there is anything wrong with what James and Durant did by working out together this offseason, but it just demonstrates how much the NBA has changed over the years.

Can you envision Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas pairing up to work out during the summer months? Of course you can't, because it would have never happened. There was a legitimate dislike between rivals back then. You were not supposed to rendezvous with the enemy.

K.G. epitomizes that old-school mentality, a mentality that few other players in the league seem to possess these days. Kobe Bryant is one of those few. That's why it makes it so difficult not to admire his game. Even if you absolutely despise the Los Angeles Lakers, you have to have some sort of respect for the way that Bryant carries himself.

I actually like what Dwyane Wade said in response to Garnett's comments, saying how K.G. doesn't need to be talking to Miami Heat players anyway. He's right. I highly doubt Wade wants much to do with the likes of Garnett and Paul Pierce, so why should K.G. want anything to do with Allen? They were teammates. Were. Past tense. Now they are enemies.

That's why I hardly classify this as a "feud." There is nothing personal between Garnett and Ray. It's the simple fact that they are on the top two teams in the East, and will be battling for conference supremacy all season long. It's not a feud; it's competition.

Like it or not, this is what the NBA is missing today. Outside of the Boston Celtics and the Heat, there really is no genuine rivalry. The days of the '80s Celtics and Lakers and the '90s New York Knicks and Heat were long gone before these two clubs met in the playoffs the past three years (two with LeBron in Miami, though) to rekindle that spark. We as fans should want it this way.

We shouldn't see James and Durant being all buddy-buddy, and I think Durant is the one who should be chastised the most here. You just lost to LeBron in the Finals. You didn't just lose, either. You were obliterated in the deciding Game 5. And then, you go and work out with him? Why not work out with Russell Westbrook and James Harden? They are your teammates, after all.

The funniest thing about all of this? Durant is actually aiding James in making him better. That is just unfathomable to me.

I hate to say that Durant doesn't "get it," because he is a genuinely nice guy and you do have to appreciate that as a fan. What I will say is that Garnett doesn't get that; he doesn't understand how you can possibly spend that much time with your enemy.

In conclusion, I'll just say that there really is nothing to see here. If K.G. said what he said back in the '90s, nobody would give it a second thought. It would just be seen as standard procedure. It might even be seen as a soft comment.

But in this new era, it is viewed as going too far. It is perceived as words coming out of the mouth of a scorned individual.

Garnett knows that isn't the case.

So does Jordan.

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