Kevin Garnett: 2012 Celtics 'Didn't Give a F--K About LeBron' in NBA Playoffs

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

BOSTON, MA - MAY 9: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Kevin Garnett said the Boston Celtics' elimination of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the 2010 NBA playoffs "broke" LeBron James and led to his choice of the Miami Heat in free agency that summer.

Garnett explained during an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast that series set the stage for the memorable seven-game clash between the Celtics and Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals:

The Ringer @ringer

“We broke LeBron. So get your a** out of here with that.” Watch to find out what exactly @KevinGarnett5KG is referencing. #BSPodcast https://t.co/VwEfLwLyfj

"The C's, we didn't give a f--k about LeBron," he said.

Garnett also suggested James and the Heat won that memorable 2012 postseason encounter because the NBA had an "agenda."

"The league knew that they had an agenda in which we wasn't part of the agenda. You understand? Right," he said. "And that's how they ended up winning that series. Yeah, I said it."

The 15-time All-Star said the members of those two teams have professional respect for each other, but they haven't been and will never be friendly—"it would be cool and respect, but it won't be like fraternizing."

Miami went on to cruise past the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals, winning in five games to give James his first NBA title. The Heat won another title in 2013, and LeBron returned to Cleveland in 2014 before leading the Cavs to their first championship in 2016.

Garnett left the Celtics, who captured the 2008 title, in 2013 and made stops with the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves, his original team, before retiring in 2016.

Both legends will eventually end up in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but it sounds like some bad blood from earlier this decade still lingers.