In news that will shock absolutely no one, Kevin Garnett got some more friendly trash talk in towards his buddy LeBron James about the 2010 Boston Celtics-Cleveland Cavaliers playoff series.
If you’ll recall, that was the Eastern Conference semifinals series that Boston won in six games, which partly led to James’ first departure from the Cavaliers the following offseason.
In fairness, Garnett didn’t bring it up on his own; it came up after a question during the latest episode of Complex’s Load Management podcast where the Hall-of-Fame big man was asked specifically about comments he made a year prior stating that Boston had ‘broken’ LeBron James back in 2010.
Garnett was asked to expound on that, and this is what he had to say:
When he took the jersey off in 2010, we buried that jersey under the TD Bank Arena. That No. 23 ’Bron jersey was buried under the Garden. So when I say we broke that Cavs team and that momentum and took it over, we took the East over. Once we won that, it was over.
Garnett did go on to admit that James choosing to leave Cleveland and join the Miami Heat the following summer was a great decision, and arguably the best decision he has made in his career:
So [LeBron] had to make an adjustment. He goes down to Miami and makes arguably one of the best decisions of his career, and plays with arguably two other greats and they have their run. That’s what I meant when I say we broke the Cavs we broke LeBron in 2010. That’s what I meant. You have to look at it like ‘OK, if I’m going to be in Cleveland, I gotta be able to have boom-boom-boom.’ And in Cleveland, he didn’t have no boom-boom-boom. Not enough to get us [in Boston].
James and the Heat would face the Celtics in the postseason back-to-back years, in 2011 and 2012, winning the first series (2011 Eastern Conference semifinals) pretty handily in five games and the second series (2012 Eastern Conference Finals) in seven games, in what was one of the most grueling, hard-fought series of James’ career.
Garnett’s Celtics would stick together for one more season after that, but following a first-round playoff defeat to the New York Knicks in 2013, Boston decided it was time for a rebuild and traded Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets.
So, in a way, though Garnett and Co. did ‘break’ James and the Cavs back in 2010, causing the four-time MVP to depart from his hometown team for four seasons to join Miami, James returned the favor as a member of the Heat, helping break up the Big-3 Celtics for good.
In all, it was an entertaining rivalry between LeBron and Boston, one that is fun to look back and talk about – especially for Garnett and Pierce – to this day.