Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett got into some trouble on Monday night when the Houston Rockets met the Brooklyn Nets. The result of the altercation saw Garnett ejected from the game while Howard received a technical foul. The loss of temper cost both players dearly on the financial front too. Garnett was suspended for one game without pay causing him losses of around $109,000 while Howard received a fine of $15,000.
It all went down in the very first quarter of the game that ended with the Rockets beating the Nets 113-99. With around eight minutes remaining in the quarter, a foul was called when Garnett and Howard were standing side by side after a play. Garnett, losing his temper, pushed Howard and the Rockets player pushed him back before turning away. Garnett, however, refused to let it rest and followed Howard, slamming the ball against his back. Howard then turned to face Garnett who then proceeded to head-butt him on the side of his face and then pushed him back. Howard then swiped his hand across, hitting Garnett on his neck. It sure looked like Garnett wanted to take things to the next level, but both players were eventually restrained by officials and other players. Even then, Garnett seemed to be out of control, continuously talking to himself and charging towards Howard yet again.
The game was then halted while officials reviewed the play. Garnett received a personal foul, a technical foul and was ejected from the game while Howard picked up a technical. The suspension of one game was later handed out to him after the NBA conducted its own review. This is when Howard too was given a fine.
After the game, Garnett refused to speak to reporters and Howard refused to comment on the altercation either, simply saying that winning the game was more important to him. This isn’t the first time things have turned ugly for him on court this season. The Rockets’ center has been in controversies with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant as well. Garnett, of course, is well known for instigating other players. When it’s not physical, it’s his trash talking that gets to his opponents.
Surprisingly, Howard has spoken openly of how Garnett is his hero, even mentioning how his No. 12 is actually a representation of the No. 21 that Garnett wears. Even before the game, he spoke about the veteran. “I wanted to be just like him coming out of high school. When I was in high school I think I went to see him play one time, and it’s just crazy because you watch the game, you don’t see nothing special sometimes, but he’ll end up with 25 and 15. He’s always been that intense guy that’s gonna bring it every day at practice, and he really loves the game. And you can tell with his energy and effort. I think this is what, year 19? And he’s still playing with the same intensity as year one,” Howard said. He also spoke of Garnett’s ability to bug opponents with his trash talking skills. “Every time I play him he’s always talking trash,” Howard said. “He’ll have you so upset by the end of the game. Most of the time, he’s just talking to himself, but you just think he’s talking to you, so it’s crazy.”