Fans rejoiced at the late return of the lockout-shortened NBA season, and this year’s playoffs have been anything but predictable. From the young lads of OKC eliminating Kobe and company to the backseat the Celtics have taken to the Heat, the 2012 NBA Playoffs is all the way turnt up. Aside from the sweeps and upsets, a lot has been going on off the court as well, thanks to off-the-cuff remarks from your favorite players, commentators, musicians and athletes. With Game 1 of the NBA Finals kicking off tomorrow night (June 12) in Oklahoma City (OKC vs. Miami Heat), VIBE compiled the 15 craziest quotes of the 2012 NBA Playoffs so far.
Carlos Boozer - May 10, 2012
"I thought I played well, especially with the kind of season it was. We had the best record again in basketball, won our division again, had the top seed again. That's all that matters, yo."
Nonchalant much? Just after losing their star player Derrick Rose to a torn ACL for the remainder of the season, the Chicago Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs by the Sixers in six games. For Boozer, winning the chip doesn’t really matter after a good season, we guess.
Lil Wayne - May 31, 2012
“Going to go to the Thunder game tonight but was denied by the team to be in their arena. Wow. Smh. Go Spurs!”
Wayne took to Twitter to express his discontent with not being allowed into Game 2 of the Thunder/Spurs series this week. OKC spokesman Dan Mahoney retorted, stating that the YMCMB rapper requested courtside seats, which were not available for the game. "We'd love to have him at a game,” he said. “But like anyone else, he needs a ticket."
Michael Gearon - May 9, 2012
“Last night, we were playing this old physical team. They are old. I know what happens when you play basketball, old guys foul. [Kevin] Garnett is the dirtiest guy in the league. We are playing Boston last night and they had two fouls the whole first half. We had five times that and we’re athletic.”
Okay, we’ll admit it: Kevin Garnett is pretty seasoned and a tad aggressive. But the co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks got pretty brave by calling the green giant “dirty” and “old” in the same sentence. After their Game 1 against the Celtics in round one, Gearon was upset about the Hawks’ not getting “any calls.” He expressed his concern quite openly.
“When the Black Mamba can’t close two playoff games, it’s a dent his late career legacy. I’m gonna say it, ‘cause I’m gonna remember these games for a long time: unless he can pull one out tonight in Oklahoma—and I don’t think he can—the legacy took a hit.”
Maybe Skip is being a little dramatic (as usual). This theory may have stood if the Oklahoma City Thunder were not such a remarkable team, but you have to give it to Durant and Westbrook—these guys can play. One rough series shouldn’t ruin such a fine player’s legacy. Come on, son.
Skip Bayless - May 29
“Will LeBron ever grow up, conduct himself like a three-time MVP instead of this childish frontrunner taunting? At least go win ONE RING first.”
Clearly, Skip Bayless is not Lebron James’ biggest advocate—and he’s been quite vocal about it. Extremely, annoyingly vocal. After Lebron was seen showing a little less than sportsmanship-like behavior with KG in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Skip took to Twitter and sounded off. We have to agree with him on one thing: King James needs a ring NOW so Skip can shut his trap.
Stephen A. Smith (On First Take)
“You’re a radio host with the mute button available to you. You wanna make you point and press mute so you can’t hear anybody else so you can gloss over how wrong you are.”
Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are notorious for throwing verbal punches in the heat of a good ‘ole sports debate on ESPN, and the playoffs bring out the best and worse in them both. When Skip says that he psyched out LeBron James by pretending to support the Celtics in order to garner a Heat win, Smith lets him have it. It’s okay to switch your bid. Just don’t act like you did it on purpose, Mr. Bayless.
Stan Van Gundy - May 8, 2012
“As far as the speculation, I’ll say the same thing I’ve been saying all year: who gives a damn. They’ll make a decision when they make a decision. I’m not going to worry about it.”
This NBA season was a major fall from grace for the Orlando Magic. From Dwight Howard’s “should I stay or should I go” comments to a not-so-hot postseason, the magical ones have not had the best fortune. And like everyone thought, the end of the road came for Van Gundy. Good thing he didn’t give a damn.
LeBron James - May 21
"Whatever he's trying, it's not working. He's said he's not scared of LeBron […] I guess he's doing it for his own psyche. It's stupid."
Danny Granger played the tough guy role in the Pacers/Heat series and LeBron was not taking the bait. James vowed that he would not mess up his chances at an NBA title by feeding into Granger’s attempts to start a fight. He backed it up, and took the Pacers out in a 4-2 series.
Kobe Bryant - May 18, 2012
”We’re going to show up ready to play, ready to work. Have your big boy pants on, leave your diaper at home.”
Kobe was pretty confident going into Game 4 against the young Thunder-cats. Full of boast, he said, “game on” to Durant and his crew. Turns out it was easier to play in those diapers than those pants.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse on Twitter - May 1, 2012
“I want to slap Hinrich’s glasses off his face SO BAD.”
McLovin’ is quite the Celtics fan and got a little riled up when his team took a loss to the Hawks in round one. This is just funny. Period.
“You know the thing that’s funny? Dwyane Wade never gets any criticism because he didn’t close in the Finals last year. I actually think LeBron got tired […] But it's funny how Wade doesn't get any criticism for not finishing in the Finals last year. Wade’s a great offensive player, but LeBron makes everybody around him better.”
Apparently, it doesn’t matter how many T-Mobile commercials you do with Charles Barkley, he will still call you out on national television. Call it tough love or not, Sir Charles has been coming down on D. Wade all season. As if calling him “whiny” back in September wasn’t enough, he now gives the Heat player the blame for last year’s Finals fail.
Dwyane Wade - May 31, 2012
“I respect Charles for being a great player. I respect the relationship we have. He has a job to do. Whatever he’s going to say, he can say it. It doesn’t change the time I go to sleep, the time I wake up, and what I do in between. It’s TV ratings. It’s not going to change ‘06. So sorry, Charles, it’s not going to change ‘06 at all.”
Seriously, they looked like best friends in those commercials, right? Now, Wade only claims to “respect” Barkley. But this isn’t the first time Barkley has been a naysayer against the most unlikely players, either. And you thought basketball came between you and your homeboy/girls.
Kevin Garnett - May 10, 2012
“First off, I want to say thank you to their owner for giving me some extra gas tonight. My only advice to him is next time he opens his mouth actually know what he’s talking about — X’s and O’s versus his checkbook and the bottom line […] I just found that comment to be a little rude and a little out of hand, and I wanted to address it. Just because you’ve got a bunch of money don’t mean you can open your mouth.”
Garnett wanted to make two things clear in response to Gearon. One, there is a striking difference between aggressive and “dirty.” Two, Gearon was not in the position to make such offensive remarks against him. He also thanked the Hawks owner for a little extra motivation.
Kobe Bryant - May 19, 2012
"Pau's got to be more assertive. He's the guy they're leaving [open]. When he's catching the ball, he's looking to pass. He's got to be aggressive. He's got to shoot the ball or drive the ball to the basket. He will be next game."
And when it all goes wrong, blame Pau Gasol. Bryant is no stranger to pointing the finger. But in this case, he wasn’t entirely wrong. Had it not been for a turnover by Gasol in the final seconds of Game 4, Durant would not have hit that last three-pointer to win the game. Turns out, the Lakers couldn’t keep OKC at bay long enough to win the series. Sucks to be them.
Kevin Garnett - May 21, 2012
"You got fans and then you got fair-weather fans. Take that how you want."
No sports team is a stranger to the over-the-top enthusiasm of Philly fans, and the playoffs were no different. One rather large 76ers fan in particular has become infamous for using his round belly to distract Garnett at the free throw line. Needless to say, the Celtic was not pleased. And he took a shot at part-time Philly fans to prove it.