fired back at Raptors
GM Masai Ujiri's jab at Brooklyn. (Ron Turenne/NBAE/Getty Images)
The Raptors and Nets are headed to the Barclays Center with their series tied 1-1, and Kevin Garnett has sent out a not-so-welcoming message to his neighbors from the north.
"I don't know if you can say 'F Brooklyn' and then come into Brooklyn," Garnett said Tuesday. "So we're about to see what it's like."
The comment -- a reference to Raptors GM Masai Ujiri's cursing of Brooklyn prior to Game 1 -- came after the Nets' 100-95 loss to the Raptors in Game 2. The victory marked Toronto's first postseason victory since 2008.
Brooklyn beat Toronto 94-87 in Game 1 at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday, though, transferring homecourt advantage from the No. 3 seed Raptors to the No. 6 seed Nets.
"When you're on the road, you try to get one [win] on the road, try to get homecourt advantage," Garnett said. "That's what we did. We've got to take care of home. It's going to be a rowdy environment. Like it should be."
The 37-year-old Garnett -- who has missed significant time recently due to a back injury -- finished with five points (on 1-for-5 shooting) and eight rebounds in Game 1 before posting 13 points (on 5-for-6 shooting) and four rebounds in Game 2. Following Tuesday's defeat, Garnett pointed to Toronto's fourth-quarter success as the difference.
"[Giving up] 36 points [in the fourth quarter], that's too many points for anybody," he said. "Preschool, little league, YMCA, the Raptors. Too many points. The fourth quarter is supposed to be our best quarter defensively. I don't think we played our best basketball. But on the road, hostile environment, still having a chance to win, I'll take it."
Garnett is the latest member of the Nets to reference Ujiri, who screamed “F— Brooklyn” while addressing a crowd of enthusiastic fans at the Maple Leaf Square outside the Air Canada Centre before Game 1. Joined on the stage by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president Tim Leiweke, Ujiri;s curse was met with loud cheers from thousands of Raptors fans had gathered at the outdoor rally.
Nets coach Jason Kidd tried to play off Ujiri’s comment in between Games 1 and 2.
“I don’t even know who their GM is,” Kidd said, according to Raptors.com.
Nets forward Paul Pierce, who delivered the Game 1 victory with a series of fourth-quarter baskets, took a subliminal approach in his response.
“I’m shocked Bryan Colangelo would make such a comment,” Pierce quipped, according to the New York Daily News.
When told that Ujiri replaced Colangelo, the Raptors’ former GM, last summer, Pierce added: “I don’t know who you’re talking about.”
The Sun reported that Ujiri issued an apologized at halftime of Game 1, referring to the comment as a “wrong choice of words.”
“Nothing against the Brooklyn guys,” he said. “You know how I feel, I don’t like them, but I apologize.”
The Raptors generally stood behind the popular Ujiri, who was named 2013 Executive of the Year.
“We have his back,” Amir Johnson said, according to the New York Post. “I’m with him 100 percent so if he said ‘f ‘em,’ I say ‘f ‘em.’”
USA Today Sports reported coach Dwane Casey’s reaction: “That’s Masai. That’s why our team plays like that. He’s a fiery guy. That should represent how we feel.”
The NBA later fined Ujiri $25,000 for the comment.
Video via TNT