Last night’s Celtics-Nets game took an interesting turn just before halftime when Kris Humphries committed a controversial hard foul on Kevin Garnett. Teammate Rajon Rondo didn’t approve of the foul, so he proceeded to shove Humphries which ultimately led to a brawl between the teams that carried into the crowd. Kris Humphries, Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace were all ejected from the game while Kevin Garnett received a technical foul. Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace declined comment after the game, and Rondo left the arena escorted by team security, so here’s what the remaining players/coaches had to say regarding the fiasco:
“Some guys are tough. Some guys pretend to be. He’s one of those that pretends to be,” said Terry. “I played with him (on the 2009-10 Dallas Mavericks). Maybe that’s the role (head coach) Avery (Johnson) wants him to have, but he could leave that to somebody else.”
On the brawl:
“It was all for no reason. There was no reason for that. We are just playing hard. That’s all we are doing. You aren’t going to let mosquitos in your face. You are going to get bumps all over your face. So you have to knock the mosquito down”
On Humphries defending himself:
“That’s just like a mosquito in your face. Eventually, you are going to swat at the mosquito, right?
It was just a hard foul… We all back each other up here… We have to protect each other. We’re a family around here.
This ain’t the Girl Scouts. This ain’t the Boy Scouts. This is the NBA.
“If I’m Brooklyn and the league, you’ve got to think we’re pretty soft the way we’re playing. We’re a soft team right now; we have no toughness….That stuff’s (fighting) not toughness. All that stuff, that’s not toughness.”
“Sometimes you just react. If someone’s pushing you the natural reaction is to push back.”
Avery Johnson, according to ESPN:
Johnson was proud of the way his team handled itself during the fiasco.
“First, nobody left the bench. Guys were protecting their teammates,” Johnson said. “And our guys, we play pretty hard in practice, so a lot of what you see on the court is a product of what I see everyday. Like I said, when you have Reggie Evans and Gerald Wallace and Keith Bogans, and guys with those types of spirits, you know, those guys are rough guys. But fortunately we were able to win the game and nobody got injured.”
Johnson was asked what Humphries could do to avoid a suspension.
“I think guys just try to defend themselves,” Johnson said. “I think the league should really take that into account. Because I don’t know if guys can just walk away all the time — they’ve got to kind of protect themselves, not necessarily drawing a punch, but you’ve got to protect yourself. There’s a right way to do it.”
Andray Blatche, according to NBA.com:
Re: Surprised by the altercation?:
“I’m not surprised at all. When that happened I saw Rondo going at Humph I knew everybody was about to have his back.”
Re: Will the altercation bring Nets closer together?:
“To me I feel like we are already together. I feel like we already got that chemistry, we are already a family.”
Courtney Lee, according to NBA.com:
Re: What he saw in the altercation:
“I just saw the hard foul and players stepping in to help KG, that’s all I seen.”
Re: Rondo trying to help KG:
“That shows signs of us being together. I mean it was a negative situation that definitely our team, I know KG and I know Rondo, didn’t want to be a part of but it happened in the moment and that’s the leader of our team so I feel that he did the right thing I’m sure there will be consequences from it but it just shows us being together.”
Joe Johnson, according to NBA.com:
Re: Did Humphries want to get ejected?:
“Oh I definitely don’t feel he wanted to get ejected. But he had to defend himself, so unfortunately he got booted for the rest of the game.”
Re: Mentality of the Nets organization:
“Just protect yourself at all times. We were in a situation where we had our brother out there battling and he had to protect himself. From that aspect like I said it’s pretty understandable. We’re not a team that’s gonna be pushed around or back down from anybody. I was proud of our guys tonight and the way we fought.”