Celtics' Garnett suspended 1 game
The Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett doesn't regret his role in a fracas by his opponent's bench. Neither does the Miami Heat player he elbowed in the face.
Garnett paid a bigger price yesterday when the NBA suspended him for tomorrow night's second game of Boston's playoff series with Miami. The Heat's Quentin Richardson was fined $25,000.
The pushing and woofing took place with 40 seconds left in the Celtics' 85-76 Game 1 win Saturday night. Boston's Paul Pierce had fallen by the Heat's bench, holding his right shoulder in apparent pain. Garnett leaned over, then held off Richardson, coming from behind, with his left forearm. Moments later, Boston's passionate leader elbowed Richardson in the face.
"Not at all," Garnett said calmly yesterday when asked if he regretted his actions. "I would hope if I was hurt or if I was down in that position someone would at least give me some space to sort of recover or to gather myself. That's the only thing I was asking for."
Richardson, one of Miami's more emotional players, also shrugged off the idea of regrets.
"Me?" he said. "I didn't do anything regretful. I didn't throw any punches or swing on anybody."
BULLS' NOAH TAKES SHOT AT GARNETT
Already despised and cast as a villain in Cleveland, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah may now be Public Enemy No. 1 in Boston.
With a day off to recuperate after guarding Cleveland Cavaliers behemoth big man Shaquille O'Neal, Noah decided to take a shot at Kevin Garnett, calling the Celtics forward "a dirty player" for throwing an elbow at Miami's Quentin Richardson in their NBA playoff opener.
Before Garnett's Game 2 suspension was announced yesterday, Noah said Garnett deserves whatever punishment is coming.
"I'm going to say it: He's a dirty player," Noah said yesterday. "He's always swinging elbows, man. I'm hurting right now because of an elbow he threw. It's unbelievable. He's a dirty player. It's one thing to be competitive and compete and all that.
"But don't be a dirty player, man. He's a dirty player."
Earlier in the season, Noah jawed at LeBron James for dancing on the sideline with Cleveland in control late. Then, as the playoffs approached, Noah proclaimed the Bulls were "going to try to shock the world" against the heavily favored Cavs.
OKUR HAS TORN ACHILLES' TENDON
Utah general manager Kevin O'Connor says center Mehmet Okur has a torn left Achilles' tendon and is out for the remainder of the playoffs.
Okur needs surgery and will likely miss the world championships this summer in his native Turkey. He flew home to Salt Lake City yesterday after an MRI revealed the tear.
Okur was injured while driving to the basket in the first half of Utah's Game 1 loss at Denver on Saturday night.