"Dray is wolfing the whole time at Kevin Garnett. You can't do those kinds of things. When you're coming up and establishing yourself, you don't take a guy that's been defensive player of the year and is probably the best power forward and get that guy juiced up to play against you. You got no chance."
Once again, here's how Blatche responded:
"I see myself as defending myself as a player. I'm a man, just like they a man. If a man is talking to me this close to my face," Blatche said, moving his hand toward his cheek. "I'm going to say something back. He has to respect me just like I respect him. I just, 'Get up out of my face.' He was this close in my face - I can feel his lips touching my cheek - I wasn't bragging saying 'Ah we winning.' It was 'Back up.' "
On the one hand, at the end of the day, the Wizards lost, and Kevin Garnett did come alive to smother Blatche on several possessions late in the game. It's also important to preach to Blatche that he can't lose his cool, because he does it a lot. On the other hand, you have to wonder why Saunders isn't defending his player more vigorously. Some of the stuff KG did was borderline nasty, and I don't blame Blatche for responding. I believe him when he says he wasn't trash talking KG and that it was KG that instigated everything. I also don't think it's fair to pin the collapse on Blatche. Plus, Blatche is a sensitive dude that needs positive reinforcement, so implying that he shouldn't stand tall against one of the greats of the game could be interpreted as saying Blatche should have no pride in himself.
I don't know, it's a tough call. Therefore, poll time!
UPDATE: In my haste to get the poll up, I mixed up the answers. They should be correct now.
Was Flip Saunders out of line to criticize Andray Blatche for his altercation with Kevin Garnett?
Yes. Flip needs to defend his player (507 votes)
No. Blatche needs to display more composure and Flip should say so (240 votes)
747 total votes