Charlie Villanueva, you big baby


Charlie Villanueva, you big baby

By Mary Paoletti

I can't believe that "Villanueva versus KG" is still making headlines.
Reportedly, Danny Ainge is the latest to jump in front of the morality missile aimed at Boston headcase Kevin Garnett.

"There's one thing that I know for sure, and it's that KG would not offend cancer patients," Ainge said. "That makes no sense. It makes no sense on a lot of fronts. Not only is he experiencing it in his own family, but that's just not something I've ever heard -- in 30 years -- ever say, in trash talking."

Thanks for weighing in, Danny.

It's nice to have some more people over here with me on KG's side. My problem with Charlie's bawling is completely different, though. I bet Garnett really did say he looked like a cancer patient.

And I don't care that if he did.

Some prefaces before I continue:

My family is one of the millions affected tragically by the disease. I celebrated my 21st birthday by going home to Maine for my young aunt's funeral. She was a wonderful woman and I hold a grudge. A huge one. I hate cancer with a blind rage and nothing about it is funny.

I'm a die-hard, irrationally biased UConn basketball fan. UC is my alma mater and Charlie Villanueva played on a dominant Huskies team that wrecked opponents right before my adoring eyeballs.

I think Kevin Garnett is slightly deranged. Dude's a sharp dresser and all but he's loony.

So why take KG's side? Because it's trash talk and trash talk is part of the game. Garnett wasn't trying to offend cancer patients, he was trying to offend Charlie Villanueva and CV is a baby for crying foul.

"But it's cancer!" the conservative cry. "You just can't go there!"

Hey: good luck on the Some Topics Are Off Limits crusade. Do you really believe that there are acceptable degrees of meanness? Are these outlined in the NBA rulebook somewhere? I saw on TV that Gout is making a comeback. Is that one off limits too?

"Damn, Will Bynum! You so slow, you play like you got Gout."


It would be impossible to draw a line. Do you really think KG's comment was the worst ever uttered? Zinedine Zidane will tell you it wasn't. I once heard "I HOPE EVERYTHING THAT YOU LOVE DIES" hollered between rivals during a SyracuseUConn game.

And that was just two fans jawing.

Nobody should care or comment on trash talk except the guys running the hardwood and that's where it should be settled. Villanueva lost the battle by letting KG in his head. The NBA will lose if some trash talk turns into an even bigger affair.

As they say...

Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days


Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

The Patriots had a busy day of gathering intel on Thursday. A very busy day. 

While Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia represented the Patriots at Ohio State and Notre Dame, respectively, the team had other representatives at high-profile pro days around the country including Stanford, Missouri and Utah. 

Here are a few of the players the Patriots were able to get a better look at . . . 

Stanford: The Patriots have shown plenty of interest in players coming from David Shaw's program in the past (Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards), and they'll undoubtedly appreciate the talents brought to the table by two of the school's projected first-rounders in Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Thomas is a powerful 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive lineman who can play just about anywhere up front. McCaffrey, meanwhile, is one of the most athletic running backs in this year's class. He worked out as a receiver on Thursday and could fill a multitude of roles as a pro, whether it's as a back, a slot receiver or a kick-returner. The Patriots would need to trade back into the first round to have a prayer at landing either player. 

Utah: The Utes have a handful of draftable offensive linemen and one who is expected to come off the board in the first round. Garrett Bolles, who lit up the combine, might be the top tackle available -- and there are those who believe he's just starting to tap into his potential. Isaac Asiata is a monster guard (6-3, 323, 34-inch arms) who put up more bench-press reps than any other offensive lineman at this year's combine, and center JJ Dielman is an intriguing later-round option. One of the quickest risers in the pre-draft process? Marcus Williams, who is an eye-popping athlete. He was top-five for those at his position at the combine in the vertical, broad jump and three-cone drill, and he looks like a ready-made NFL free safety. The Patriots are pretty well stocked at that spot, but if they're picking at the bottom of the first round and going with the best player available, they may very well think that's Williams. 

Missouri: Defensive players were in focus for scouts and coaches at the Tigers pro day, and Charles Harris was the headliner. One of the most impressive players within a very deep class of edge defenders, the 6-3, 253-pounder appears to have the quickness and burst to give NFL tackles fits. One of Harris' teammates up front, Josh Augusta, ran a pretty ridiculous 40-yard dash Thursday, clocking in just a shade under five seconds. Ridiculous, why? Because he's a defensive tackle who wighed 390 pounds during the season. That's moving. Augusta dropped down to 347 after being diagnosed with a thyroid issue in January and is looking to get to 335. Corner Aarion Penton can competes well for the football, but his size (5-9, 177) may scare teams off until late in the draft. 

Haggerty: Bruins show signs of 'nosedive out of playoffs'


Haggerty: Bruins show signs of 'nosedive out of playoffs'

Joe Haggerty breaks down the Boston Bruins 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning and discusses their playoff chances slipping away.