Kevin Garnett Does Not Want To Actually Fight. Because No One Wants To Actually Fight.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

During the Rockets/Nets game last night, professional octogenarian Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard got into an altercation. Both men pushed each other, Garnett headbutted and threw the ball at Howard, and Howard hit Garnett with a forearm.


Now, what happened next depends on your interpretation of what happened next. And your interpretation of what happened next largely depends on what you "know" about Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard.

If you know that Kevin Garnett is motherfucking Kevin Garnett and you know that, despite his frame, Dwight Howard is a bitch, you might know Howard was lucky there were 20 people separating them.


If you know that Kevin Garnett is known for excessive posturing and you know that, despite the fact that he might not be mentally tough, Dwight Howard does not back down from anyone physically, you might know Garnett was lucky there were 20 people separating them.

The actual truth is somewhere in between. And by "The actual truth is somewhere in between" I mean "The actual truth is that neither actually wanted to fight." Dwight Howard is just more transparent about it. Garnett, however, wants everyone to think he wants to fight. Because "convincing everyone that you want to fight" is usually just as effective as "actual fighting."

Because no one — not Kevin Garnett, not Dwight Howard, not Chris Brown, not Erica Mena — actually wants to fight. Actually, let me rephrase that. A very small percentage of people (5%) genuinely enjoy the process of hitting people and getting hit. (And yes. Enjoying fighting means enjoying getting hit as well. Because that's a part of fighting.)

For the rest, the breakdown is as follows:

People who enjoy hitting people — and relish opportunities to hit people — but don't actually enjoy fighting: 10%


People who enjoy the mix of minor altercation/posturing that makes everyone around them think they want to — and can — fight even though they really don't want to actually fight: 10%

People who really, really don't want to fight, but will if put in a position where it's necessary: 50%


People who will do everything possible — beg, plead, run, etc — to not actually fight: 25%

If you are reading this, you are not in that 5%. Because if you were in that 5%, it would mean either A) you're currently in prison and have limited internet access, so you'd be on ESPN or PornHub instead of VSB, B) you're a boxer (And boxers don't read blogs. Because boxers don't read words.), C) you're in some type of law enforcement (police/military) and you hate nuance, or D) you're Ron Artest.


And since you are (probably) not Ron Artest, you don't actually want to fight.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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Guwop Geezus

I don't get why people assume KG would wash Dwight in a fight just cuz KG acts crazy. Realistically I'd probably take Dwight in a fight. But nobody is trying to fight in the NBA anyway since they'd probably be suspended at least 20-30 games. If you took your breakdown and applied it to the NBA it would probably be 99% don't want to fight and lose that check and 1% who don't care. That 1% would still include Ron Artest… and Stephen Jackson