Originally written on State Of The Celtics  |  Last updated 2/22/12
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Former Knicks enforcer Charles Oakley knows everything there is to know about real toughness and fraudulent toughness. Don't believe me? Just ask him. He'll tell you that he has his Ph.D in this stuff.

Because he's such an expert, Oakley decided that he needed spread the word about who's tough and who isn't. Of course, Kevin Garnett's name came up and Oakley stated his opinion without mincing words. (Sports Talk Network)

"Garnett left Minnesota and hollered and screamed and all that but hes not a tough guy. He's one of the weakest guys to ever play the game. He's a complimentary player and went to Paul Pierce's team and won a championship. I wouldn't consider him a top 10 tough guy."

If by "complimentary player," Mr. Oakley, you mean a guy who has scored over 23,000 points, grabbed over 13,000 rebounds, has won both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards and has been to 3,271 All-Star Games, then I agree that KG is nothing more than a complimentary player. But that's beside the point.

Just because Garnett doesn't throw guys to the floor when they come to the paint and doesn't try to turn every game into a brawl doesn't mean he's "one of the weakest guys to ever play the game." Weak players don't have 13 seasons of over 70 games played. Weak players don't dive for loose balls, guard whoever they're required to and play every game like it's their last. That's the kind of toughness that actually matters in basketball, not how many guys you can lay out and how many flagrant fouls you can rack up.

Then again, what would a real complimentary player like Oakley know about how toughness equates to winning championships?
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