Tonight is the first meeting between the Celtics and Pistons since Detroit forward Charlie Villanueva's infamous tweet in which he accused the Celtics' Kevin Garnett of calling him a "cancer patient" during the heat of the moment of their Nov. 2 game in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Later the next day, Garnett denied those statements, saying he called Villanueva a "cancer to his team and to the league."
Villanueva tweeted in response that he knows what he heard, and the issue soon was dropped. But the two will face each other again tonight with the Celtics having won 15 of 16 and Garnett saying a few weeks ago he will not acknowledge a "nobody."
By the way, Villanueva suffers from alopecia, a condition that prevents the former UConn standout from growing hair.
"I stand by [the tweet], but it's over," Villanueva said following this morning's shootaround in Auburn Hills. "It happened in November. I will do whatever it takes to win a ballgame. But I'm not the type of guy who's going to go out there and make things up. I said what I said. Move on. The truth as told. That's all I'm worried about. I said what I had to say and it's over with."
When asked if he would speak to Garnett, Villanueva said, "No not at all. I don't expect anything to change with KG. He's known for being a trash-talker. I expect him to trash-talk tonight. I don't expect anything different."
Villanueva tweeted about three hours after the Celtics' 109-86 victory over the Pistons and by morning it was a national story, sparking debate about trash-talking in professional sports and whether any subject matter is inappropriate.
"I didn't expect it to get the attention that it got but you guys made it a big deal," he said. "It created some attention."
Add Villanueva to the list of younger players who idolized Garnett as a youngster but were turned off by his treatment of them.
"I think he's a tremendous player,'' Villanueva said. "He's somebody in my younger days that I looked up to. I respect him as player."