The Boston Celtics are defined by their toughness, whether it be mental, physical or how those old-timers prefer their steaks. An elbow here, a kneed knee there — whatever it takes, the Celtics are down to do it, usually with an accompanying scream, skirmish or stand-off. With a time full of grizzled veterans, that toughness seems to emanate from within, Thomas Kinkade-style.

Except, according to Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith, it’s all bunk. From the Orlando Sentinel:

“They act tough. They’re not really tough. They act tough … To say that we’re going to go ‘Aarrgghh!? No one does that in this league. At the end of the day, they’re all young men. They’re going to go out and play. One team is going to execute better than the other. That’s what it comes down to. It doesn’t come down to that kind of toughness.”

Yes. More of this please. We need some good old-fashioned trash talks between some good teams. Ragging on the Celtics for being fake tough guys is a pretty good zing, since it really gets at the heart of what makes them the Celtics.

Not to mention, it’s kind of a subliminal burn on Kevin Garnett, who is the engineer of that no nonsense, no shots after the whistle, take-no-guff bravado, not to mention the emotional leader of the team. Between this, the earlier Dwight stuff and the currently-dormant Shaq/Howard feud, this is developing nicely. That’s awesome.

(via Celtics Blog)