#Lookit

Kevin Garnett dunked on by spicy food on Chinese TV

Kevin Garnett is a tough dude. Sichuan-style kung pao chicken is tougher.

We don't know Kevin Garnett's life. We can imagine, from having watched him be Kevin Garnett in the NBA for so long, what his life is like — time with the family, wearing a lot of linen around his home, roaring at weird moments and playing really competitive rounds of golf with close friends like Prince and the Predator from The Predator — but we don't know. It is disappointing, if not really surprising, that a lot of Kevin Garnett's life involves promoting various things, which is what brought him to the set of a show called "Basketball Carnival," which airs on CCTV5, China's state-owned answer to ESPN.

This program, which is presented in the psychedelic pastel hues popular in Asian game shows and features illustrative boi-oi-oing sound effects to underscore the action, is something like 45 minutes long. You're certainly welcome to watch all of it if you think that's something your body and mind can withstand.

Presuming you don't, though, some summary. Garnett wears simultaneous-translation headphones, through which his hosts grill him on various questions: has he seen Kung Fu Panda, has he been to China before, and most fatefully what he has enjoyed eating there. Garnett, a bit hesitantly, answers "Kung Pao chicken." This leads to this exchange, which was helpfully translated by friend of the program Will Ford:

Female Host: (Pointing to a picture of Kung Pao chicken on a video screen) Is it this? Do you recognize this?

KG: I've never had that, what is that?

Male Host: Huh? You don't know what this is?

Female Host: Then was what you ate the American version?

Male Host: Do you eat chicken?

(There's a clucking chicken sound in the background)

Female Host: Actually this is Kung Pao chicken -- the Kung Pao chicken in China, that is.

Male Host: Chinese style.

KG: Oh okay, okay, I just learned something.

Male Host: Today we're going to let you have a taste of Kung Pao chicken.

KG: Yeah, roasted duck, yes, yes (note: no idea why Garnett says this.)

Male Host: Please, our basketball friend... (gesturing to the Kung Pao chicken being offered) Kung Pao chicken fresh out of the oven, still hot!

After which comes a brief lesson in chopstick usage. Garnett, a man of the world, has solid chopstick skills; "No matter that he's only a high school graduate," the male host says, "he's learned the principles of chopstick leverage!" Garnett uses those skills to bring some of the food up to his mouth. This is where things go very wrong.

Sadly for Our Basketball Friend Kevin Garnett, he has been served some extremely spicy Kung Pao chicken. Like, somewhere between "how it tastes in China's peppery Sichuan cuisine" and "how a sports talk show that evinces the symptoms of borderline personality disorder would serve Kung Pao chicken to Kevin Garnett as a cruel prank." Garnett compliments it, then points out that's very spicy, then starts sweating and is clowned for it by both hosts, and then takes a minute and some emergency hydration to get back into shape.

This, this is Kevin Garnett's life: getting viciously food-pranked -- Kung Pao'd, let's call it -- by Chinese game show hosts as part of his promotional duties. He wears these indignities because it is his duty. He is braver than we know. He should've said Peking duck.

Special thanks to Will Ford for the video and translation.

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