Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Carmelo Anthony said he “lost his composure” following the Celtics-Knicks game Monday night because Kevin Garnett said something to him during the game that “crossed the line.”
Garnett reportedly said something about Anthony’s wife, La La Vasquez, but whatever it was Melo didn’t appreciate it.
“There are certain things you just don’t say to men, another man, so I felt that he crossed the line,” Anthony said a day after the Knicks’ 102-96 loss to Boston.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed to SNY.tv that the league was investigating the matter, but said there was no timetable on an announcement.
Anthony — who said he hasn’t heard anything from the NBA about a possible fine or suspension — declined to say specifically what Garnett, a known provocateur, said during the game.
“I lost my cool yesterday, I accept that,” he said. “There’s certain things that push certain people’s buttons, and you guys will never know what them certain things is. I would never sit and tell you what them certain things is, what was said yesterday, what was done. What’s done is done.”
It wasn’t the first time Anthony — an early MVP candidate — has lost his cool this season, either.
He was ejected from a Dec. 21 home loss to the Chicago Bulls in a wild game that also saw head coach Mike Woodson and Tyson Chandler get ejected. Ironically, the Bulls return to the Garden Friday night.
Not surprisingly, Woodson defended his player.
“I’m not disappointed,” Woodson said. “We’ve sat down and we’ve talked about it. Hey listen, Melo’s been playing at a high level. And Melo likes winning. He’s tasted that here. And he’s a big part of why we’re winning and hey, you just can’t have slippage like that. This thing is about team, it’s about the New York Knicks, the organization and the players that are fielded here. It’s not about individuals.”
Anthony certainly didn’t keep his composure Monday night.
He confronted Garnett both outside the Celtics’ locker room and on the loading dock at Madison Square Garden in an effort to straighten things out with Garnett, with whom he was tussling and bustling in the lane throughout much of the second half.
“Nobody needs to know what was said behind closed doors so that situation was handled,” Anthony said.
A video posted by Comcast New England showed Anthony standing relatively calmly on the loading dock waiting for Garnett while being surrounded by numerous New York police officers and security. The video does not show Anthony ever coming face-to-face with Garnett.
Asked if he had spoken one-on-one with Garnett, Anthony added: “Absolutely, absolutely and that was the whole mindset and my motive of going back there and seeing him in that locker room and then seeing him on that bus. I just wanted to have a one-on-one conversation with him and talk it out like two grown men.”
Anthony and Woodson both said they hadn’t heard anything yet from the NBA.
“No, no, no, I haven’t talked to anybody,” Anthony said.
“Nothing happened for me to be suspended. I went, I wanted to talk to ‘KG.’ I think it was something that we both needed to get off our chests to see what really was the problem.
“It was no altercations, it was just a word in confidence that we needed to have. We move on from here.”
In Boston, Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters he didn’t think Anthony should be suspended.
“I think the fans pay and buy tickets to watch the players play, not be suspended,” Rivers said, according to the New York Times. “No matter how bad things are, I think the fans still pay to watch the guys. Fine him or do something else.”
The Knicks visit the Indiana Pacers Thursday before hosting the Bulls Friday.
Asked if he expected Anthony to be on the court Thursday, Woodson said: “I hope so, I haven’t heard anything from the league.”
Photo: Getty Images
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.