Postgame: 'Just basketball' for KG, Melo
NEW YORK -- New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reportedly charged the Celtics' locker room after Boston's 102-96 triumph on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, but if he was hoping to engage Kevin Garnett after some on-court flare-ups between the two, he was unsuccessful.
Anthony sprinted from the floor after the game and all indications are he attempted to pursue the Celtics toward their locker room.
Garnett said there was no altercation, noting, "No, no, man. Just basketball. Just basketball."
Contrary to Garnett's words, sources told ESPN New York that Melo and KG got into an altercation in the bowels of MSG that required building security to intervene.
"It was like being in the school yard," one witness to the incident said.
After the game, Anthony angrily approached the Celtics locker room and was screaming, according to one of the sources with knowledge of the incident. It is unclear if his ire at the time was directed at Garnett.
Anthony then approached Garnett near the Celtics' team bus. (VIDEO HERE.) MSG security intervened, according to a source.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn't exactly deny the whispers that quickly spread in the hallways when asked whether Anthony came in search of a confrontation.
"I’m going to let y’all figure that one out," Rivers said. "I’m going to stay out of that. If it was the playoffs, I’d tell on him, but since it’s not, I’m going to just be quiet."
Rivers took two subtle jabs with that remark: While offering a non-denial on Anthony, he made reference to reports that Hawks general manager Danny Ferry snitched on Rajon Rondo for bumping a game official during Saturday night's game at Atlanta, which led to Rondo being hit with a one-game suspension that forced him to miss Monday's game in New York.
Rivers downplayed the on-court chippiness, which saw Anthony and Garnett tagged with double technicals in the fourth quarter after some jawing during a dead-ball situation, but he hinted again that Anthony might gone a bit too far by pursuing things after the game.
"The game just got heated. It’s just basketball," Rivers said. "There's nothing wrong with getting heated. It happens. It’s a fun game, it’s competitive, it’s rough at times. That’s good, I think all that’s good. It should never carry over past that. I’ve had my moments as a player as well. It does, but you don’t want it to. And whenever it does, you feel terrible later. This is the way the game should be played to me, it should be a competitive hard game. I thought overall the officials let us play, both teams. That’s good with us."
Anthony did not make himself available to the media after Monday's game.
Garnett tried to defuse the situation.
"Listen, heat of the battle, man, guys throw back and forth," Garnett said of the on-court dust-up with Anthony. "He’s trying to get his team to go; I’m trying to get my team to go. Both teams are colliding. Not to mention that it’s the Knicks and the Celtics. Just what it is."
Garnett and Anthony are currently on pace to comprise part of the Eastern Conference frontcourt at the All-Star game next month in Houston. The Celtics and Knicks meet again before that during a national TV game on Jan. 24 in Boston.
Leave it to Celtics' rookie Jared Sullinger to offer some levity on the testy atmosphere at Madison Square Garden.
"That's testy? That's testy?" he asked. "I've seen way worse stuff in the 80s and I wasn't even born in the 80s. So, if that's testy, I didn't see it."
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