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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Melo's reaction over the top

By Sarah Spain

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony did not take kindly to Kevin Garnett's trash talk. Anthony was banned for one game.

Celtics star Kevin Garnett has long been known to dish out some of nastiest trash talk in the league, his yapper getting more of a workout than his legs on game nights. This past week the big-mouthed big man was at it again, reportedly telling Knicks guard Carmelo Anthony that his wife LaLa Vazquez "tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios."

The pair's in-game jawing got 'em both a technical and the remark made Anthony so mad he sought out Garnett after the game, confronting him in the tunnel, outside the locker rooms and in the arena parking garage. Anthony's attempts to physically engage Garnett resulted in a one-game suspension for the Knicks star; he'll miss Thursday night's contest against the Pacers.

If the rumor mill is to be believed, Anthony and Vasquez are currently estranged, which may be why he got so incensed. Garnett's insinuation was certainly crass, but most ballplayers have heard enough trash talk to let a comment like that slide. In this case, perhaps it hit a little too close to home.

Boston coach Doc Rivers spoke out about the most publicized cereal-based insult since the Lucky Charms leprechaun ripped Notre Dame's effort in the BCS Title game (alright that didn't happen), denying reports that Garnett brought up Anthony's wife.

"(Garnett) does (know where the line is)," Rivers told a Boston radio station. "He does. I will say that. I've never heard him cross the line. And usually when he talks about guys, it's usually about their game or their team or what he thinks if the guy's a winner or loser."

There's no known audio of the incident, so it is possible that Garnett never compared LaLa to the center of a balanced breakfast, but history tells us the Boston big man might not know where the line is, after all. Back in 2010 he allegedly called Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva "a cancer patient." Villanueva suffers from alopecia, a virus that prevents hair growth.

The incident reflected poorly on Garnett and further built up his reputation as a win-at-all-costs, hit-em-where-it-hurts kind of guy. Needling Anthony over an alleged rocky patch in his marriage sure isn't nice, but if the goal was to take his focus off the game, it worked.

I don't endorse Garnett's tendency to hit below the belt, but I do think Anthony’s gotta get a thicker skin. Every game is as much physical as mental and in Monday night's Celtics’ win, Garnett won both those battles.