New York Knicks: Kevin Garnett

La La: Garnett didn't make cereal reference

January, 28, 2014
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Do you remember the Carmelo Anthony-Kevin Garnett dustup last year?

Do you remember hearing that Garnett made reference to a certain cereal in remarks he allegedly made to Carmelo?

Well, what you heard was inaccurate, according to La La Anthony.

Anthony writes in her new book, "The Playbook," that Garnett never made a reference to cereal when he was talking trash to Anthony.

Anthony was incensed at Garnett and later confronted him outside of the Celtics' locker room and the team bus.

He was suspended for his actions and sat out the Knicks' next game against Indiana.

"I wasn't ever going to bring up the Honey Nut Cheerios incident again. But since I'm writing this book, I might as well set the record straight for good," La La writes in the book, which was released Tuesday, according to the New York Post. "Kevin Garnett in fact had never said that I tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. I tried to figure out how this big lie was turned into a media firestorm. I still can't answer that one ... Melo and Kevin are cool today. And now it's nothing but a faint memory."

Anthony adds: "At first I was embarrassed and angry but then I just had to laugh about it. I mean, that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard and if Kevin Garnett had actually said that about me, what exactly did it mean?

"Because he and I were never more than passing acquaintances. It was just dumb.

"While people had a lot of fun with the whole Honey Nut Cheerios thing, the truth is they couldn't really take it much further than that because of how I carry myself."

KG on Bargnani: 'I don't understand Italian'

December, 5, 2013
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NEW YORK -- New York Knicks center Andrea Bargnani was ejected for talking trash to Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett in the fourth quarter of New York’s 113-83 blowout win over Brooklyn on Thursday -- but Garnett claimed he didn’t know what Bargnani said.

[+] EnlargeAndrea Bargnani, Kevin Garnett
Al Bello/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett and Andrea Bargnani got tangled up Thursday in Brooklyn.
“I don’t understand Italian,” Garnett said after the game.

Asked if Bargnani said something “nice” to him, Garnett responded, “Next question.”

Bargnani didn't want to get into specifics after the game but did say, “I wasn't speaking Italian but that's not important. The game is important. I'm happy we won.”

With 9:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, Garnett and Bargnani got tangled up trying to grab a rebound. After falling to the floor, Bargnani got in Garnett’s face, and Garnett put his hands up. Bargnani, who was whistled for a loose-ball foul as well, had hit Garnett with an elbow in the paint moments earlier.

Both players received technical fouls. Bargnani was hit with his second “T” and thrown out of the game at the 8:22 mark after talking more trash to Garnett following a made 21-foot jumper. Bargnani finished with 16 points in 28 minutes.

That wasn’t the only extracurricular incident of the night. Nets center Andray Blatche and Knicks guard Iman Shumpert exchanged words and received technical fouls with 1:55 left in the second quarter after Blatche shouldered Shumpert on a pick.

“Nothing serious,” Blatche said.

The two have a history. Two preseasons ago, Shumpert called Blatche “terrible” and “horrible” from the bench while the Knicks guard was sitting out with an injury during a game on Long Island.

KG offers no comment on Melo ... kind of

July, 18, 2013
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NEW YORK -- Kevin Garnett versus Carmelo Anthony. Brooklyn Nets versus New York Knicks.

This should add more fuel to a rivalry that doesn't really need it.

Asked if he was looking forward to facing Anthony this season, KG responded Thursday, "I'm looking forward to joining the Brooklyn Nets."

[+] EnlargeKevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony will play key roles in the battle for New York supremacy.
He then appeared to wink at the reporter who asked the question.

Anthony and Garnett clashed during a Jan. 7 game between the Knicks and Boston Celtics at the Garden. After the game, Melo chased after Garnett to the Celtics' locker room. Anthony then approached Garnett at the Celtics' team bus.

Madison Square Garden security, New York City police officers, team security and even Knicks coach Mike Woodson intervened before the incident could escalate.

Anthony was upset over something Garnett, a notorious trash-talker, had said.

"It's certain things that you just don't say to men, another man," Anthony said at the time. "I felt that he crossed the line."

Anthony was suspended for a game as a result of the incident.

On Thursday, Garnett wouldn't say if the Nets were better than the Knicks. "Nah," he said, refusing to comment.

Asked about the new rivalry, Garnett said, "I'm just going to ride this wave and come on with it. I'll figure it out as it goes. I don't really know.

"I'm a fan of basketball, so I watch all the games that are played, but for me to be in it, it can't be different from the Lakers and Celtics. Rivalries are rivalries. I'm looking forward to it."

Bargnani eager for fresh start

July, 11, 2013
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Andrea BargnaniRocky Widner/Getty ImagesAndrea Bargnani said he "really wants" to help the Knicks win next season.
After suffering through years of losing with the Toronto Raptors, former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani is looking forward to a fresh start with the New York Knicks.

"I had a weird experience in Toronto. I had good years and the last couple of years were bad. When you lose there's going to be frustration. I'm just very excited to be here. I can't wait to start," Bargnani said on a conference call Thursday. "I really want to help this team to win... I'm starving to win."

The Knicks sent Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and second-rounders in 2014 and 2017 to Toronto to acquire Bargnani in a trade that was officially announced on Wednesday.

For the full news story, click here.

GLEN NOT WORRIED ABOUT PARTING WITH PICK: Some Knicks fans weren't happy that the Knicks including their 2016 first-round pick in the trade for Bargnani. The Knicks now have just one pick -- a 2015 first-rounder -- over the next three drafts.

"Obviously you'd like to have a lot of draft picks, but at the same time we use those draft picks to get good players; we're a good team because we use those draft picks and as we all know draft picks are not guarantees always," Grunwald said.

Here's what Grunwald said about sending the 2016 first-rounder to Toronto for Bargnani:

"It was already subject to a flip with Denver [as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade], so that it would be the least favorable of our pick or Denver's pick. Denver I think is going to be pretty good for a while. I didn't think we were at risk of giving up a really top pick," Grunwald said. "So again, you're looking at giving up a pick maybe in the 20s or something like that. I didn't think it was that valuable versus getting a really talented player like Andrea."

Grunwald also downplayed the idea that the Knicks made the trade for Bargnani in response to the Brooklyn Nets' headline-grabbing additions of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

"I think we’re always trying to get better," Grunwald said. "... We wanted to take another step forward this year and we felt that [acquiring] Andrea was a step forward for us and, notwithstanding what other teams do, we have to get better. We made a big step forward last season but obviously we're not satisfied and we need to continue to move this organization forward."

BARGS TO WEAR NO. 77: Bargnani will wear No. 77. His preferred number, seven, is currently worn by Carmelo Anthony.

"I was going to change my number anyway," Bargnani explained. "I always liked 77. I wanted to have it in Toronto."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Woodson: 'Offensively, we're searching'

May, 2, 2013
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FeltonBrad Penner/USA TODAY SportsRaymond Felton scored 21 points and dished out four dimes despite the Knicks' struggles on offense.
Before the Knicks take the practice court Thursday morning, the coaching staff is going to spend a considerable time going through the offensive game tape of Game 5's loss.

While the Knicks haven’t averaged 100 points per game in the series like they did during the regular season, their offensive flaws have been particularly exposed after back-to-back losses.

"Offensively, we were searching," coach Mike Woodson said after Game 5. "I'll go back and break this tape down, and we've got to come up with another plan."

The first thing Woodson is going to notice is how the Knicks' subpar defense didn't lead to much offense -- something he preaches constantly to his guys. Entering Wednesday night, the Knicks had 44 steals in the series compared to the Celtics' 21. But the Knicks had only eight steals in Game 5 and didn't capitalize that much in transition off of defensive rebounds. When the Knicks went up 3-0, those factors led to the Knicks controlling the tempo and scoring more points in the open court with their guard-oriented lineup.

"We're just not getting into our offense quick enough," Woodson said after Game 5. "We're just laboring. Our pace has got to pick up; that's on me."

Give some credit to the Celtics. In the past two games, they limited the Knicks' transition game while picking up their own pace. In the past two games, the Celtics had 25 fast-break points compared to the Knicks' 19. The Celtics have slowed down the Knicks to make them play half-court basketball through Carmelo Anthony, and the abundance of isolation caused by that slowing -- 28.6 percent of their plays in Game 4 and 26.3 percent in Game 5 -- has hurt them. The Celtics excel more defensively with their physical, grind-it-out style, and they're now winning that battle.

"The playoffs are like a game of chess, and Doc [Rivers] is winning," a veteran NBA scout said. "Doc is better than Mike at making adjustments. Doc is one of the best in the game at that."

The pressure is now on Woodson, so what might he do if Game 6 is more halfcourt-oriented?

It all starts with Anthony. Because the ball is in his hands the majority of the time, six assists won't cut it. That's how many he has in the entire series. While Melo "takes it personal with the Celtics," according to James White, he can't get caught up in trying to be a one-on-one hero. He needs to trust his teammates more and make quicker reads in pick-and-rolls and out of double-teams, utilizing skip passes to throw off the Celtics' defense.

The bottom line is: The Knicks need better ball movement. That team approach was a major difference for the Celtics in Game 5.

"I thought we moved the ball well," Kevin Garnett said. "In order for us to be successful, we need to lean on one another on both ends of the court."

Woodson also needs to play Pablo Prigioni more so he can set the tone offensively. The Argentine logged only 13 minutes in Game 5. And what about Chris Copeland? The Knicks have no other low-post threat besides Anthony, and a surprise substitution can come in handy. The Knicks also need to inject some clever screen sets to get their 3-point shooting going.

"If they don't go off from the 3-point line in the next game, it's big trouble in the Big Apple," the scout said.

After Game 5, some of the Knicks just felt they missed shots they normally make. But it's more than that, and the team will need to make some adjustments in Game 6.

Even Anthony knows the Celtics won't go away.

"It wasn't going to be a walk in the park," he said. "Those guys were going to fight, and they're showing some fight right now."

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Behind enemy lines: Defending Melo

April, 17, 2013
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Carmelo AnthonyAP Photo/Charles KrupaAn armbar, of sorts, from Paul Pierce: OK, that might work against Melo.
Toward the end of the third quarter Sunday, Pacers forward Sam Young fouled Carmelo Anthony, bruising his left shoulder. Melo took his free throws and then sat out the fourth quarter to receive treatment.

Physical play from top defensive teams is not foreign to Melo. He knows it will happen in the playoffs, starting Saturday when the Boston Celtics come to town.

"I've just got to deal with it," he said. "We know it's going to be a physical series."

The Celtics are aware of how Anthony has raised his game, averaging 32.5 points during the Knicks' recent 14-1 stretch.

"He's playing unbelievable," nemesis Kevin Garnett said. "We've got our work cut out for us."

So how might the Celtics look to defend Anthony? Here are seven tactics -- with insights from two veteran NBA scouts -- and how the Knicks' star will need to counter them:

1. Ball denial. The Celtics will do that as much as possible, especially farther away from the basket.

"They load up on the strong side," a scout said. "They bring a big man over to help and make him pass. They make him take the baseline and make tough 2-pointers before a 3-point shot or paint penetration."

Melo's move: Stopping the ball is a no-no. With a second defender approaching, some keys will be passing out quickly, making fast moves before the extra pressure arrives, or slipping behind his man for the alley-oop feed. Anthony also must be prepared to pull up to his right. The Celtics know he likes to initiate his jump shot with a crossover from right to left, using his off hand as a helpful guide.

[+] EnlargeCarmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesHip-check from Kevin Garnett: That's another tactic.
2. Extra work after the catch. The Celtics will look to make Melo uncomfortable with the ball, making him work for everything while trying to keep him off the foul line.

"They'll make him change direction, make him work off screens," a scout said.

Melo's move: Head-fakes in triple-threat formation or off one dribble might help him draw fouls. He'll also need to use his trademark one-dribble-into-a-spin-move layup finish. His size (6-foot-8, 235 pounds) enables him to bump off his man and get his shot off.

3. Blitz traps. With Melo running more pick-and-rolls this season, the Celtics will look to run sudden half-court traps at him, sometimes featuring perimeter defensive specialist Avery Bradley to generate backcourt steals and transition points.

Melo's move: More LeBron-esque skip passes. "He needs to look past the first pass and look to the second player who's open," a scout said. "That's what LeBron James does so well."

4. Mixing up schemes. The Celtics have a unique man-to-man defensive approach to limit a star player's penetration. A scout called it "box and elbows," meaning "they pack it in and don't let players get points in the paint."

In addition, sometimes the Celtics switch to a box-and-one scheme on Melo to put more pressure on him -- or, toward the end of a game, they utilize a zone D or an extra defender to keep him off balance.

"When guys are tired, they [the Celtics] really amp up the pressure and try to get the ball out of their hands, especially in the fourth quarter," a scout said.

Melo's move: Reading the defense is key, but health and conditioning are paramount. He'll be looked upon to perform at his best down the stretch.

5. Mixing up defenders. The Celtics will rotate defenders to avoid foul trouble and throw Anthony off his rhythm. Garnett, who got into it with Melo at the Garden on Jan. 7, might even face him.

"They can't afford to put KG on him the whole time, but there may be moments when he is," a scout said. "[Jeff] Green, [Paul] Pierce and Brandon Bass will probably take turns. Melo is too much of a load to have one guy guard him."

Melo's move: Make shots on each defender. "That'll soften the Celtics' defense," a scout said.

6. Boxing out. The Celtics will look to hammer Melo when shots go up to prevent him from crashing the boards. "They have strong individual defenders and they don't take plays off," a scout said.

Melo's move: Stay aggressive, use his strength to seal off his man and, most importantly, follow his misses.

7. Hard fouling and trash talking. Top defensive teams like the Celtics are willing to commit the hard foul to send some intimidation. That especially goes for Garnett.

"Nothing is off-limits to him," a scout said. "He plays so hard and he's a competitor, and he says personal things that players don't appreciate. Some players take it personal and it has affected [Anthony] a little bit."

Melo's move: Simply stay out of it with Garnett. Sometimes Melo's lack of focus has affected his teammates.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Amar'e hopes Melo doesn't seek out KG

January, 24, 2013
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BOSTON -- Will Carmelo Anthony will be out for revenge when he takes the floor against Kevin Garnett tonight?

"I hope not," Amar'e Stoudemire said. "Melo is very, very important to this team. We need him to play at a high level, especially tonight against these guys. I think he'll be ready to go."

All eyes will be on Anthony, to see how he reacts in his first game against Garnett since confronting the Boston big man after the Knicks' loss on Jan. 7.

Anthony was suspended one game for approaching Garnett several times off the court following the game.

He and Garnett received double technicals after getting tangled up and Anthony was upset over something Garnett said to him.

Anthony, who is appealing through the players' union to recoup the money he lost via the suspension, has said there is no bad blood between him and Garnett. But that won't stop Garnett from trying to trash talk Anthony or any other Knick on Thursday night at TD Garden.

"Garnett is a player who plays with high emotion and has been his whole career. You can’t expect nothing else from Garnett," Stoudemire said. "We have to keep our composure. This is going to be a hostile environment with the fans. It’s going to be one of those games where it’s going to be very very intense."

Mike Woodson downplayed the significance of Anthony and Garnett sharing the floor. He preferred to look at the game from a broader perspective.

"We let a game get away at home and we're trying to come back and get the game back. That's the only way I view it," he said. "The trash talking and everything that happened back at our place, I think that's all behind us. Guys just want to come out and play and that's how we're going to try to approach it."

Melo: 'No bad blood' with Garnett

January, 23, 2013
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- On the eve of the New York Knicks' rematch with the Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony says there is no "bad blood" between he and Boston big man Kevin Garnett.

"It's no bad blood, no grudges between us (or) anything like that," Anthony said after practice on Wednesday. "I don't hold no grudges or have any bad blood towards the guy."

The Knicks will play the Celtics in Boston on Thursday for the first time since Garnett and Anthony were involved in a post-game confrontation at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 7. Anthony was suspended for his role in the dust-up.

In addition to playing against one another on Thursday, Garnett and Anthony will also share the floor at the NBA All-Star Game in Houston on Feb. 17. Both are starters for the Eastern Conference.

Anthony doesn't anticipate any carryover from his confrontation with Garnett on Thursday or during the All-Star Game.

Click here for the full story.

Dolan orders MSG to listen in on Melo

January, 15, 2013
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In the wake of last week's incident between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett, the Knicks recorded all in-game conversations between the forward and players around him Friday against the Bulls, a league source has confirmed.

Owner James Dolan ordered Madison Square Garden technicians to place two microphones on opposite ends of the court, a move league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard was put in place in order to protect Anthony.

For the full news story, click here.

Question: Do you have an issue with what Dolan did? Please leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Melo says he's done talking about KG

January, 9, 2013
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- When it comes to Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony is ready to move on.

Anthony on Wednesday declined to go into detail about his postgame dustup with Garnett on Monday night.

"That's over with, don't even want to go back to that," Anthony said after practice. "Whatever happened between me and Kevin, that's done. That's settled, it's done and over with. We move on, got Indiana (on Thursday). No disrespect, but I don't wanna keep talking about the same thing and beating a dead horse."

Anthony reiterated that he didn't think he should be suspended after his confrontation with Garnett in the bowels of Madison Square Garden on Monday.

He said he has not spoken to anyone from the league yet.

The NBA is investigating the incident.

"If you just go off the actual facts of what happened, I don't think anything will happen," Anthony said.

After he and Garnett were called for technical fouls for jawing with one another in the closing minutes of Monday's game, Anthony approached Garnett at the Celtics' team bus. Madison Square Garden security, New York City police officers, team security and even Knicks coach Mike Woodson intervened before the incident could escalate.

Anthony said Tuesday that he wanted to have a "one on one conversation" with Garnett after the Boston big man spewed a verbal insult at Anthony.

"It's certain things that you just don't say to men, another man," Anthony said Tuesday. "I felt that he crossed the line. Like I said, we're both at an understanding right now, we handled it the way we handled it. Nobody needs to know what was said behind closed doors. So that situation is handled."

Amar'e Stoudemire said that there are certain lines that players shouldn't cross while trash-talking on the court.

"There's going to be trash talk. As long as it doesn't get personal, then everything's OK," Stoudemire said. "When it becomes personal, that's when things start to become a little extra heated. And no one wants those problems. No one wants the trash talk to continue on after the game of basketball."

Woodson on Tuesday implored Anthony and the rest of the Knicks to conduct themselves more professionally. A day later, he hesitated to single out Anthony for what happened with Garnett.

"Guys, you're singling out one incident. Melo's been great all year. He had a bad game the other night. If he had a great game and we lost that game, we probably wouldn't be saying that," Woodson said of Anthony, who shot 6-for-26 against Boston.

"He's capable of having bad games once in a while. That's OK. I like the stretch that he's been on and if he can continue that stretch, which I think he will, we'll be just fine."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Melo: 'I wanted to talk to KG'

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony sought out Kevin Garnett after the Knicks-Celtics game Monday to have "a one-on-one conversation with him" about words Garnett used toward Anthony during the fourth quarter of New York's loss, the Knicks forward said on Tuesday.

Anthony said Tuesday that his goal was to "talk it out like two grown men." The two were called for technical fouls for jawing with one another in the closing minutes of the game.

Two sources with knowledge of the incident said that Anthony, after angrily walking off the floor and through the visiting team's tunnel, went outside the Celtics' locker room screaming, presumably for Garnett. He then approached Garnett at the Celtics' team bus but Madison Square Garden security, New York City police officers, team security and even Knicks coach Mike Woodson intervened before the incident could escalate.

"I wanted to talk to KG," Anthony said after practice Tuesday. "I think it was something that we both needed to get off our chests and see what really was the problem. It wasn't no altercations, it was just some words and [a] conversation that we needed to have."

Click here for the full story.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Opening Tip: Should Knicks star 'Melo' out?

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
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Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.

Today's Burning Question: Was Carmelo Anthony wrong to react the way he did after the Knicks' loss to the Celtics?

I don't like playing the role of morality cop, but I'm curious to know what you, as Knicks fans, think about what happened at the Garden on Monday night.

First off, here's a brief play-by-play:

Kevin Garnett and Anthony got into it in the fourth quarter, with Anthony yelling at Garnett near midcourt after they got tangled up on the previous play. Each player received a technical foul for the incident.

Anthony was clearly upset with Garnett. He can be seen on game footage cursing at Garnett later in the fourth quarter.

After the game, Anthony angrily walked off the floor and out of the tunnel that visiting teams use to exit the court, instead of exiting out of the Knicks' tunnel.

According to one of the sources with knowledge of the incident, Anthony approached the Celtics' locker room and was screaming. Anthony then approached Garnett near the Celtics' team bus. MSG security and the police intervened, according to a source.

A video posted by Comcast SportsNet New England showed Anthony waiting outside of the team bus as Knicks coach Mike Woodson appeared to be trying to calm Anthony down. Team and building security were also present, as were several uniformed police officers.

The incident could result in a suspension and/or fine for Anthony and Garnett.

We don't know what Garnett said to Anthony to elicit such a reaction. We've seen some of you commend Anthony for showing fire while others have said ANthony, as the face of the Knicks and a vital piece for the team, has to show more restraint.

QUESTION: What do you think? Are you OK with Anthony's reaction or would you rather he kept his composure in such situations? Does your opinion change if Anthony gets suspended by the NBA for Thursday's road game against Indiana?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Shumpert: KG screen was illegal

March, 4, 2012
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Iman Shumpert says Kevin Garnett used an illegal screen on the Celtics' final play in regulation -- the play that ended with Paul Pierce knocking down a game-tying 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left on Sunday.

Garnett handed the ball to Pierce, who was being defended by J.R. Smith. In the process of getting the ball to Pierce, Garnett got in Smith's way. Shumpert picked up Pierce and put his hands up as Pierce knocked down the 27-footer.

Prior to that sequence, Garnett floored Shumpert with a screen.

"The screen was illegal but they set them all the time," Shumpert said. "They can't call it all the time. I understand that. But he still hit a tough shot."

Mike D'Antoni was asked if he thought Garnett's screen was illegal.

"That's kind of par for the course," the coach said. "I thought J.R. was right in his grill. The guy hits a heckuva shot."

The Celtics went on to win, 115-111 in overtime, handing New York its 11th straight regular season loss in Boston.

Oakley calls Charles Barkley a 'coward'

February, 22, 2012
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Former Knick Charles Oakley doesn't like Charles Barkley -- and he isn't afraid to let you know about it.

Oakley went after Barkley during an appearance on the Jim Rome Show. Barkley has been an outspoken critic of the Knicks under Mike D'Antoni.

Here's what Oakley had to say about Sir Charles:

"Barkley for his size was a good player but he's a coward, though. ... He wasn't a leader and wasn't a role model. Now he talks so bad about younger guys, I don't respect that from him. … He wants to be funny, that whole TNT thing and all that, they're like some clowns on that show."

He also went after Boston's Kevin Garnett and Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins.

Here's Oakley on Garnett: "He's one of the weakest guys to ever play the game. He's a complementary player and went to Paul Pierce's team and won a championship. I wouldn't consider him a top 10 tough guy."

Here's Oakley on Perkins: "He's just like Garnett. They holler and complain. If Kendrick Perkins would play basketball, Oklahoma City would win a championship the next three or four years. … You're a power forward, you don't let guys dunk on you. I played 18, 19 years I got dunked on three times ..."

Thanks to Reid Cherner at USA Today for the heads-up.

Walker & KG shake hands after flare-up

December, 26, 2011
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Bill Walker approached Kevin Garnett as the Celtics' big man was boarding a team bus to leave Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

No, he wasn't looking for retaliation or Round 2 with Garnett.

He just wanted to shake hands.

"When I was leaving the arena I talked to him," Walker said on Monday. "It's no hard feelings or nothing like that. We're both competitors and wanted to win. Emotions run high when you're playing at that type of level."

About an hour earlier, Garnett had his hand around Walker's throat after the Celtics' forward missed a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer. The two had to be separated by coaches and players at the end of the Knicks' 106-104 win over the Celtics. Some have speculated that Garnett will be suspended over the incident.

"Heat of the moment," Walker said on Monday. "I just went and contested the shot. We got wrapped up, tangled up and, you know, the rest happened."

Walker's skirmish with Garnett came at the tail end of a physical Christmas Day game between the Celtics and the Knicks.

There were six technical fouls issued. Ray Allen and Toney Douglas were whistled for offsetting technicals after they became entangled in the second quarter. Carmelo Anthony drilled Rajon Rondo with an elbow, trying to clear the Celtics point guard from his personal space.

The physical play prompted Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni to claim that Celtics-Knicks is "going to be a rivalry now."

Walker and Garnett got into it after Walker contested Garnett's jumper from the right wing at the buzzer. After Garnett's shot caromed off the rim, Walker appeared to step toward Garnett and say something to the Celtic forward.

"I can't get into that," Walker said when asked what was said between he and Garnett. "We were in the heat of the game. It was a tough game throughout, it was a dog fight. Nobody wanted to lose. It just came to a head right there and it's over."

As Walker was leaving the Garden, he saw Garnett heading toward the Celtics' bus.

He approached Garnett to say that he had no hard feelings.

"We shook hands, I talked to him ... I chopped it up with him. I still respect those guys," said Walker, who played a little over one season with Garnett in Boston.

Walker later added, "I have a respect for KG."

The Celtics swept the Knicks last season in the first round of the playoffs. One reason Boston was able to dominate New York so soundly last April was the Celtics' play nature, specifically around the basket.

After what transpired on the Madison Square Garden floor on Sunday, Walker believes things will be different this year.

"They were the better team [last year]," Walker said. "This year we feel a little bit more confident. We learned some things from that series and we just wanted to play hard [on Sunday], play harder than they did. That's what they did to us last year."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.1 3.1 0.9 36.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.0
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.4
StealsS. Larkin 1.3
BlocksL. Amundson 1.6