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Brooklyn Nets backup center Andray Blatche acknowledged to reporters Saturday that he heard taunts from the New York Knicks bench during Wednesday night's preseason game on Long Island.
Reporters from the New York Daily News and Newsday, who were seated near the Knicks bench, tweeted during the game that injured guard Iman Shumpert could be heard calling Blatche "horrible" and "terrible" while Blatche was playing on the court. Small forward Carmelo Anthony also joined in on the taunting, according to the Daily News.
"They're wasting their energy," Blatche told reporters, according to the Daily News. "I don't know (Shumpert). I mean, he wasn't playing, so he had to do something. (You're) sitting on the bench with a suit on, you have to do something."
The Daily News reported that Blatche "heard the taunts during one isolation play."
Blatche, 26, made the Nets after signing a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. He had been amnestied by the Washington Wizards following seven tumultuous seasons there.
Given his troubled past -- both on and off the court -- Blatche figures this isn 't the only taunting he's going to hear this season.
"If I was on that bench and I was one of their players, I'd do the same thing," Blatche said, according to Newsday. "But I only heard it probably once, when I was right there by the bench. Other than that, I'm blocking it out and I'm focusing on the game."Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.