Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Updated: January 9, 5:20 PM ET
Carmelo Anthony clears air with KG
By Ian Begley
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."
A league source said the conversation between Anthony and Garnett actually took place over the phone following the bus incident, and the two players have since cleared the air.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo said he wasn't sure what was happening when he saw the commotion near the team bus.
"I thought everybody was coming to talk to each other and figure out some things, going to dinner next time," Rondo said. "I don't know."
Garnett and Anthony first got tangled up in the fourth quarter and both were whistled for a technical foul after jawing with one another near midcourt. Anthony was upset over something Garnett said to him.
"It's certain things that you just don't say to men, another man," Anthony said. "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."
It is unclear whether either Anthony or Garnett will be suspended in light of the incident. Said Anthony: "Nothing happened for me to be suspended," adding, "I just wanted to know what was being said, where was all that coming from. Whatever was being said on the basketball court, where was it coming from?"
Woodson did not want to discuss what happened off the court on Monday night but said he spoke to his team about keeping its composure in the wake of the incident. He also discussed the incident with Anthony.
"The bottom line is we lost our composure last night and that can't happen. It's my job to make sure that doesn't happen again and that players just worry about playing," said Woodson, whose Knicks have gone 5-6 after starting the season 18-5.
Speaking specifically of Anthony, who is second in the league with eight technicals, Woodson added: "He 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 and that's what I'm hammering home. ... Guys have got to be more professional about their approach."
Garnett did not speak to reporters Tuesday in Waltham, Mass., but tried to defuse the situation after Monday's game.
"Listen, heat of the battle, man, guys throw back and forth," he said. "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 has the reputation of a player who purposefully talks to his opponents to unnerve them. Anthony admitted that Garnett's words got him "off of my square" and allowed "negativity to come into my circle."
But Celtics coach Doc Rivers thinks Garnett's reputation as a trash talker is blown out of proportion.
"All Kevin did was say something back," Rivers said. "But the talking is so overblown to me. Talking's been going on since, hell, before I even started playing. Larry Bird was one of the biggest trash talkers in the league."