The Knicks are trying to prepare for Thursday night’s prime time battle against the Pacers, but all anyone outside the walls of their Greenburgh, N.Y. facilities wanted to talk about was Carmelo Anthony’s Monday night meltdown at the Garden, following a 102-96 loss to rival Boston.
Anthony made headlines for all the wrong reasons, as his confrontational ways during the game and his postgame outbursts directed at the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett overshadowed his poor shooting (6-of-26). According to reports, Anthony went in the opposite direction of his own locker room and instead tried to get at Garnett in Boston’s locker room, and even waited for Garnett by the Celtics’ team bus. The incident didn’t escalate and cooler heads prevailed, as Anthony was seen leaving the Knicks’ locker room smiling.
He didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but was more obliging after Tuesday’s practice. Following the Knicks’ session, all anyone wanted to know was what was going through the mind of the MVP candidate a day later.
He wouldn’t rehash the specifics, but allowed that Garnett indeed crossed the line.
“There’s certain things that you just don’t say to another man,” said Anthony, who added he cleared the air with Garnett via a late-night phone conversation. “I felt like he crossed a line, but like I said, we both handled it the way we handled it. … Nobody needs to know what was said behind closed doors, [but] that situation was handled.”
The Knicks certainly want to move on from Monday night’s debacle, and are hoping the league office won’t discipline Anthony for his actions. Anthony said he feels like the issue should be left in the past, adding that “nothing happened for me to be suspended. I just wanted to talk to KG. … No altercations. It was just some words and a conversation that we needed to have.”
The underlying storyline, though, is that future opponents now know that Anthony has a boiling point.
Amar’e Stoudemire knows all too well about Garnett’s vitriol from their days as foes in the Western Conference when Stoudemire was in Phoenix and Garnett was in Minnesota. The two had a heated rivalry, so Stoudemire understood Anthony’s ire.
“Words can be pretty sharp, [and] when he says certain things, it gets under your skin. It happens to the best of us,” said Stoudemire. “It happened to me a few times before playing against Garnett, to where he takes you out of your game because you get into a physical battle with him. He brings that intensity. I’ve been playing against him now for 11 years so it’s to be expected.”
» Iman Shumpert went through a rigorous workout and dunked a few times with a Knicks’ doctor watching. It looks like he’ll be cleared for 5-on-5 contact drills and scrimmages sometime this week, as Woodson acknowledged that Shumpert “is getting close.”
» Consider this current Knicks’ roster the final copy, barring a devastating injury, as all contracts have now been made guaranteed. The contracts for Chris Copeland and Rasheed Wallace will be guaranteed for the season, as the Knicks had until 5 p.m. Monday to let either or both go without owing any more money. But now that Jan. 5 has come and gone, any player that is waived will still be owed the balance of their deals. The Knicks had no intention of such moves anyway, as both Copeland and Wallace are valued commodities.
Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.