New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has been suspended one game without pay for confronting Boston’s Kevin Garnett in the arena tunnel, near the players’ locker rooms, and in the parking garage following Monday’s game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden.
The NBA announced the suspension on Wednesday. Anthony will serve the suspension on Thursday when the Knicks take on the Indiana Pacers.
“There are no circumstances in which it is acceptable for a player to confront an opponent after a game,” NBA executive vice president basketball operations Stu Jackson said in a statement. “Carmelo Anthony attempted to engage with Kevin Garnett multiple times after Monday’s game and therefore a suspension was warranted.”
Anthony said before the suspension was announced that he did not believe he deserved to be disciplined.
“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 at 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 his “motivation” in finding Garnett after the game was to have a “one-on-one conversation” with him 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.”
Anthony’s teammate, Tyson Chandler, was on the floor at the time and agreed that Garnett crossed the line.
“I think it was a little too much, in all honesty,” Chandler said Wednesday in an appearance on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. “I felt like Melo wanted to have a conversation man to man (with Garnett), and I respect that.”
According to a source close to Anthony, he and Garnett had a phone conversation after the confrontation to clear the air.
The Knicks’ star said Wednesday that he was ready to move on from the incident.
“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 is averaging 29.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and is converting 42.8 percent of his 3-point attempts in one of his finest seasons as a pro.
It’s unclear at this point who will start in place of Anthony against the Pacers, who have won eight of 10.