Former Wizard Jordan Crawford exchanges words with Carmelo Anthony

 Why is everybody worried about me? (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Why is everybody worried about me? (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Jordan Crawford didn’t have to play in the Boston Celtics’ 92-86 win over the New York Knicks to dominate the tabloid back pages and Internet discussions the morning after his team forced a Game 6. All the former Wizard had to do, apparently, was open his mouth.

With the new set-up at Madison Square Garden, opposing teams have to walk past each other to get to the locker rooms. After the buzzer sounded, Crawford crossed paths with Knicks all-star forward Carmelo Anthony and began talking trash. What Crawford actually said remains unclear, but Knicks guard Raymond Felton wasn’t pleased and needed to be restrained.

“It was words, nothing serious,” Felton said of the incident.

Celtics reserve Chris Wilcox also appeared to be troubled by the comments as he frowned and rushed in to hold back both Crawford and D.J. White, who had stepped in front of Crawford. When asked what he said to Anthony, Crawford told the Boston Globe, “Nah, they was talking to me, baby. They was talking to me. Yeah, they like me. I think it’s that smile I keep carrying.”

Anthony missed 16 of 24 shots and scored just 22 points, and even injured his shoulder jostling for position with Kevin Garnett, as the Knicks lost their second game in a row after winning the first three.

The incident with Crawford has garnered more attention because of a regular season verbal altercation between Garnett and Anthony that led to a confrontation between the two players outside the Celtics’ team bus. Garnett allegedly made comments about Anthony’s wife, La La Vazquez Anthony.

Anthony didn’t want to give Crawford the satisfaction of more publicity. “I’m not thinking about no Jordan Crawford,” Anthony said. ““I don’t even think he deserves for you to be typing right now.”

Several blogs and media outlets alleged, from reading Crawford’s lips, that the Celtics reserve guard made also derogatory comments about Vazquez Anthony.

Crawford certainly used profanity during the exchange but addressed the rumors about Vazquez Anthony on Twitter by writing, “I would never trash talk that mans Wife. I don’t him…All I did was respond!!”

Vazquez Anthony entered the fray as well, when she posted, “Try again. You on the bench for a reason.” She added a link to an Instagram photograph that read, “Strong Women intimidate weak mean.”

Crawford has been known to instigate in the past. He taunted LeBron James at the free throw line when the Wizards upset the Miami Heat on Dec. 4, and his trash-talking got him into a heated dispute with Garnett in a pickup game in Los Angeles during the lockout.

Crawford also had some amusing comments about his time in Washington this week, explaining that he enjoys playing in Boston because, “It ain’t people that hold you back and hate on you for no reason.”

Coach Doc Rivers said he wasn’t happy about the incident after Game 5 but added, “I don’t think it was a big deal. I think it was a lot of talking.”

Before the game, Garnett said he wasn’t going to get caught up in the trash talking “shenanigans” of the Knicks and responded with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Crawford needled the Knicks a bit more after the game.

“I don’t know what happened,” Crawford told the Boston Globe. “I don’t know what happened, you know what I’m saying? I was on the bench the whole game, I don’t know why they was talking to me…They gotta be upset, their [expletives] tightening up. Of course they upset.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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Michael Lee | May 1, 2013