Anthony and Garnett very nearly got into a real fight Monday night, when the jostling and the jawing almost turned to jabs deep inside Madison Square Garden. The incident near the Boston Celtics’ bus brought New York City cops, MSG security and New York Knicks Coach Mike Woodson sprinting in to calm the situation, according to ESPNNewYork.com.
“It was like being in the school yard,” said one witness said.
Although no blows were exchanged, Anthony was still steamed after a long game and a fourth-quarter confrontation with Garnett that brought each a technical. After Boston won 102-96, Anthony walked off the floor and through the tunnel that visiting teams use, rather than the one the Knicks use. Tyson Chandler, ESPN reported, unsuccessfully tried try to stop Anthony, who was yelling as he headed for the Celtics’ locker room. He initially waited there and, later, waited for Garnett near the team bus.
Related: Anthony says Garnett crossed a line
A source told ESPN New York that Garnett seemed confused by Anthony’s presence and was trying to act as peacemaker as he was ushered onto the bus by security. (There’s murky video, via CSN New England, of Anthony.)
Garnett denied that there was an altercation, saying, “No, no, man. Just basketball. Just basketball.”
The NBA will, no doubt, look into the matter and fines and/or suspensions could be handed down. Woodson declined to comment on the incident and Anthony was not available to the media. Anthony’s teammate, Amar’e Stoudemire, said the incident was “more just talk, more talk more than anything. Words are pretty sharp, so when you say certain things, it gets under your skin and it gets you a little angry. And that happens to the best of us. We’ve got to make sure that we keep our composure and see if we can beat a team like Boston.”
Asked whether Anthony had come looking for a fight, Celtics Coach Doc Rivers chose a Switzerland-like approach. “I’m going to let y’all figure that one out. I’m going to stay out of that. If it was the playoffs, I’d tell on him, but since it’s not, I’m going to just be quiet.”
Meanwhile, make a note of Jan. 24, when the teams play again in TD Garden.