The on-court scene Tuesday was ugly for Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks, but it was worse in the stands. (Kathy Willens/Associated Press)

During Tuesday’s Nets-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, security officials ejected a Nets fan who they said had been unruly. In and of itself, that wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, except that the man was a well-known Nets supporter, a colorful figure both literally and figuratively, and the reason given for forcibly carrying him out was that he hit someone with his prosthetic leg.

Jeffrey Vanchiro was a prolific New York graffiti artist in the 1990s who later played poker professionally under the moniker “Jeffrey Gamblero.” Following the Nets’ move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2012, Vanchiro, known better as Gamblero, started attending the team’s games regularly. He soon became a fan favorite by dancing in whatever row contained his seat while wearing a neon shirt over a Nets jersey, along with a hat and oversized glasses.

Vanchiro has had a prosthetic leg below his left knee since a 1998 accident. He was accused of using that prosthesis as a weapon Tuesday, justifying his brusque ejection from the Garden.

However, Nets blog The Brooklyn Game posted a different account of events from a fan who claimed to have been sitting behind “Gamblero”:

“(Gamblero) was being his usual self, absolutely no cursing, no negative cheering, just dancing and loud cheering for the Nets. Never attacked a Knicks fan, never got out of hand.

After halftime a guard came up and told him to “cool down and just be a fan.” Obviously didn’t know who he was. He said what did I do wrong? Should I be quiet? They said no, just cool it down. He started loudly cheering FOR the Knicks doing “go New York go New York go,” etc. The guards came back and told him to stop. He said why? Is this a library?

Then the main guard on the floor gave the signal to kick him out. He would not leave. A guard then touched his leg and he said “ouch you’re hurting me I have a prosthetic leg.” He then took off the leg, which is when things escalated.

More and more guards surrounded him as he watched the game with his leg resting on his shoulder. They tried to get him to put his leg on, threatened to arrest him if he wouldn’t, but he wasn’t moving.

He started saying “why are you doing this I just love basketball so much,” he was clearly overwhelmed.

After about ten minutes, four guards grabbed him and carried him out as he screamed in pain.

I am a lifelong Nets fan but regardless, this was one of the cruelest and most upsetting things I have ever seen.”

Another fan at the game posted an Instagram video of Vanchiro getting carried out, minus his prosthesis:

As is usually the case, the truth about what happened probably lies somewhere between the Garden’s account and those of Vanchiro and the fan behind him. It seems likely that his constant dancing about was quite irksome to many of the non-Nets fans around him, causing them to complain. And there seems to be no doubt that Vanchiro took off his prosthesis, which could then have come into contact with someone else, causing different perceptions of the intentionality of that contact.

It is also true that, at 4-15 (including Tuesday’s loss to the Nets), the Knicks are off to a horrifically bad start, leading to a mausoleum-like atmosphere at the Garden. In that environment, it’s not hard to imagine that grumpy Knicks fans found Vanchiro’s exuberance more objectionable than anything else.

In any case, it was an ugly scene, or to be more exact, just another ugly scene for fans at MSG.