Yes, there are certain lines you don’t cross, and if someone does, you’ve gotta let them know.
If you want to blame Anthony for something, don’t blame him for confronting Garnett. At least, not unless you somehow find out, with certainty, that Garnett said something innocent.
‘Melo barely laid a finger on Garnett and got a one-game suspension. In retrospect, if what Garnett said bothered him that much, a flagrant-2 may have gone a much longer way toward evening the score.
I’m not condoning or encouraging violence on the basketball court. Instead, I’m simply suggesting that problems that develop on the court should be resolved on the court.
And you know what? Commissioner Stern and VP of Violence Stu Jackson probably agree with that.
At the end of the day, Anthony deserved his one-game suspension. The first clip we saw of Anthony standing outside the Celtics team bus was much more innocent than the second video clip. Stern simply cannot condone or turn a blind eye to a player creating such a situation after a game.
Anthony and Garnett had to be separated by a phalanx of police officers and security guards. With friends and families about, innocent people may have been harmed.
But until we know with certainty what Garnett said to him, it is best to reserve making any sort of judgment call on Anthony. Hopefully, Anthony learns from this. More important than the $216,000 his suspension cost him in lost wages was the loss it cost his team in Indianapolis.
LOOKING FOR KNICKS TICKETS? LOOK NO FURTHER.
Already playing without Raymond Felton and Rasheed Wallace, the Knicks need Anthony if they are to have any chance of finishing the season as one of the top two seeds in the conference.
The Brooklyn Nets are suddenly nipping at the Knicks’ heels, the Miami Heat are practically begging someone to catch them atop the East standings, and every game counts.
While I won’t totally throw Anthony under the bus for going after Garnett, I will also say this: It’s much easier to forgive him for missing a game in January than it is in April. And it’s also easier to give Anthony the benefit of the doubt in this situation since he was uncharacteristically hot-headed.
If this becomes a recurring theme, maybe I’ll change my tune a bit and join the scores of other media members that immediately took Anthony’s transgression as a license to question his character. Until then, I’ll continue to believe that this was nothing more than an isolated incident in a situation in which Anthony simply allowed a low class comment by Garnett to get to him a bit too much.
So, for the sake of Knicks fans and their championship aspirations, next time, Anthony will hopefully let whatever smack an opposing player wants to talk roll off his back.
At the end of the day, what is said on the court stays on the court, and so should any ensuing altercation. Anthony lost his cool and let his emotions get the best of him.
That’s not the end of the world; it’s pro sports. And to be quite frank, it’s somewhat refreshing to see some actual bad blood and fierce competition amongst some of the league’s stars.
I’m beginning to wish the Knicks played the Celtics every night.
Moke Hamilton is a Senior NBA Columnist for SheridanHoops whose columns appear here on Fridays. Follow him on Twitter: @MokeHamilton