Carmelo Anthony has by all measures been a terrific player for the New York Knicks during the 2012-13 season. He’s averaging career highs in points (29.3), three-point percentage (43.5%) and efficiency rating (26.7). The Knicks are 23-11 and are just one game back of the Miami Heat for the No. 1 seed in the East.
However, after being embarrassed on their home floor against the Boston Celtics (without Rajon Rondo), Anthony stepped over the line. After the Knicks lost 102-96, he left the court by going down the visitor tunnel towards their locker room.
Anthony was whistled for a technical foul in a dust up with Kevin Garnett in the second half.
Neither coach wanted to play up the incident but Doc Rivers was very telling when he implied that he would have made a bigger deal out of it if this was a more meaningful game.
Anthony scored 20 points on the night, but he shot just 6-of-26 and took a whopping 12 threes. He secured only three rebounds and was whistled for five fouls.
ESPN reported about Anthony “venting” after the loss. He was seen outside the Celtics locker room screaming in a scene that one witnessed called “a big commotion…like being in a school yard.”
Then, to make things worse, Anthony went outside to wait for Garnett by their team bus. New York Knicks beat writer Frank Isola added this:
Five NYPD officers, MSG security and Mike Woodson were near the bus to make sure the scene did not get out of control, the New has learned.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) January 8, 2013
Just when it seemed Anthony had gotten over his childish and selfish ways, games like this make us realize that he hasn’t grown nearly as much as we thought.
The Knicks started the season hot, with Anthony getting a ton of the credit. They were 18-5 and appeared to be running away in the East. They’ve cooled considerably, as they’re just 5-6 over their last 11 games. Four of those losses have been at home, to Houston, Chicago, Portland and now Boston.
That’s not exactly a murderer’s row of teams. An elite squad, at home, takes care of business against those teams.
Without a stable leader in Anthony, the Knicks can’t win the East and won’t make it through the tough times. Was tonight’s incident just frustration boiling over or is it a sign of things to come?
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