Previous Reports and Reactions
Carmelo Anthony was involved in a heated exchanged with a fan at Madison Square Garden during New York's 104-85 blowout loss to Portland Tuesday night, writes Frank Isola of the NY Daily News.
The Knicks' All-Star forward grew frustrated after being heckled down the stretch. Anthony eventually responded to the vocal fan and even brought owner James Dolan, who was sitting courtside, into the situation.
"He kept calling my name, calling my name, saying 'You guys suck, you guys suck,'" Anthony said. "At that point I was trying to gather myself and I turned around, all I did was point at Dolan and told him, 'Look, the owner's right there. Ask for your money back.'
The fan was escorted out of the building shortly after the altercation.
New York's season has quickly unraveled as they fell to 25-37 and are seven games out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot after last night's loss.
Anthony has obviously been playing in New York for quite a while now. As the headlining attraction, he has clearly been the subject of plenty of scrutiny in recent seasons. He understands how passionate the fans are, and as their frustrations mount just as much as players' own discouragement may build, sometimes such energy is not always channeled in the best direction.
Nevertheless, Anthony's latest response is a sign that he's starting to crack under the pressure. He's not immune to everything that's going on. This time, however, there doesn't appear to be an outlet of positivity or anything in particular for him to take solace in, in order to laugh this latest criticism off and move on. It may not necessarily be a sign of weakness on his part, because who in their right state of mind would be able to handle the ups and (clearly more as of late) downs, or such uncertainty, as positively as Anthony has? Still, he may be starting to break down.
On paper, the makeup of this team would suggest they could, at the very least, compete for a playoff spot. Earlier in the season, they proved that to be a decent enough theory. But Anthony doesn't have the full support he needs. The Knicks are lacking depth and a sufficient point guard, tensions are high, players are showing their true inner colors, and clearly Phil Jackson has yet to supply Anthony with a high quality coach who commands respect and lays out the groundwork for a vision of success and how to achieve it.
The Knicks' star forward is trying to prove resilient, but it wouldn't be surprising for him to show an openness towards waiving his no-trade clause this summer. A player of his caliber shouldn't have to go through what he is at this point, especially considering the high level he continues to play at.
Many want to place the blame on his shoulders, but there's only so much Anthony can do and impact. You can't really blame him for finally reacting the way he did. It'll be interesting to see if he can bounce back from this, or if this will break him down a bit more.