NEW YORK — While Kevin Garnett turned off his inner warrior and returned to his normal mild-mannered off-court personality just minutes after the Celtics’ 102-96 win over the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony was left raging, so much so that he tried to confront Garnett twice after the game, including standing feet from the team bus as the Celtics were boarding to leave Madison Square Garden.
According to a video from Comcast SportsNet, Anthony stood as Knicks coach Mike Woodson tried to talk his all-star forward back into the arena and even Celtics coach Doc Rivers had a conversation with Anthony. He did not confront Garnett.
The issues stemmed from the physical Celtics’ victory, and because the Knicks were switching so much defensively, Anthony was left to guard Garnett much of the second half. Anthony bumped and then Garnett bumped and trash talk ensued. With 9:03 left in the fourth quarter, both were assessed technical fouls after the two were uttering expletives at each other.
After a timeout moments later, Anthony was seen screaming at Garnett as he walked to the Celtics huddle.
Finally, after the Celtics sealed the win and their players were headed down the tunnel near their bench, Anthony darted past teammate Kurt Thomas, who tried restraining him and ran past two arena security guards down the opposite tunnel. He nearly made the Celtics’ locker before being held back by teammates, screaming more at Garnett.
“Heat of the battle,” Garnett said in his whisper-quiet voice after the game. “When you’re out there on the floor, everything’s high, everything’s top notch. He’s trying to get his team to go, I’m trying to get my team to go, things are colliding, not to mention that it’s the Knicks and the Celtics. Just what it is man. It’s basketball, all right?”
When asked about whether Anthony confronted the team as they walked into the locker room, Rivers said: “I’m going to let y’all figure that one out,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said when asked about Anthony’s confronting the Celtics at their locker room. “I’m going to stay out of that. If it were the playoffs, I’d tell on him but since it’s not, I’ll keep quiet.”
Anthony could face a fine or suspension for his actions. The Knicks and Celtics play again on Jan. 24 at TD Garden.