By Rob Mahoney
Live sporting events can bring out the worst in people, as fans leave their lives and reason at home in order to join in a collective celebration of athleticism that's just a few thousand torches away from being an angry mob. Those on the court -- be they players, coaches, or referees -- are no longer people, but objects to be yelled at. Some fan bases are friendlier than others, but for the most part, no large group can escape the tribalism that manifests within the confines of a sporting arena.
With all of that in mind, it makes sense that Carmelo Anthony -- whose last encounter with the Celtics led to harsh words, a hard-fought finish and the promise of postgame brouhaha -- would want to take extra precautions when dealing with a particularly unfriendly crowd. According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Anthony will bring his own personal body guard (in addition to the two the Knicks have traveling with the team) for the trip to the TD Bank Garden on Thursday. From Isola's report:
Thursday’s nationally televised Knicks-Celtics game is the first meeting between the teams since Jan. 7 when Anthony, reportedly upset that Garnett made a disparaging comment about his wife, confronted the Boston forward outside the Celtics team bus. The NBA suspended Anthony one game for his actions.
The reason for the extra security has nothing to do with Anthony possibly crossing paths in the hallways but rather the hostile crowd that awaits him at the Garden.
Calling the rumor of Garnett's comments a "report" is a bit generous, but KG nevertheless said something that very clearly got under Anthony's skin. Isola notes that it isn't uncommon for a high-profile player to bring along their own private security, but this decision seems especially pointed in light of the controversy created the last time
these two teams met.