Celtics coach Doc Rivers defended Kevin Garnett on Thursday after his confrontation with Carmelo Anthony Monday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers defended Kevin Garnett on Thursday, telling a Boston radio station that reports about Garnett insulting Carmelo Anthony by including a dig at his relationship with his wife were not true.
"Well, No. 1, I know what's been reported did not happen," Rivers told the Boston station WEEI, according to ESPN. "I know that as a fact."
Pressed further on Garnett's rumored remarks, Rivers said: "That did not happen."
Anthony was suspended one game after he and Garnett were in a chippy mood during Monday night's contest between the Celtics and Knicks. Both received technical fouls as tempers flared in the fourth quarter of a game in which Anthony struggled and shot only 6 of 26 from the field.
After the game’s final horn sounded, Anthony left the floor through the Celtics’ tunnel at Madison Square Garden. He was reportedly waiting for Garnett outside the Celtics locker room and was restrained by teammates and some security. Later, he waited for Garnett outside by the Celtics' team bus with multiple security guards and five NYPD officers.
On Tuesday, Anthony said that some of Garnett's trash-talking during the game had crossed a line. The New York Post reported that it was a comment about Anthony's wife that set him off.
”There’s certain things that you just don’t say to men, another man,” Anthony said. ”I felt like we crossed a line, but like I said, we both have an understanding right now, we handled it the way we handled it. Nobody needs to know what was said behind closed doors, so that situation was handled.”
But Rivers dismissed both the reports and Anthony's insistence that he didn't deserve a suspension, saying that Anthony was trying to move the blame to Garnett.
"Guys, you know how this works," Rivers said. "A guy does something crazy like Carmelo did, and the way to get out of trouble is to say, 'Well, he said this.' It happens all the time, and what bugs me about this whole thing is this is not a Kevin Garnett issue. And it was made into one, and it shouldn't have been made into one."