Carmelo Anthony grateful for Knicks owner after audio eavesdropping

Wednesday January 16th, 2013

Carmelo Anthony has no problem with his owner recording his on-court conversations. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) Carmelo Anthony has no problem with his on-court conversations being taped. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Ben Golliver

Carmelo Anthony won't be waiting by Knicks owner James Dolan's limousine in the parking garage, looking for a "conversation" about his recent in-game eavesdropping.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Dolan instructed multiple audio technicians to tape on-court conversations involving his star forward during a Friday loss to the Bulls and a Sunday win over the Hornets. Dolan took this step after the NBA suspended Anthony for one-game after he was involved in an extended trash talking episode with Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, which carried over into an attempted postgame confrontation by Boston's team bus.

Anthony told the Associated Press in London, where the Knicks are preparing for a Thursday showcase against the Pistons, that he had no problem with Dolan's actions.

"I got an owner that looks out [for me],'' Anthony said before practice Wednesday at London's O2 Arena. "You can't beat that.''

"If an owner tries to protect their players, trying to protect his player, you can't beat that,'' Anthony said one day after arriving in London.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson also tried to brush off the reports.

"I don't really care about the miking thing. I don't follow it and haven't followed it,'' Woodson said. "I got better things to worry about than this miking thing that you guys are talking about.''

The Star-Ledger first reported Dolan's in-game taping.

For reasons only he can explain — but probably wouldn’t, at least not without an act of Congress -- Jim Dolan made a few MSG Network employees perform a surreptitious duty during the Knicks’ game against Chicago on Friday night.

Two audio technicians were stationed at two corners of the court -- one a few feet just behind the Knicks bench, the other diagonally opposite -- and they were holding those umbrella-shaped contraptions known as parabola microphones, which fed the audio into a DAT recorder on the truck on the loading dock.

These guys had one directive from Dolan: Record every syllable Carmelo Anthony utters and absorbs while he’s on the court and on the bench, the Madison Square Garden CEO ordered them, and send the tape directly to me.

The New York Post confirmed the report.

League sources have confirmed Knicks owner James Dolan, in the wake of the highly volatile trash-talking war between star Carmelo Anthony and the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett last week, ordered two technicians to hold high-tech, sensitive microphones at opposite ends of the Madison Square Garden court to record all in-game conversations by and around his star.

The devices first were used during Friday’s Garden loss to the Bulls then were employed again Sunday against the Hornets. Post photographs show one of the technicians brandishing the sophisticated gizmo (known as a parabolic microphone) at Sunday’s game.

According to a league source, the decision to employ the microphones was made to protect the combustible Anthony from another “he said-he said’’ dispute by having an audio record of what’s said on the court. The carefully calibrated mics transmit audio feeds into recorders in trucks on the Garden loading docks.

Prior to being suspended, Anthony suggested that Garnett had crossed a line with his trash-talking and defended his actions, saying that he only wanted a "conversation" with his fellow All-Star and that he had done nothing worthy of a suspension.

“Nothing happened for me to be suspended,” he told reporters. “I wanted to talk to KG. I think it was something we both needed to get off our chest and see what really the problem was. No altercations, it was just some words and a conversation that we needed to have.”

The one-game suspension cost Anthony roughly $186,000 in salary and forced the Knicks to play the Pacers without their leading-scorer. In Anthony's absence, New York lost 81-76. Anthony, 28, is averaging 29.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1 steal per game this season.

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