Trash talking has been around since the conception of sport. Whether it’s on the schoolyard, high school court or in a professional arena, its common place for players to attempt to gain a competitive advantage through the art of “trash talking.” And that’s exactly what Kevin Garnett did to Carmelo Anthony this past Monday night when the Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 102-96.
Garnett’s nattering prompted Anthony to exit the wrong tunnel at Madison Square Garden, and await Garnett’s presence at the Celtics’ team bus. A video of Anthony, MSG officials, police officers and head coach Mike Woodson went viral and the NBA has taken action suspending the Knicks’ star one game.
But was a suspension warranted?
The suspension of Carmelo Anthony has left me with one question: What exactly did he do? You could say the NBA suspended Anthony to save face, and inform the rest of the league this type of behavior will not be tolerated, but Anthony didn’t hit anyone. He didn’t attack officials or police. He simply stood at a team bus awaiting Garnett, who by the way, took a shot at his wife Alani Vasquez.
If waiting outside of a team bus to discuss a matter that happened on the court is what the NBA considers disorderly conduct, than why isn’t provoking another player on the court a violation? Essentially, the NBA is stating its ok to confront someone, so long as it’s on the court.
Now, was Anthony wrong in the way he mismanaged his emotions, letting them spill in to the tunnels of MSG? Yes. But to slap him with a one game suspension is a complete overreaction by the league. I know the NBA has to protect the shield, however the situation could have been avoided if Anthony and Garnett were ejected from the game when they were clearly out of control. But that would hurt the NBA’s bottom line – money.
Rajon Rondo was suspended one game by the league for chest bumping a league official. Carmelo Anthony received one for standing outside of a bus.
The two situations are comparable, right?