The NBA’s decision to suspend Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks is a great move by the league, at least in terms of publicity.
The NBA announced on Wednesday that it is suspending Anthony for one game for confronting Kevin Garnett in the arena tunnel after a game between the Knicks and the Boston Celtics on Monday at Madison Square Garden.
If you are just looking at this as a matter of fairness, then I can see Knicks fans questioning if Anthony should be suspended for “attempting to engage” Garnett after the game, as NBA official Stu Jackson put it.
But if you’re looking at this from a publicity standpoint, this move is a home run for the league.
Sports fans love rivalries and they love it when “these two teams just don’t like each other.” The Knicks have finally become relevant again and they look like they can be a serious challenger this year.
Having “bad blood” between the Knicks and the Celtics will make the interest in the games between those two teams skyrocket this year and for the next few years. By suspending Anthony for this confrontation, it just puts the story back in the national media and adds to the hype. Can you imagine the attention these two teams will get if they meet in the playoffs?
Anthony has always been viewed as a great scorer, but he has never been looked at as a great defender or a guy with a lot of toughness or tenacity. This confrontation and the subsequent suspension because of it just makes him look like he cares even more about basketball and makes him look like he is a guy with some toughness.
Some will say that it is a “punk move”or something like that, but people always say that about the NBA, and usually it’s just people who don’t like the NBA for whatever reason. It’s a stupid thing for people to say and it’s not true. Anthony was mad at Garnett and he wanted to confront him. It’s not really all that bad, and most fans are just happy that some players do get mad at each other and are not all friendly with one another.
This whole situation is also going to give a lot more attention to Anthony, who has been defending what he did. He said he was just upset about something Garnett said, and that is certainly believable since Garnett has been known to say things to make other players upset at times. This situation also gives more attention to the Knicks and to the entire league, which overall is a pretty good thing.
If you really look at it, the actual confontation wasn’t that bad, and much worse things have probably happened between players before, during and after games in basketball and other sports but just weren’t noticed by the media. Personally, I’m glad this happened. I can’t wait to watch the Celtics-Knicks play again and I can’t wait to see the reaction Anthony receives in New York and around the country.
Professional sports needs more rivalries. Garnett and Anthony have created a new one, and the NBA just helped to hype it up.