NBA needs to punish players who act out
To the editor:
On a recent Monday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks got into an argument that threatened to turn violent. The two exchanged harsh words, pushed, shoved and played extraordinarily rough defense on one another.
The tension built until the two were separated by teammates and referees in the fourth quarter, and both received technical fouls.
Anthony reported that during the exchange, Garnett said things that “crossed a line.” Anthony apparently told Garnett, “I’ll see you after the game” and made good on his promise. He walked after Garnett and waited by the Celtic’s bus for K.G. to come out of the locker room.
I believe that this is conduct that should not be committed by an athlete of Anthony’s age, experience and position. He is someone who is looked up to by millions of people, including children. People with that kind of influence need to be respectable. They need to conduct themselves in a manner that does not promote violence as a means of conflict resolution.
That said, I think Garnett, too, needs to check himself. Although he did not blow up in the same way, he provoked Anthony, reportedly with a rude comment about his wife. This was a touchy subject for Anthony, as he and his wife, actress Lala Vasquez, are said to be having marital problems.
It was announced Jan. 10 that Anthony would be suspended for a game against the Indiana Pacers and would also be fined $176,700.
I think that these consequences are appropriate, and will help teach Anthony a lesson, as well as let all players know this type of conduct is not acceptable. Garnett, on the other hand, was not punished. Although this may make sense to NBA officials, Garnett needed some sort of consequence for his words, even if lighter than Anthony’s. A suspension without a fine, or just a fine perhaps. Garnett, we are told, once wished the San Antonio Spurs’ center, Tim Duncan, a happy Mother’s Day during a game shortly after Duncan’s mother had died.
Garnett is known as one of the biggest trash-talkers in the NBA and will continue to be until he faces consequences.