Fans are called fans for a reason, it's short for fanatic. Some of us wear our teams gear several days a week. Some of us know everything about every member of the team. Some of us sit in the same spot to watch every game. Some of us eat the same food and have the same drinks on game days. Others take it too far and instead of rooting for their own teams feel entitled to harass and taunt players from other teams. While boos are normal protocol others take it a step further. A Minnesota Timberwolves fan recently took it too far harassing Carmelo Anthony about his dispute with Boston Celtics All-Star Kevin Garnett.
Kevin Garnett is a 6'11", 253 pound power forward/center from Greenville, South Carolina. He was drafted fifth overall in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and played there until being traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007.
He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1996, is a four time NBA rebounding champion (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), a nine time NBA All-Defensive First Team player (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011), a three time NBA All-Defensive Second Team player (2006, 2007, 2012), a four time All-NBA First Team member (2000, 2003, 2004, 2008), a three time All-NBA Second Team member (2001, 2002, 2005), a two time All-NBA Third Team member (1999, 2007), a fifteen time NBA All-Star (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, an NBA All-Star Game MVP in 2003, won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2004 and was an NBA Champion in 2008.
Despite his very impressive career Garnett has been known to complain too much, throw too many elbows and go over the line when talking trash to his opponents. Despite his actions many Minnesota Timberwolves fans remain loyal to Garnett after being heartbroken by his trade to Boston on July 31, 2007. At the time of the trade, Garnett's 12 season and 927 games with Minnesota was the longest tenure of any player in the NBA with one team.
As a result, despite pulling off a trade consisting of the largest number of players traded for a single player in league history (seven for one) many Timberwolves fans still wish they had kept Garnett. Instead they received Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, cash considerations, Boston's 2009 top three protected first-round draft pick and the 2009 first-round pick Minnesota had previously traded to Boston in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade in 2006. Despite it being six year later, Garnett's fans from his Minnesota days remain loyal and often blind to their beloved players lack of class.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports how the event took place.
The fan snuck by security when the Knicks players filed into the arena. He yelled at Anthony, “KG, KG. You don’t know who Kevin Garnett is?’’
Anthony appeared ruffled, shouting back, “Why are you following me? Why are you following me?’’ before ducking into the locker room. The fan was immediately kicked out of the building by arena and Knicks security but was not arrested.
Garnett trash-talked Anthony last month during a game at Madison Square Garden. Garnett was reported to have made unacceptable comments about Anthony’s wife, La La. That led to technicals, Anthony attempting to find Garnett at the Boston Celtics locker room and continuing the aggression outside the arena at the Celtics bus. Those actions led to a one-game suspension for Anthony but nothing for Garnett.
Boston coach Doc Rivers denied Garnett making the comments but with Garnett's history of taking it too far with his mouth there's little doubt he did exactly what Anthony accused him of. This is the same guy who yelled "Happy Mother's Day!" to the revered San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan just after Duncan's Mother had passed away. Garnett is skilled but far from classy. Clearly, at least some of his fans have followed in his footsteps.
Unfortunately this is about more than just a fan thinking it's okay to engage a professional basketball player in this type of manner. This is about security, or lack there of. This is the second time this season a fan has gotten close enough to interact with an NBA personality. it seems far too easy to gain access to areas that are supposed to be impossible to reach without the proper credentials.
Previously a fan was able to get into Gregg Popovich's post-game press conference in the locker room in New York. The fact that both events involved the Knicks you'd think James Dolan would spearhead an investigation on how to improve security throughout the league.
These two incidents turned out to be relatively harmless but next time someone might not be as fortunate. This is an issue that both the league and its players need to take seriously. Arena security varies from city to city and is something that needs be standardized and regulated by the league for all 30 NBA teams. Hopefully it wont take something tragic to cause the league to fix a problem that seems so obvious.
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