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Carmelo Anthony Releases Statement About Comments Made to Heckler for Refund

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony plays during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota TimberwolvesSaturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2016

The New York Knicks released a statement Wednesday on behalf of star Carmelo Anthony after he told a heckler to ask team owner James Dolan for a refund, per ESPN.com's Ian Begley.

"We are all frustrated by the team's recent results—everyone, including me, my teammates, coaches and the fans," Anthony said. "Last night, a fan and I let those frustrations get the best of us. I should not have responded the way I did."

Anthony discussed the incident following Tuesday's 104-85 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers, per Begley:

However, on Thursday, Anthony told reporters the Knicks prompted him to release the statement, and added it was "Mr. Dolan's decision" to release it.

According to Begley, the incident occurred during a timeout with four minutes and 15 seconds left in the game. Anthony stood up from the bench to speak to the fan directly.

"It gets frustrating. The losing gets frustrating, disappointing," the nine-time All-Star said. "The way that we ended that game was disappointing. At that point, I think my head was in the towel. I was just trying to breathe. Just try to relax, kind of gather myself a little bit at that point."

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News doesn't see much to Anthony's comments:

The Knicks have the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference, and they're all but guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the third straight season. Since Anthony arrived, New York has also had four different head coaches, and the team will move on to a fifth in the likely event it doesn't retain interim coach Kurt Rambis.

While it's never good for a team's best player to antagonize fans, one can understand Anthony's exasperation. Given how quickly he and the team have moved on, it shouldn't become a significant issue for the Knicks going forward.

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