"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:
Here's a look at Carmelo Anthony discussing how he told a heckling fan to ask James Dolan for his money back: pic.twitter.com/bAqkpUfG0W— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 2, 2016
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:
I don't believe Carmelo was trying to embarrass Dolan. I think he's tired of being blamed for everything, including Amare comments on Sunday— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 2, 2016
When does Phil Jackson apologize? Or is this now all about Carmelo?— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) March 2, 2016
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.