Carmelo Anthony Comments on Child Hugging Him on Court

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 28:  A young boy is escorted off the court after hugging Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center on March 28, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony stated Monday night he was "shocked" when a young fan ran onto the court to give him a hug late in the team's 99-91 road loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.  

The Associated Press passed along comments from Anthony, who admitted he wasn't sure what was going on until he looked down to see the unexpected visitor: "It was a little kid. I was shocked. I didn't really know who was it until I actually looked over and saw that it was a kid."

While it ended up being a harmless situation, the Knicks' leading scorer went on to call it a "security issue," according to the AP.

"I think it was because he was a little kid, they just let him go," Anthony said. "Definitely a security issue though, for sure."

Here's a look at the moment:

Although it's easy to make light of the situation since it was just a kid looking for a hug from one of the NBA's most well-known players, it's certainly a security problem. The AP noted Smoothie King Center chief of arena security Russ Bourgeois declined to comment on the matter.

In December, Jimmy Traina of FoxSports.com noted an incident when a fan tried to approach retiring Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on the court in Washington, D.C., before getting intercepted by arena security.

Also last year, tennis star Roger Federer was unhappy after multiple fans were able to get past security during his matches and practices at the French Open, including one looking for a selfie on center court, per Gary Morley of CNN.

Those type of incidents aren't acceptable given the heightened state of awareness around the globe, no matter how innocent they look on the surface. Keeping the athletes and fans safe is the top priority any time there's a large gathering of people.

Anthony ended up acknowledging the young fan before he was ushered off the court by an official. But talking about the security aspect of the incident afterward sends the right message. It's something that cannot be tolerated despite the innocent nature of Monday night's impromptu meeting.