The Knicks are on their way to London for Thursday's date with the Pistons on the court where Carmelo Anthony won a gold medal last summer, but no one's talking about double decker buses or fish and chips at the moment.
They're talking about a report from the Newark Star-Ledger that has Knicks employees holding large parabola microphones at courtside with the express purpose of taping everything said to and by Anthony over the course of games for the use of Knicks owner James Dolan. The microphones arrived on Friday night against the Bulls, the first game that Anthony played after absorbing a one-game suspension for trying to go after Kevin Garnett last Monday.
Garnett is somewhat infamously accused of telling Anthony that his wife tastes like "Honey Nut Cheerios," although that's not something anyone's been able to confirm since there were not microphones pointed at Anthony for that game. While the Knicks won't say anything about the mikes, that would seem to be the most reasonable explanation for their presence.
It's a bad idea and not just because the whole concept of taping everything everyone says is a creepy, Orwellian move to make. It's a bad idea because it sends the wrong message about Monday night.
When a kid gets in trouble for pushing someone in school, invariably part of the explanation is that the other kid said or did something first that got a reaction. For me, the parental response was never that I should wear a wire to prove my point but that I needed to be smarter in my response to such provocations in the future.
Whatever Garnett might have said, it's safe to assume that it was vile based on Garnett's history and Anthony's reaction. NBA players hear garden variety trash talk every night so it would have to have been something extra to get that kind of response.
You don't need to know exactly what, though, because it is up to Anthony to find other ways to deal with it. Fight back verbally or, better yet, by winning the game and let Garnett continue to stew in his misanthrophy either way.
As ever with the Knicks, the problem is finding someone who is actually able to explain this to Dolan. His lack of interaction with the media has always been explained as feeling victimized by the way he's been characterized in the past, which makes it easy to draw a line to the Anthony tapes as an instance of further victimization.
Mike Woodson can't like that, not with his team already arguing every single call made against them in every game. It's a childish response as is the use of microphones to show the NBA just how mean those other kids are to our Knicks.
Maturity is the lesson that should be sent to Anthony and the rest of the Knicks because showing it allows them to prove they are better than the likes of Garnett and the Celtics in every possible way.