Lately, Carmelo Anthony has parsed whether the Thunder are frustrated or angry and said he’s going through the roughest stretch of his career.
It didn’t get any better last night.
Anthony scored 11 points on 12 shots with three turnovers, and Oklahoma City got outscored by 21 points with him on the floor in a home loss to the Hornets. The Thunder have now lost two of three, falling to the lowly Nets and Hornets and needing overtime to beat the freefalling Grizzlies.
Royce Young of ESPN:
I’m sorry. My bad. I had a FaceTime session with my son, so I skipped out on you guys yesterday. I apologize. It’s true, though. That’s true. It’s true. He had a school night.
The NBA’s media-access rules state: “All players must be available to the media for a minimum of five to 10 minutes during the postgame media access period.” It’s been a while since someone got punished for violating the policy, but Kevin Garnett was fined $25,000 for not speaking to the media after Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.
I’m sympathetic to Anthony wanting to speak to his son, who’s still in New York. But the league tends not to take these personal concerns into consideration, which is probably for the best. There’s a rule. Anthony violated it. Assessing which personal calls should supersede the rule is a can of worms not worth opening. Besides, Anthony probably could have returned to the locker room for an interview after concluding the call.
Anthony earns a lot of money. If he wanted to risk a $25,000 fine to speak with his son, I have absolutely no problem with that. But that’s probably the choice he made.
In my experience, Anthony has been forthright with the media. He spent years as the face of the Knicks, dutifully answering for problems created by James Dolan and Phil Jackson. Because he was available nearly daily while his superiors avoided interviews, Anthony was the grilled by the New York media.
I bet he expected a reprieve in Oklahoma City. Instead, the spotlight has shined on him as a problem with the underwhelming Thunder.
It’s understandable he’d rather talk to his son than reporters. But it’s also understandable the NBA wants to promote its business through the media, and the league has power to enforce its rules.