Upon Carmelo Anthony's return from a one-game suspension for his altercation with Kevin Garnett, New York Knicks owner James Dolan decided that he needed to keep a little closer watch on his star player. How he reportedly did it comes straight from the theater of the bizarre.
According to Dave D'Alessandro of The Star-Ledger, Dolan had two audio technicians from the MSG Network "spy" on Anthony during the Knicks' 108-101 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. Here are the completely wacky details:
Two audio technicians were stationed at two corners of the court - one a few feet just behind the Knicks bench, the other diagonally opposite - and they were holding those umbrella-shaped contraptions known as parabola microphones, which fed the audio into a DAT recorder on the truck on the loading dock.
These guys had one directive from Dolan: Record every syllable Carmelo Anthony utters and absorbs while he's on the court and on the bench, the Madison Square Garden CEO ordered them, and send the tape directly to me.
Anthony has often had a bit of a short fuse, and he has lost his cool in several games this season. In the first meeting between the Bulls and Knicks at Madison Square Garden this year, Melo was ejected after complaining about the officiating throughout much of the game.
Then, of course, there was the already infamous situation with Garnett last week, when the Knicks' star was set off by the Celtics big man allegedly making a crack about Anthony's wife and Honey Nut Cheerios. Anthony got so upset that he staked out the Celtics' team bus after the game.
Dolan's spying tactics are certainly strange, but they seem to signal the fact that ownership is worried about Anthony's maturity level. Anthony is sure to hear plenty of taunting around the league following the Garnett incident, and if he does not grow up, the Knicks could be in big trouble. New York needs its star at his level-headed best if it wants to make a serious run at an NBA title.