Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA’s most popular players. The nine-time All-Star knows this, but that apparently still didn’t prepare him for the kid who rushed onto the court to hug the Knicks forward during a deadball situation in Monday night’s game against the Pelicans in New Orleans.
The referees ushered the kid off the floor.
The incident happened with 51.2 seconds left in the game and the Knicks trailing 92–85 on March 28.
Anthony said afterward that it was the first time that ever happened and he was very surprised by it.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 29, 2016
The Knicks would go on to lose the game 99–91. Anthony finished with a team-high 22 points—right on his season average.
With the loss, New York fell to 30–45. The Knicks, with seven games left in the season, have already been mathematically eliminated from postseason play.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 29, 2016
The losing season is especially troublesome for New York’s future. The Knicks, who need more young talent to pair with Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, owe their first-round pick in this year’s draft to Toronto to complete the team’s ill-fated 2013 trade for Andrea Bargnani. The 6-foot-11 Bargnani was not re-signed after a pair of lukewarm seasons with the Knicks. He then signed with Brooklyn for the 2015–16 season, though the Nets waived him in February.
The Knicks still owe Toronto a second-round pick in 2017 to complete the trade, which saw Quentin Richardson, Steve Novak, and Marcus Camby head to Toronto.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 29, 2016
Meanwhile Anthony, who came via trade to the Knicks in 2011, will miss out on the playoffs for the third straight season. For his career, the one-time scoring champion has advanced past the first round of the postseason two times—and only once as a Knick (2013). The Knicks should show some urgency in adding to the roster this summer, given that Anthony will be 32 by the time the next season starts.