NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 1:57 AM
Carmelo Anthony suffers an embarrassing moment in a blowout loss then has words with a fan after the Knicks loss to the Blazers on Tuesday night.
Carmelo Anthony’s biting response to one of the several thousand disgruntled customers inside Madison Square Garden late Tuesday was surprising yet spot-on.
During a heated exchange with a heckler, the Knicks’ frustrated All- Star pointed at his boss, James Dolan, and simply told the angry fan: “Ask for your money back.”
Phil Jackson’s second full season as Knicks president has officially gone from bad to worse to ugly. And it all unfolded right in front of Dolan, the MSG chairman, who headed directly for Jackson’s suite immediately after Portland’s 104-85 victory.
Moments earlier, Dolan was within earshot of the heckler berating Anthony until Garden security interceded and escorted the man, wearing a suit, out of the building with 4:13 remaining.
Unfortunately for Melo, he can’t escape.
“He kept calling my name, calling my name, saying ‘You guys suck, you guys suck,’” Anthony revealed. “At that point I was trying to gather myself and I turned around, all I did was point at Dolan and told him, ‘Look, the owner’s right there. Ask for your money back.’
“He’s calling me and telling me he’s never coming to another game and we suck. Just don’t want to hear that. I pointed to the owner and told him you deal with that with him, maybe you can get your money back.”
Anthony maintains a close relationship with Dolan so it is unlikely that Anthony was assigning blame to the owner. If anything, this was almost a cry for help from a player who clearly is tired of losing and being the designated fall guy.
“It gets frustrating,” Anthony added. “The losing gets frustrating, disappointing. The way that we ended that game was disappointing. At that point I think my head was in the towel. I was just trying to breathe, just try to relax, kind of gather myself a little bit at that point.”
Dolan watched the Knicks fall to 25-37 against a Trail Blazers team whose former starting center and sixth man were signed by Jackson’s Knicks last July. Portland, led by the brilliant Damian Lillard, improved to 33-28 while the Knicks lost for the 15th time in their last 18 games.
Interim head coach Kurt Rambis is 2-6 since replacing Derek Fisher last month and it’s looking more and more like the Knicks will be searching for a coach this summer. Also, the continuing collapse could put Jackson in jeopardy and could make the cries for the club to hire Tom Thibodeau grow louder.
Tuesday’s lackluster effort featured Anthony stuffing himself against the rim on a failed dunk attempt and Jimmer Fredette getting his second and perhaps final run in a Knicks uniform.
The sparse crowd chanted “We want Jimmer” for much of the fourth quarter and got its wish with 3:13 remaining. But even Fredette added to the bad vibes by attempting a 3-pointer after Portland had attempted to run the clock out before being called for a shot clock violation with 2.5 seconds left. Fredette was fouled with 0.8 seconds remaining as he shot the ball and the Blazers appeared agitated with Fredette for ignoring proper etiquette.
Fredette’s 10-day contract expires on Thursday and with the Knicks off until Friday’s game at Boston he may not be re-signed. The Daily News reported on Tuesday that the Knicks met with free agent Tony Wroten, who is a candidate to get a 10-day deal.
Fredette finished with four points while Jose Calderon, Langston Galloway, Jerian Grant and Sasha Vujacic combined to score five points in 58 minutes. Yes, the Knicks have a guard problem. It’s a Code Red guard problem.
Meanwhile, Portland’s two guards were sensational. Lillard scored 24 of his 30 points in the first half while C.J. McCollum added 25 points. Former Trail Blazers Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo scored eight and 13 points, respectively.
Anthony led the Knicks with 23 points on 20 shots and a failed dunk attempt. Father Time, not to mention gravity, played a cruel trick on Anthony that resulted in an embarrassing moment that was both a blooper and perhaps a glimpse into his not-so-distant future.
The sequence ended with Anthony flat on his back at the free throw line, which is saying something considering it began under the basket with Anthony trying to dunk the ball by taking just one step. Without enough momentum, Anthony’s surgically repaired left knee betrayed him as he forcefully stuffed himself against the rim.
But it gets much worse. The whistle had already blown the play dead so it was an uncontested dunk attempt. It was also the first quarter, so Anthony couldn’t even use fatigue as an excuse.
“I was trying to figure out if I had my legs underneath me,” he said. “My mind and my body was telling me different things… You gotta laugh at yourself. You gotta laugh at yourself.”
Anthony took it in stride and laughed at his faux pas. Dolan, seated just a few feet away, also chuckled but it’s clear that Anthony, 12 months removed from knee surgery, isn’t himself physically. Mentally, he’s even worse.
But not nearly as bad as Jackson’s Knicks.