Garnett and Anthony got into a verbal scuffle during Monday night’s Knicks-Celtics game that so infuriated Melo that he shouted at the Boston locker room after the contest and waited for KG outside the Celtics team bus. Madison Square Garden security and New York City police officers were reportedly called to diffuse the situation.
The rumor is that Garnett set off Melo by saying his wife “tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios,” as reported by Black Sports Online.
Rivers denied the media outlet’s report, although the Celtics coach would not say exactly what Garnett told Anthony.
"Well, number one, I know what's been reported did not happen," the Boston coach told Boston sports radio station WEEI, according to ESPN. “I know that as a fact.”
Rivers acknowledged that trash talk occasionally crosses the line during NBA games, but he said what KG told Melo does not fit that description.
"It's pretty crude, I can tell you," Rivers said, ESPN reported. "Out there at times, you hear some crazy stuff. But when it gets racial or personal to family, then that crosses the line. But I'm going to say it again: In this case that didn't happen.
"(Garnett) does (know where the line is). He does. I will say that,” Rivers continued. “I've never heard him cross the line. And usually when he talks about guys, it's usually about their game or their team or what he thinks if the guy's a winner or loser.”
Despite Rivers’ assurances that Garnett does not take trash talking too far, the Celtics superstar has been connected to distasteful barbs in the past.
In 2010, Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva claimed the talented Celtics superstar called him “a cancer patient.” Villanueva has a form of alopecia that prevents hair growth.
"KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke,” Villanueva tweeted at the time, according to ESPN Boston. "I wouldn't even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place 4 those.”
Garnett denied saying those words.
"My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact 'You are cancerous to your team and our league,'" Garnett said in a statement. "I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."
Garnett allegedly also crossed the line in 1999 during a game on Mother’s Day, when his Minnesota Timberwolves squared off against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs.
Duncan’s mother died of cancer when he was 14, and her death was well-known to those who follow basketball.
Just before Duncan attempted two free throws, Garnett allegedly shouted, “Happy Mother’s Day, mother-----!”