NEW YORK Following the Boston Celtics' 106-104 loss to the New York Knicks on Christmas Day, the question was bound to be asked at some point.
Near the end of the game, Kevin Garnett and former Celtic Billy Walker had an exchange in which Garnett appeared to put his hands on Walker after the two had what appeared to be some harsh words.
When asked about it after the game, Garnett scoffed, "Next question."
He won't have the opportunity to be so dismissive if the league office calls, and there's a good chance they will after reviewing the incident. There's a possibility Garnett could be suspended for the Celtics' game Tuesday night in Miami, meaning Boston would have to face the powerful Heat without KG and Paul Pierce.
Walker wasn't as reticent to speak about it as Garnett.
I went to contest his shot, Walker said. I guess he got mad I contested his shot. He grabbed my hand, tangled it up. I pulled my hand away, and then we had a situation . . .
Im a grown-up. You put your hands on my face, what part of the game is that? You know what the man does . . . Would you want me to put my hands on your face and push you away? Im a man at the end of the day. Its disrespectful. You should not do that to any man.
Coach Doc Rivers, who was shaking hands with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni when the incident occured, said, "I didn't see what happened."
Rivers said he spoke with Garnett after the game, but their conversation had nothing to do with the incident with Walker.
"I just talked to him about our mistakes down the stretch as a team," Rivers said.
BOSTON – The last 2 1/2 games for the Celtics have come without Isaiah Thomas (right hip) and it has certainly been a factor in Boston trailing Cleveland 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals heading into tonight’s must-win for the Celtics to keep their season alive.
There have been rumors that if the series with Cleveland were closer, maybe that would lead to a return to the floor for Thomas.
“No. No way. He’s done [this season],” Danny Ainge, Celtics president of basketball operations, said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s "Toucher & Rich" show this morning.
Ainge said there’s still swelling in the hip, and it probably won’t go down enough for doctors to make a determination whether surgery is needed for another couple weeks.
Thomas was in New York City earlier this week visiting a hip specialist. He's expected to consult with at least two more before making a decision as to what's the best course of treatment.
“Everybody agrees if there’s anything that needs to be done to it surgically, it helps...if the inflammation goes down,” Ainge said. “The recovery [time] would be quicker.”
The injury initially occurred on March 15 against Minnesota.
Ainge said he didn’t become too concerned about it until after Thomas re-aggravated it in Game 6 of the second-round series against Washington and was questionable to play in Game 7.
“I was worried going into the Cleveland series that he was nowhere near himself in Game 1 or 2,” Ainge said. “And Game 2 in the second quarter it was clear he was in a lot of pain. No way we could go out and allow him to play the second half.”
Boston was blown out 130-86 in Game 2. In the first half, Thomas had two points and six assists, while missing all six of his shots from the field.
Ainge said there was “a lot” of irritation and inflammation around the affected joint in Thomas' right hip.
“It had gotten worse from the MRIs he had before,” said Ainge, who added that it would have been “irresponsible to allow him to play anymore.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was diagnosed with and successfully treated for lymphoma in 2015, today announced a new ticket program, “Farrell’s Fighters,” that invites patients being treated for the disease and their family to a game each month throughout the season.
“It was a challenging battle going through the treatment a few years ago, and beyond the support of family and friends, one of the things that helped me get through it was the escape I found in the game of baseball,” Farrell said in a team statement. “I hope this program can provide a positive, momentary break for the patients and their families from the daily rigors of treatment, and for baseball to be a tonic for them, as it was for me.”
In addition to VIP seats at the game, the program will include a meeting with the Red Sox manager, a tour of the ballpark, the chance to watch batting practice, and lunch or dinner in the EMC Club restaurant.
“Farrell’s Fighters” will launch with patients from Massachusetts General Hospital, where Farrell was treated in 2015, but will expand to include other area hospitals. The first patient to take part in the program is Nate Bouley, 42, of Sudbury, Mass., who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2015, and is in remission for the third time. Bouley, his wife, and two children will attend the Red Sox-Mariners game Sunday.