After Carmelo Anthony's 34 points burned the Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon, New York Daily News writer Mitch Lawrence took a shot at the New York Knicks forward by saying his three-point celebrations looked like he was pointing a gun to his head and was a bad image for the player and the game.
"Here was Carmelo Anthony draining four 3-pointers against an inferior Phoenix Suns team on Sunday at the Garden and then putting a couple of fingers next to his head every time he hit one, as if he were shooting himself. On his fourth one, he was quite emphatic.
With the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide in Kansas City happening the day before, with guns so prevalent in society and wreaking so much carnage, it hardly looks like the appropriate way to celebrate an NBA three."
Anthony fired back at the suggestion his three-to-the-head salute had anything to do with guns.
"No. Never. Of course not," insisted the Knicks star as he left the locker room with his young son, Kiyan.
"Hell, no!" he emphasized.
No one will deny the existence of gun references in music, movies and the so-called gang lifestyle that is sucked up by the media and imitated in the streets as well as the suburbs, but Anthony says he is not playing that hand.
"I know how people will look at it," he said. "But it's just three points, that's all."
While teammate Steve Novak mimics strapping on a championship belt after one of his many threes, Lawrence insists the Knicks players seem to be "sticking with the sign, created by Rasheed Wallace" which glorifies the gun culture.
Only Anthony used it on Sunday but, in their previous win against the hapless Washington Wizards, Lawrence writes, "it seemed that everyone did the three-to-the-head signal."
"It just means three," Novak said of Wallace's sign. "We just sit around and come up with these kinds of silly things."
If the celebration is a gun reference — as has been suggested by stories on the Internet — Anthony isn't having any of it.
"I'm just representing my man, Rasheed Wallace — three-to-the-dome," said Anthony. "It's just three, nothing major."