GREENBURGH, N.Y. —Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said more has to be done to curb gun violence after the Wednesday morning incident in which teammate Cleanthony Early was robbed and shot in the knee.
“We got to do something,” Anthony said Wednesday afternoon after being asked about gun control. “It’s scary, man.”
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Anthony also said that though he does not believe that Knicks players are being specifically targeted, all professional athletes are at risk.
Police officials said that Early was shot once in the knee and robbed after he and his girlfried left a strip club in Queens. Early’s vehicle, a Uber car, was boxed in by three cars, police said.
Anthony appeared in a public service announcement along with other NBA stars calling for an end to gun violence that aired on Christmas. In April, Anthony joined protesters in his home city of Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, who died from an injury suffered while in police custody.
“You feel it. I felt it in Baltimore, in that situation, and I’m feeling it now with a teammate of mine that’s much closer. It’s just something we have to do. We have to figure it out,” he said.
“That’s just the life we live. We can’t control that. If we try to stay away from every place we go to and worry about safety and security than we will just be in the house all day, every day.”
The Knicks were relieved Early didn’t suffer any life-threatening injuries. But it was the second incident involving a Knicks’ player in the last 11 days.
Backup forward Derrick Williams reported to police that more $600,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from his apartment on Dec. 19, following a night out with friends.
“As athletes, anybody, not just athletes but people with some type of stature or money, who have something going for themselves, we just have to figure out a way to be better, be safer, know our surroundings, know where we at, know who’s with us, know who’s not with us. It’s easier said than done.”
“Even though I said the Knicks in particular are not targets, we all are targets at the end of the day,” said Anthony, who often travels with his own personal security guard. “Regardless of how much love people will show you and whether you feel comfortable being in this place or that place, it will always be that one person who thinks differently, who feels you shouldn’t be in the position that you’re in, that you shouldn’t be as blessed as you are.
“So it will always be the 99 people who are [glamorizing you] and then the one person over here who is trying to take you down.”
The Knicks were scheduled to practice Wednesday after playing the Pistons Tuesday. Anthony said the news of Early being shot “put a dart into everything and took the air out of the room.”
General manager Steve Mills, coach Derek Fisher and the Knicks’ head of security addressed the players before they went through some individual workouts. They will return to full practice Thursday.
“The only thing we can really do is get away from it for a day,” Anthony said. “This is life and death. What we’re dealing with is a game, it’s basketball. We can come back and get after it tomorrow. We should take this day and just kind of get away from it and count our blessings because this situation could have much uglier for Cle.”