On the Wednesday morning Larry Brown described an intensely creepy work environment at Madison Square Garden, the New York Post’s Marc Berman has further firsthand details of an incident during Monday’s loss to the Celtics, previously reported by fellow Knicks beat writer, Newsday’s Ken Berger.
As I and two other Knick writers, David Waldstein and Ken Berger, were leaving the Garden rotunda after interviewing Giants Plaxico Burressand R.W. McQuarters, we noticed a fan being jostled by security and led out of the building early in the third quarter.
Because of the incident last month in which a fan named Jason Silverstein was ejected for holding up a “Fire Isiah” sign, we were naturally curious what had happened now. I had overheard the fan tell security his crime was yelling for Jared Jeffries to be taken out of the game.
As we followed the alleged heckler being escorted out, about four Garden security officers tried intercepting our path.
I got pushed around pretty good by a couple of the green blazers while in chase of the heckler, as security became more physical than anything that happened between Quentin Richardson and Paul Pierce.
Suddenly, a security officer, in the heat of the moment, yanked my press credential right off my neck as I walked.
The green blazers screamed for us to back off, saying we were not allowed to be in the rotunda, which is false. When we realized it wasn’t worth getting further manhandled, we stopped. Waldstein shouted at the fan for his phone number. The fan shouted it over the din.
Moments later, we were reprimanded by the security chief and he took our names – as if we about to be reported to the principal or Jim Dolan. The security chief informed us Jones was ejected for hurling profanities and couldn’t understand why we had the audacity to want to speak with him.
I spoke yesterday to Jones, a 28-year-old Brooklyn studio musical engineer who went to school with Stephon Marbury at Lincoln, two grades behind. Jones was more upset about being manhandled than being tossed. He had sneaked down at halftime from the 300 level to the lower bowl to shout a message to Isiah Thomas on his substitution patterns.
“They said they were doing it because I said, ‘ass,’ Jones said.