One of the only pleasant moments for Knicks fans attending Monday’s loss to Boston occurred when several members of the NFC Champion Giants were introduced to the Garden crowd. However, shortly after reporters were granted a few seconds of Q&A time with Plaxico Fantastico, R.W. McQuarters and Aaron Ross, things turned typically ugly, writes Newsday’s Ken Berger.
As we headed back toward the tunnel to continue watching the game, two other reporters and I noticed security guards arguing with a fan in a Yankees cap. The fan evidently was being ejected for unruly behavior and was quite vocal in proclaiming that all he said was, œGet Jeffries off the court.
A couple of ushers began escorting the man toward the exit, and we reporters followed, hoping to do what reporters do “ interview a member of the public.
Several ushers began shouting at us to stop, telling us we weren™t allowed back there. (Even though we were in an area where celebrity interviews are conducted all the time during Knicks games.) Ozzie Jones of Brooklyn “ hardly a celebrity “ was about 50 yards away but was able to shout his cell phone number to one of the writers despite the best efforts of the Garden gulag to shout over him.
I would estimate that a dozen ushers surrounded the three reporters, including myself, physically blocking our path and berating us for not listening to their orders, not œrespecting them and not letting them do their jobs. I explained that, in truth, it was the other way around. The security staff was keeping us from doing our jobs.
One reporter was physically restrained and had his credential torn off his neck. The apparent leader of the turquoise-clothed brigade took all of our names down, and within a few minutes, a Knicks P.R. executive sought me out in my seat behind the basket to ask what happened.
If only the Knicks were as persistent in defending Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett as the Garden security staff were in taking care of Ozzie Jones and three newspaper reporters.