This is what Amar’e Stoudemire had to say about the verbal-beef that popped off between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett:

“We weren’t going to let him come in here and say and do whatever he wanted. It was a lot of talk all night. Boston is known for talking. Carmelo didn’t back down at all, and that’s expected between the Knicks and the Celtics.”

So this is what ended up happening:

Melo wasn’t done, though. He waited for KG outside of Boston’s team bus. This was after confronting the Celtics after the game as they came through the visitors’ tunnel.

KG is a curious cat. He will retire as one of the all-time most incessant/loudest/aggressive/profane woofers in the history of athletic competition. He’s also, over the years, acquired a widely-held and fairly well-deserved rep as a bully. He used to pick on Tim Duncan early in their linked careers. Went out of his way to try to punk Timmy. Like in the video below.

But the thing is, in the true spirit of the bully-motif, at some point, all the manufactured intimidation loses its effectiveness. You see how KG son’d Duncan in that video above? LaMarcus Aldridge smacked KG upside his head in similar fashion not too long ago. LeBron James – perhaps the league’s most passive aggressive, non-confrontational star – purposely goaded KG in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

Let’s be real: that’s what you do to someone that you kind of think is a farce.

Perhaps nothing reinforces Doc Rivers’ early-season accusation that the league thinks the Cs are soft more than the general dismissiveness that opponents accord KG’s maniac routine, these days.

What went down between KG and Carmelo last night was actually pretty jarring to watch. It went from Melo following KG around the court calling him “soft,” to, minutes later, Melo still in KG’s grill…this time, though, calling KG a “pu**y.” Pu**y probably rates higher than b*tch on the scale of disrespect. What was telling was that KG fell silent for the remainder of the game – he woofed not much more than a few words in return.

To KG’s credit, Melo went on a jumper-jacking spree for the rest of a close game, missing most of them. It is not unlikely that Garnett put Melo in the trick bag and got him off his game.  What’s just as likely, however, is that after Melo’s demeanor and words turned hyper-confrontational, KG didn’t want that ruckus. (Before you ask, yes, we absolutely remember Melo's sucker punch/moonwalk from years ago.)

We will almost surely never know what was said or done to make Melo react the way he did. It’s hard to believe a man would call another man a “pu**y” and then go wait for him in front of his team bus without some kind of abnormal provocation. What’s clear is that KG might be entering that “whatever, old man” stage of his career, which, for us KG fans, is a little hard to watch.