The New York Knicks closed ranks somewhat during Wednesday practice in light of the shooting of Cleanthony Early. Head coach Derek Fisher announced that only he and Carmelo Anthony would be available for interviews.
The good news is that Fisher has already spoken with Cle, who was released from the hospital Wednesday morning, and the second-year forward appears to be resting well.
Fisher after speaking with Early: "He’s doing okay. ...relatively, he's doing well. It doesn’t appear to be life-threatening at this point."— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) December 30, 2015
Fisher defended Early -- and Derrick Williams, who was robbed last week -- from accusations that they were somehow in the wrong for going to clubs. He also shot down any talk of imposing curfews.
Derek Fisher reiterates about the Derrick Williams and Cleanthony Early incidents: "It’s clear they’re victims. They didn’t break any laws."— Andrew Keh (@andrewkeh) December 30, 2015
Derek Fisher on instituting a curfew: "I think it's very important to respect Cleanthony and his mom and his family before debating policy."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 30, 2015
Melo struck a somber, exasperated tone with his comments, framing this shooting within the larger context of America's gun violence epidemic.
Carmelo Anthony said Steve Mills, Fisher and the head of security addressed the team.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) December 30, 2015
"We all are targets, at the end of the day, regardless of how much love people show you," Carmelo Anthony said of NBA players.— Andrew Keh (@andrewkeh) December 30, 2015
Carmelo, who just did a PSA for control, made another plea for it after Cleanthony Early was shot. "We got to do something."— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) December 30, 2015
All kinds of theories are floating around regarding the origins of the attack. One thing is certain: Early and his family are no strangers to hardship. This anecdote from his mom is absolutely heartbreaking.
the phone late at night anymore -- and simply texts with Cle before bed -- bc she fears its someone calling with bad, tragic news.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) December 30, 2015
In more positive news, teammates have taken to Twitter and Instagram to show support.
Pray for my guy @Clearly_BallLyf please.— Derrick Williams (@DWXXIII) December 30, 2015
Prayers up for my bro @Clearly_BallLyf— Jerian Grant (@JerianGrant) December 30, 2015
Prayers for my teammate and good friend @Clearly_BallLyf— jose manuel calderon (@JmCalderon3) December 30, 2015
Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) December 30, 2015
Even former teammates -- and fellow Wichita State alums -- have voiced their support:
Some people want to do bad things to good people for no reason but jealousy! Keep ya head Cle!!! Alway an forever my lil bro!— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 30, 2015
Prayers up for the homie @Clearly_BallLyf bounce back bro God got you— Quincy Acy (@QuincyAcy) December 30, 2015
Prayers up for my boy Cle #shockerfam— Toure Murry (@toure_murry) December 30, 2015
Prayers for my brother @Clearly_BallLyf— Tim Hardaway Jr (@T_HardJR) December 30, 2015