New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said he was "shocked" when a young boy ran onto the court Monday night and gave him a hug during a stoppage in play late in the fourth quarter of a 99-91 loss to the Pelicans in New Orleans.
Anthony gave the pint-sized fan an affectionate rub on the head, then held onto the child's arm until an official made his way over to usher him off the court.
"It was a little kid," Anthony said. "I was shocked. I didn't really know who was it until I actually looked over and saw that it was a kid."
A woman who appeared to be the boy's guardian immediately led him toward the exit.
The chief of arena security, Russ Bourgeois, declined to comment on the incident after the game.
"I think it was because he was a little kid, they just let him go," Anthony said. "Definitely a security issue though, for sure."