Cleanthony Early says shooting 'could have been way worse'


Cleanthony Early was 'in good spirits' when his Knicks teammates when to visit him in the hospital the day after he was shot in the knee by masked thugs outside a Queens strip club.Jack Arent/NBAE/Getty Images

Cleanthony Early was ‘in good spirits’ when his Knicks teammates when to visit him in the hospital the day after he was shot in the knee by masked thugs outside a Queens strip club.

Cleanthony Early knows he dodged a more serious bullet.

The Knicks swingway shared a photo from his hospital room on Thursday a day after he was set upon by masked thugs, robbed and shot in the knee outside a Queens strip club around 4 a.m. Wednesday.

“I got shot but ironically I dodge a bullet,” Early wrote in an Instagram post. “It could of been way worse and I’m thankful and grateful it wasn’t.

“This is a lesson learn for me and to you all as well, be safe out there, theirs people out here that want to hurt you just to hurt you.”

CLEANTHONY EARLY SHOT IN OVERNIGHT ATTACK NEAR STRIP CLUB

Early, who was visited by Knicks players and staff in the hospital Thursday morning, confirmed there was no major damage done to his knee.

“But this is one hell of an experience to (recover) from.”

The Knicks looked to refocus on basketball Thursday after visiting their wounded teammate.

“Most of the guys went to go see him,” Carmelo Anthony said following the team’s practice Thursday. “He’s good – relatively speaking, but he’s great. He’s in good spirits. It was good to see everybody come through. That definitely put a smile on his face. He’ll be back soon.”

Describing Early as being in “good spirits,” Anthony said he was relieved to hear that Early may not need surgery on the gunshot wound to the knee.

“For him not to have no surgery, and to have a chance to heal quickly, he was blessed,” Anthony said. “He was fortunate. Anybody that can get hit in the knee like that and not have to get no structural surgery and things like that, he was fortunate.”

Carmelo Anthony says Cleanthony Early is 'blessed' and won't need to have surgery.John Lamparski/WireImage

Carmelo Anthony says Cleanthony Early is ‘blessed’ and won’t need to have surgery.

AFTER TEAMMATE SHOT, CARMELO MAKES PLEA FOR GUN CONTROL

Coach Derek Fisher said he had been given no timetable for the Bronx-born small forward’s possible return to action.

“We feel good about where Cleanthony is,” said Fisher. “He’s going to be fine, so we don’t feel like we need to worry from that standpoint. We’re thinking about Chicago and getting back to basketball.”

The 15-18 Knicks take on the 18-12 Bulls on Friday night in Chicago.

“I feel like guys were focused today,” Fisher said after the practice session. “We got after it some and competed. The energy was good, the intensity was good. That’s what it’s going to take to have a chance to win (Friday) night.”

The scene on Wednesday on Maurice Avenue in Queens where Cleanthony Early was shot.Theodore Parisienne/for New York Daily News

The scene on Wednesday on Maurice Avenue in Queens where Cleanthony Early was shot.

Anthony said Early’s situation “put a lot of things in perspective” for the Knicks, but disregarded the suggestion that Early had put himself in the way of danger by visiting CityScapes Gentlemen’s Club on 58th Street in Maspeth.

“It coulda happened at a Dunkin Donuts. If you’re out that time of night, it could happen anywhere,” said Anthony. “It coulda happened coming out his house. Would the story be any different? It’s all about being a little smarter, wiser.”

Anthony, who has come out in favor of stricter gun control legislation, said that as a veteran NBA star he couldn’t presume to tell anyone on his team where to go and what to do. As a young player, Anthony said, he had veterans he could have gone to for advice, but that he tended not to seek out their counsel.

“When I came in it was more just about me trying to figure it out on my own,” said Anthony. “I was in my own world. I thought I knew everything at 18, 19 years old. I was coming from that lifestyle. I thought I knew everything.” 

Tags:
carmelo anthony ,
cleanthony early ,
new york knicks ,
nba ,
gun violence ,
new york assaults ,
new york robberies ,
maspeth



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