Amar’e Stoudemire vs. Al Horford: “Ain’t nobody scared of him”

With the Celtics and Heat taking up seven of the 12 Eastern Conference All-Star spots, some have jokingly (or not) predicted this being the first year All-Star teammates get into a fight during the typically laid-back game. So if you’re watching for tension between the Boston/Miami camps, check out the interactions between Amar’e Stoudemire and Al Horford.

The two All-Star teammates face off at Madison Square Garden tonight as the Knicks host the Hawks (7:30 p.m. EST), and leading up to the game have gotten into a little verbal sparring through the media.

Following yesterday’s Knicks practice, Stoudemire, who is nursing a toe injury, indicated Horford should hope he sits out. “He don’t want to see me,” Stoudemire said. “I watched him play at Florida, and I’ve seen him play a few years in Atlanta. We’ve got two different games, and we’ll see how it plays out.”

Stoudemire added, “It’s going to be a very, very intense game after what happened in Atlanta,” referring to the game a few weeks ago when Atlanta’s Marvin Williams and New York’s Shawne Williams got into a fight that earned both League suspensions.

Horford responded after this morning’s Atlanta shootaround: “I don’t understand what he means by that, ‘He don’t want to see me.’ Like we’re supposed to be scared of him. Ain’t nobody scared of him. We’re all grown men, so it’s all good.”

“He’s a talker, he’s going to talk,” Horford said of Amar’e. “And all I do is, I bring my game to the court. And that’s what I’m going to do tonight.”

Amar’e and the Knicks need something to get hyped up about. They’ve lost four of their last six games and are barely clinging to the 6th-place playoff seed in the East, with the Sixers gaining on them. The Knicks are 0-2 against the Hawks this season.