Al Horford: Nobody's scared of Amare

NEW YORK -- Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford doesn't know what Amare Stoudemire meant when he said Horford "don't want to see me" on the court during Wednesday night's Knicks-Hawks game at the Garden.

But Horford is sure of one thing: He has no reason to be scared of Stoudemire.

"I don't understand what he means by that, 'He don't want to see me,' " Horford said Wednesday morning after the Hawks' shootaround. "Like we're supposed to be scared of [Stoudemire]. Ain't nobody scared of him. We're all grown men, so it's all good."

Stoudemire and Horford will be Eastern Conference teammates at this weekend's All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

After practice on Tuesday, Stoudemire provided some bulletin-board material for Horford and the Hawks when he said, "It's going to be a very, very intense game after what happened in Atlanta."

Atlanta's Marvin Williams and New York's Shawne Williams got into an altercation during the last Knicks-Hawks game, in Atlanta on Jan. 28. Horford also got under Stoudemire's skin when he encouraged Atlanta fans to cheer louder than Knicks fans in the fourth quarter of the Hawks' 111-102 win.

Stoudemire had a direct message for Horford on Tuesday.

"He don't want to see me. I watched him play in [college in] 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 [Wednesday]," the Knicks' All-Star said.

Horford said Wednesday that he took Stoudemire's comments "personal" but he would be focused solely on the game.

"It's just another game. I'm coming out here ready to play," Horford said. "He's a talker, he's going to talk. And all I do is, I bring my game to the court. And that's what I'm going to do tonight."

Marvin Williams didn't think there would be any carryover from his dustup with Shawne Williams. Both players threw punches at one another in a melee late in the fourth quarter of the Jan. 28 game. Marvin Williams was suspended for two games and Shawne Williams one game.

"I've got no hard feelings towards Shawne. Shawne's a great player; obviously he's a good dude," Marvin Williams said. "Sometimes things just get heated, and that's just what happened."

The Knicks (27-26) have lost four of six and 11 of 16 and enter Wednesday's game with just a two-game lead over seventh-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks (34-20), meanwhile, have won four of their last six and are percentage points ahead of Orlando (35-21) for fourth place in the conference.

The Hawks are also 2-0 against the Knicks this season, which is another reason Horford saw no need to get into an extended war of words with Stoudemire.

"I walked out with the 'W' the last two times, so that's that," he said.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.