Fan alleges defamation led to firing

A fan who was fired from his job as a trader as a result of the fallout from screaming "You stink!" at New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said in a court filing Monday that Madison Square Garden's defamation of his name directly resulted in his termination.

Lawyers for Anthony Rotondi, who previously sued Madison Square Garden, where he watched the Knicks play the Pistons on Jan. 7, 2014, filed an amended complaint that detailed a conversation that took place the day after the game between MSG vice president Courtney Jeffries and an employee of ING, where Rotondi worked.

Jeffries, according to the lawsuit, told that employee that Rotondi was disorderly, interfered with the game and refused to leave after he was ejected with 6.7 seconds remaining in the game.

Jeffries later sent an email to the same ING employee saying that Rotondi was ejected for "excessive verbal abuse" and "offensive language towards Knicks players."

It is the details of this conversation, which Rotondi claims isn't true, that he alleges led to his firing.

"The amended complaint contains dramatic new details including a bombshell email from MSG to ING," Rotondi's lawyer said, in a statement provided to ESPN.com. "It clearly shows the lengths MSG went to intimidate ING that directly led to Anthony's termination. This is MSG overreaching at its most invidious way, directly resulting in personal and professional damage to Anthony."

Kimberly Kerns, a spokesperson for Madison Square Garden, said in a statement that MSG has filed a motion to dismiss the "frivolous" lawsuit and was considering a countersuit.

"We do not welcome anyone into the building who behaves in an inappropriate and hostile manner, and those who behave that way are subject to ejection," Kerns said in a statement.

In the meantime, MSG has filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

Rotondi, who filed the lawsuit in September, used ING's four courtside seats, which cost about $3,000 per seat per game, to attend the Knicks-Pistons game that January night with a colleague and two clients. As the Knicks' 14-point lead evaporated into a close game, Rotondi screamed, "Carmelo, you stink!"

Rotondi was not only ejected from watching the final seconds, but he was accused of interfering with the game and refusing to leave. He was eventually arrested and charged for second-degree tampering with a sports contest and third-degree criminal trespass.

Rotondi was fired the next day, and the new filing says that his 14½ months without pay has resulted in a loss of $370,386 and potentially cost him his future livelihood as he has been unable to find a job since.