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1:30 PM ET, 12/18/06

Stern Issues Penalties

Posted by Paul Forrester
After a day of scanning videotape and interviewing those involved in Saturday's melee at Madison Square Garden between the Knicks and the Nuggets, the NBA weighed in by suspending seven players Monday, headlined by a 15-game suspension for Carmelo Anthony and 10-game suspensions for J.R. Smith and Nate Robinson.

Interestingly, the league also assessed $500,000 fines to the Knicks and Nuggets organizations. In a conference call after the penalties were announced, commissioner David Stern was careful to say that the team fines were not a means by which to send a message for any roles coaches Isiah Thomas and George Karl played in instigating the fight.

Too bad.

For as wrong as the players were in their actions, Thomas and Karl were equally at fault -- Thomas for fostering an atmosphere of playground justice that likely prompted Mardy Collins to commit the flagrant foul that started the incident, and Karl for leaving his starters in with a 19-point lead in the closing minutes of a game (perhaps as a form of payback for good friend Larry Brown).

But that's just one observer's opinion. Did the NBA get the punishment right? Who got off easy? Who didn't? What do you think? Let us hear it.

Comments:

Posted: 1:44 PM   by Anonymous
I think the punishment was fair overall. I do think JR Smith was punished too severely, considering that he might have been hurt seriously from the foul. I also wish Isiah Thomas was somehow punished, or at least admonished. It's a shame he was unpunished. I don't think George Karl did anything wrong. It the end, it was the Collins foul that spurred everything, and Isiah had a part in that.
Posted: 1:49 PM   by Anonymous
Isiah Thomas deserves to be punished. He should first be punished for being a horrible coach, and second for threatening Carmello Anthony. When you're getting beat by 20 you have no right dictate what happens in the game. Just keep your mouth SHUT and take your beating like a man, take a shower and go home.
Posted: 1:53 PM   by Anonymous
There is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving your starters in the game, or with your starters dunking on their opponents with a big lead in the closing minutes. Give me a break. If you don't want your guys to get dunked on, tell them to play some defense -- not go out and try to hurt someone.
Posted: 1:55 PM   by Anonymous
I agree with the other posts that Isiah Thomas should be punished. He has single handedly run the Knicks franchise into the ground, and now advises his players to take out their frustrations on other players. I think it is funny that David Stern was quoted as saying he did not punish Thomas because he based the suspensions on "definitive information" I'd say the video I saw on ESPN this morning was pretty definitive, and I'm not a professional lip reader
Posted: 1:55 PM   by Anonymous
If George Karl had shown some class and removed his starters when the outcome of the game had already been decided, this incident probably wouldn't have happened. While the Commissioner can't dictate how a coach should coach, Karl should still be reprimanded for creating the hostial environment. Thomas should also have been punished for opening his mouth to an opposing player.
Posted: 1:56 PM   by Anonymous
Considering Collins had a flagrant foul called on him the game before this one and then another flagrant foul in the closing moments of the Denver game, i think he should have been given a harsher punishment considering his actions sparked the initial brawl..

I do think that Melo was punished with the right amount of games though..you can't have the NBA's leading scorer throwing hay makers at opponents..
Posted: 1:56 PM   by Anonymous
I am not sure how Karl could not bear at least some of the fault here. Albeit Larry Brown is a good friend, but don't take it out on the players on the Knicks Team. I'm not a Thomas fan, by any means, never have been, and he too should bear some of the blame. These are the coaches, they should keep the image of the teams high, they should foster the right atmosphere for their teams. Thomas should have NEVER said anything to Anthony, it will only come to no good, no matter what his intentions were. Karl should have taken his starters out when he saw the looks on the Knicks faces, he knew something bad could happen. Shame on the coaches, the players will only follow your lead.
Posted: 1:57 PM   by R.D.W. Mansfield, Texas
I'm tired of these "pro" atheletes crying about someone running up the score on them. Get in there and do what you are paid to do. It's not the opposing team's responsibility to stop themselves from scoring; I guess maybe we should have a mercy rule or something.
Posted: 1:57 PM   by Anonymous
How could the guys that were full blown fighting be suspended less than a guy who threw one punch?
Makes no sense to me.
Posted: 1:57 PM   by Lino Lo Giudice
I'm just wondering how the heck Collins got suspended 6 games for basically a flagrant foul. Collins fouled him hard and then did not raise his hands after the incident and tried to pull his teammates off eachother like he did with Nate Robinson on J.R Smith. On the top of that, he got punched in the face. So what basically David Stern is telling me by suspending Collins for 6 games, is that anyone who commits a flagrant foul in the NBA must be suspended.

L.L
Posted: 1:58 PM   by James Thomson
The punishment was fair for Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Nate Robinson and Jared Jeffries, all of who went out of their way to rpolong the fight when it could have cooled down more quickly. Mardy Collins' may be a little extensive, as he committed no further transgressions after the foul.

The fact that Isiah Thomas wasn't disciplined is a disgrace. His actions in speaking to Carmelo Anthony, an opposing player, not only before the fight but after it, clearly violate unwritten common courtesy rules of basketball. Further, the fact that Thomas warned Anthony to stay out of the paint prior to the incident clearly leaves Thomas liable for the mess that occurred. Thomas' mentality and actions belong in a schoolyard, not in Madison Square Garden or any other NBA arena. Collins was suspended 6 not strictly for the foul, but because his actions led to the fight. Thomas' actions were possibly even more diretly linked to the fight, and he recived no penalty. Ridiculous.

There are bad coaches. There are disgraceful people. The Knicks have both wrapped into one in Isiah Thomas.
Posted: 1:58 PM   by Anonymous
It's a huge mistake for Stern not to punish Isiah Thomas. This isn't the first time one of his players has endangered another with a foul like this. The fact that he was even talking to Anthony before this happened is unacceptable and what happened after doesn't seem an accident. Stern has now reinforced the notion that he will always favor the big market teams and has further enabled Thomas. This won't be the last incident like this involving the Knicks.
Posted: 1:58 PM   by ModNewt
Karl has no culpability in this. He had 3 subs sitting at the scorers table waiting to go into the game when this occurred. Plus the nuggets lost a 17 point fourth quarter lead less than 2 weeks ago to a lousy Atlanta team so who can blame him for making certain the game was won?

Thomas should have been suspended, but in some ways it punishes the Knicks more by not suspending him. That means he has to keep coaching!

Melo deserves all 15 games. I think it would be smart if he didn't appeal the suspension and just started serving immediately. It would help his image and would show that he truly is taking full responsibility for his actions.
Posted: 1:58 PM   by Anonymous
Seeing the action in real time, I could not believe how many times Nate Robinson was in a position to quell the affair, but instead chose to gas the flame. Had he simply separated Collins and Smith at the outset, the fight would not have started. He pushed Smith when he could've chosen a smarter move and then he had his fists up the entire time, was only an instigator, and, with Anthony - because he reignited the fight- he should have received a longer suspension.
Posted: 1:59 PM   by Anonymous
Carmelo should be suspended an extra 10 games for throwing a punch and running away like a sissy. What a wimp!
Posted: 2:00 PM   by User111
Stern's penalties are just representative of where he and the
league rank the Knicks compared to
the Nuggets. Is Stern telling the
league not to play their front-line
players in the closing minutes of a
rout? I just lost all respect for
Stern because of his cowardice in
not adressing Thomas's actions.
Posted: 2:01 PM   by Anonymous
Once again Stern has his head in the sand. He avoided Thomas who should have been fined $250,000 personally and suspended 5 games.

As for the rest, add 10 games to all the current suspensions plus additional fines and then Stern would have come close to doing what's right.

This will happen again until Stern decides he wants to curb the problem...and it won't be two years from now...it will be this season!

As for Karl, while not a top class move, there's nothing wrong with leaving your starters in the entire game. As for the Knicks, there's 48 minutes in a game...and you're expected to play until the end...not get a feel-good run at the end because the other team put in all their bench-warmers.
Posted: 2:02 PM   by Anonymous
For anyone who has ever played sports, it is customary to call off the dogs when the game has been decided. Is it a law, no but it is an unwritten rule. Still these guys get paid a lot of money and young kids pattern their behavior after them. I would hope the league would be fair and equitable in its punishment. If Ron Artest was involved, he would be looking at missing an entire season. Melo' is one of the future of the NBA. He is by default an embassador for the league. Walk away. It isn't worth risking a career ending injury for.
Posted: 2:03 PM   by Anonymous
most were punished fairly. Stern couldn't prove that Isiah told his player to do it so he couldn't fine him. karl should not be blamed because he had his back-ups at the scoring table ready to come in.

Melo is lucky he didn't get more for a clear cheap shot, which caused the fight to continue. i thought for sure it would be in the 20-25 games area.
Posted: 2:06 PM   by Anonymous
Come on gang, I'm no George Karl fan, but since when is getting your butt kicked a justification for thug tactics. This isn't one kids team running the score up on another. These are "highly paid" Pros. Act like it.
Posted: 2:07 PM   by Anonymous
David Stern says he needs definitive evidence when deciding on fines and suspensions. They have Isiah Thomas on take threatening exactly what occurred and he gets no punishment. This isn't the first time Isiah Thomas has opened his mouth and threatened stuff on the court.

David Stern blundered big time.
Posted: 2:09 PM   by Anonymous
Too easy !! On all of them !! The players should have received a half season suspension each for this crap. And Thomas should be banned from the NBA !! Some role models we have here for our kids. This is pathetic !
Posted: 2:12 PM   by Anonymous
Too light. I'd increase by at least half again and add some player fines on top of it. Unless it really hurts, no one will feel compelled to be on better behavior next time.
Posted: 2:27 PM   by Anonymous
George Karl did nothing wrong. This isn't JV basketball. NBA teams should be encouraged to try to blow out their opponent as much as possible. Launch 3's when you're up 40, dunk in their face. The Knicks stink - it's Isiah's fault, not Karls. And I'm a New Yorker . .
Posted: 2:27 PM   by Anonymous
In order to send a Big message to the players and clubs, the supensions and fines should be Double.
Posted: 2:27 PM   by Anonymous
Way too lenient. If the NBA is serious about getting their image right, Melo should have been out for the rest of the season. They should draw the line at hitting. The other players was about right.

Isiah should have been suspended 5+ games for his role in encouraging cheap and dangerous fouls and for failing to control his players.

George should have been suspended at least a game for failing to control his players.

$500,000 fine for the team, pleeeeeaaase. That is nothing. Should be closer to $5 m per team.

They should have fined the players of each team collectively $500,000, to be paid according to salary.
Posted: 2:28 PM   by Anonymous
Why can't a coach run up the score if he wants? The Knicks are a sorry bunch. It's one thing to think "they are disrespecting us" is a good excuse to resort to physical violence. It's another thing to have your coach validate that stupid excuse. David Stern should have suspended Isiah Thomas.
Posted: 2:29 PM   by Anonymous
What does Stern expect JR Smith to do after being mugged, then attacked repeatedly by Robinson - curl up in a fetal position?
Posted: 2:33 PM   by Anonymous
For Nate Robinson (the king of showmanship) to say that the Nuggets were disrespecting the Knicks is just incredible. Doesn;t he remember when he was called for travelling while trying to bouncepass the ball to himself a few weeks ago?

Also, I think Collins was punished too severely and Isiah should have been suspended for at least 5 games, if only to send out a message to the coaches to control their players.
Posted: 2:34 PM   by Anonymous
I think the punishments were fair, and I have to agree with Stern that he cannot punish Isiah Thomas on suspicion alone. Did Thomas order the foul? Probably. Can we prove it? No. And this is America. Innocent until proven guilty. Where Stern did drop the ball was in saying that the fines to the team were not sending a message to the coach. Send a message to the coaches. Let them know that the atmosphere they are helping to foster, whether directly or indirectly, is unacceptable. And boohoo for the knicks. So you took one on the chin. Pretty much every team in the NBA is going to get beat by 20 at one point during the season. Yet you don't see them risking injury to the other team. And yes I believe that every flagrant foul should have at minimum a one game suspension. I didn't say every intentional foul, but every flagrant foul. There is never a need for it. Isiah Thomas- I thought Bobby Knight taught you better than that.
Posted: 2:40 PM   by Jeremy Mower
Everyone seems to think that Carmelo Anthony's 15-game punishment is justified, not because he played any big role in the brawl, but because he's the NBA's leading scorer, and a role model. So now, because he's doing well, we should punish him more for it?

The fact that the man who started this mess, Mardy Collins, only got 6 games says just how little the NBA cares about actual justice. With SI posting that beautiful photo on the front page of their site (You know, the one with Collins doing his best impression of a pro wrestler as he wraps his arms around Collins' neck) , this should be clear.

This goes beyond flagrant. What Collins did was more than just contact, if he pulled on that hold, he could've injured Smith to the point where he could've ended his career. But his penalty was a little more than one third that of Anthony's.

If we're going to punish people based on the strength of their statistics, then Kobe, Yao, and King LeBron better watch out, because they'll be the first on the firing line.
Posted: 2:41 PM   by Anonymous
No punishment for Isiah? Maybe they think coaching the Knicks is enough punishment for him.
Posted: 2:41 PM   by Anonymous
What a joke. Carmelo Anthony assaulted another grown man after the skirmish was originally broken up. If this had occurred outside of a bar, Anthony would be in jail. Another case of an overpaid athlete getting special treatment. If the NBA is serious about improving its image, institute the death penalty to NBA players inciting a fight. First offense suspension for the rest of the year unpaid. Second Offense banned for life. What a sad day. The NBA is a farce of its old self and a poor role model for todays youth.
Posted: 2:41 PM   by james
The punishments were too light. Unfortunately, what was once my favorite sport, is now a complete joke, with thugs and losers running the league. Its ruined the sport. They should have all been suspended for the rest of the season (including the coaches). The Commish needs to do something drastic to save basketball. Unfortunately, any real measures to make a great TEAM sport respectable again probably wont be taken. Too bad.
Posted: 2:41 PM   by Anonymous
I think major sports in this country have not been more stricter in punishing offenders in major games like the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggest game. Everyone is to be blamed in this, including teams and the NBA itself. Fining the teams $500,000 is nothing. It won't teach them anything and won't punish their own players or coaches for what they did because team owners are making a profit and they don't care about losing that amount of money or even don't care about what it looks to their team.
In these days, the profit (money) is the key to run business of sports and images don't come down much these days anymore, not like in the days until the early 1990s when the image of sports in this country went bad.
Posted: 2:41 PM   by Anonymous
I think Isiah should be fine and fire by the Knicks. He should be fine because of his role in creating the atmosphere leading to the fight and the Knicks should fire him because he is obviously not a good leader for the team. Instead of letting his player turn the frustration on the other team, he should have made them play as hard as they can no matter what the situation was. The team play hard and maybe next time they can come back from 5 point or 10 points down.

By the way, what is the value of Sportmenship in US? When you win, score a touch down and you dance like an idiot, when you lose, it is the fault of the other team and you beat them up,is this what we want to teach our kids?

So what if San Antonio decided they don't need Tim Duncan and leave him on the bench after 2 min, does that sound good to Isiah? Poor Knicks fans pay all the money for the tickets to watch their team play like crap, they are now forbidden to watch other teams superstars to entertain them with windmill dunks during garbage time. Why pay to watch the Knicks while you can watch WWF?
Posted: 2:42 PM   by Anonymous
Artest gets 73 and Carmelo only gets 15? What a joke. The Nuggets are probably going to pay them while their suspended. Take their game checks and have them do community service during their suspension. Fighting should be mandatory 25 games.
Posted: 2:42 PM   by Anonymous
Collins started it and should have gotten more and Isiah Thomas should have been fined for his statements after the game if nothing else. They showed the if he didn't instigate the whole thing that he at least condoned it.
Posted: 2:43 PM   by Anonymous
why is Isiah Thomas even talking directly to another player from the opposing team? you have something to say about the nuggets, then go talk to the coach. Yet another example of the underhanded and two-faced approach that pretty much epitomized Thomas' career as a player, GM and coach. Smile and say one thing to the public, but totally act the opposite. This is why he was consistently voted one of the dirtiest players in the NBA during his tenure (along with John Stockton).

You don't like getting blown out at home in front of your own MSG crowd? Then stop sucking and coach. Dolan needs to go one step forward and force Isiah to don his short-shorts and play on the team. At least that would get people back into the seats.
Posted: 2:43 PM   by Anonymous
This is the NBA not your weekend softball game, there is no mercy rule. These are grown men being treated like children. Everybody has a excuse for them acting this way, kick their butts out of the league and be done with it.The coaches did not make anybody do this it was the players themselves and they deserve the punishment not the teams.
Posted: 2:43 PM   by Anonymous
It’s unacceptable for star athletes to be involved in any type of physical altercation during a game. I hate to say it but basketball players are getting a “street-thug” image, and I can’t argue that it’s not well deserved. I personally would not bring my young sons to see a pro basketball game, for fear of having to explain why grown men were behaving like thugs. I think ANY player that fights during a basketball game should be suspended for the season. This is the only way to stop the behavior that seems to be escalating.
Posted: 2:43 PM   by Anonymous
Overall, they suspended the right people. Carmelo Anthony should have received more than 15 games because everything was dying down when he threw his punch. In regards to Isiah, I don't necessarily like him, but he should receive similiar punishments that MLB coaches receive when they tell their pitchers to throw at specific batters.
Posted: 2:43 PM   by Anonymous
too lenient without question. but then again these guys are so coddled from pre-teen years that they don't understand reality. also they are so wrapped up in their little macho fantasies that they think they need to throw down to prove it. i'm a girl and i throw better punches that the wimpy one melo threw--he should be suspended just for the wimpiness of the punch.
Posted: 2:43 PM   by Anonymous
Isiah was due a verdict, but it won't be for a few months until the Knicks can him. He has driven this team into the ground, and the Nuggets game is a perfect example of it. As fans, we need to see the best quality game on the floor, FOR THE ENTIRE 48 MINUTES. If your team can't play for the last 2 minutes against top stars, even if you are down 100 points, then you shouldn't be in the NBA. Carmelo did the honourable thing in apologizing, maybe Isiah should too.
Posted: 2:44 PM   by Anonymous
White guys on ice are allowed to--and even encouraged to--fight to the blood, violently (with absolutely no regulation on the fights themsleves) every night. Black guys can NEVER demonstrate publicly in an unsanctioned manner, ESPECIALLY in an act of violence that landed what amounted to approx. 1 punch and 6 shoves. Penalty to the white guys: a cult following on sites such as these: http://hockeyfights.com/, and a "Bad MF" brand on his wallet. Penalty to the black guys? Upwards of $5 million, total. Is it just me?
Posted: 2:44 PM   by Anonymous
The punishments were mostly fair, but Karl must be handed most of the blame. Anytime you leave your starters in the game when it is a blow-out and the other team has given up, you are asking for hostility. It is natural when you are being destroyed to have a great deal of frustration, Karl only made this worse (possibly because of his friendship with Brown?). It is clear the Nuggets were the better team but there is no reason to incite aggression from the other team.
Posted: 2:44 PM   by Anonymous
Really? People are still arguing that the Nugget starters should have been off the court? Isiah Thomas is an embarrassment to the Knicks, the city of New York, and the entire NBA. Try coaching for a change-- instead excuse making, which is the only thing Thomas has done since joining the Knicks organization. The lack of responsibility placed by Stern on Isiah Thomas in this whole thing is a glaring mistake.
Posted: 2:44 PM   by Anonymous
Nate Robinson really escalated the issue by raising his hands and then throwing a punch or slapping at a Denver Nugget. He got off easy.
Posted: 2:45 PM   by Anonymous
I don't understand how you blame a guy like George Karl for leaving his players in the game. Its not his fault Isiah Thomas is fostering a thug/playground atmosphere. Anyone who has ever played sports has had their ego bruised a little. There is no excuse for fostering an atmosphere of hard fouls and injuring the opposition to compensate. Isiah Thomas is a criminal in my mind. As for the suspended players - good. I'm a Nuggets fan and I completely agree with the punishments.
Posted: 2:45 PM   by Anonymous
The NBA is out of control. So these NBA players get suspended a few games. Big deal. When you look at their yearly salaries, these suspensions and fines are a drop in the bucket. David Stern has done a piss poor job of handling this situation. Why wasn't Isiah Thomas fined or suspended? Talk about the league showing favoritism toward certain individuals. I keep saying not only the NBA, but all professional sports need outside investigators to clean up the crap like this. David Stern doesn't get it. The NBA players are going to still do whatever they want no matter what David Stern saids or does.
Posted: 2:45 PM   by Anonymous
Carmelo Anthony should have been gone for around 30 games without pay (go towards a fine). I also think Isiah should have been gone for 10 games with a substantial fine of his own.
Posted: 2:45 PM   by Anonymous
I believe both coaches should be ridiculed. Thomas' actions are inexcusable and could have led to a career ending injury, and Karl is a complete idiot for risking injuries to his key players when it was clear that the Knicks had given up. Shame on both of them for acting like kids.
Posted: 2:46 PM   by Anonymous
Isiah has been a thug all his life. What do you expect.....remember the "Bad Boys" of the 80's?
Posted: 2:46 PM   by Doddy
I think Isiah should have been suspended and fined. The guys a professional Basketball Coach, and He sits there and mouths things to Anthony like a little kid. Wake up Stern, Thomas has been doing this all year.
Posted: 2:46 PM   by Anonymous
I can't believe Isiah Thomas was not suspended. Just as history was used to give longer suspensions to Rasheed and Rodman in the past, unless you are totally ignorant it is very clear that Thomas was the instigator in this melee. Young players rely on impressing thier coach for playing time and there is NO QUESTION!! that collins was trying to do just that. Although no money was exchanged, this was a bounty. How would the league react if the cavs were up by 20 and LBJ was going in for a highlight jam. Somehow I think the punishment would have been higher. Also, I think robinsons suspension should have matched Melo's. Robinson looked coked out the way he was looking for someone to nail. He is, always has been, and always will be nothing better than a punk being paid to play.

Sincerely,
Disturbed NBA Fan.
Posted: 2:46 PM   by Anonymous
why should Stern come off looking more intelligent than his coaches and players?

it is up to Cablevision management to send a message to Thomas that Knicks fans are ashamed of his behaviour.
Posted: 2:46 PM   by Anonymous
Punishment was fair. Smith was fouled hard, but then acted like a street thug, as did Nate Robinson. Too bad Stern didn't suspend Thomas and Dolan, too. Actually, as a 50 year Knicks fan, I was hoping Stern would suspend the whole team for the rest of the season. Get 10 CBA players out there who at least will play some defense.
Posted: 2:47 PM   by Anonymous
I think Melo should have had a longer suspension. It seemed that things were getting under control and then he has to come in and sucker punch somebody and then run away like a little girl after he threw the punch. What's that all about? I think Thomas should have been suspended as well because his post game comments told the whole story. There's no proof that Karl did anything wrong other than try and run up the score. The stuff about him trying to get even on behalf of Larry Brown is pure speculation.
Posted: 2:47 PM   by Anonymous
Punishment was way too lenient. I'm tired of the thug and childish behavior and tired of cowardly excuses for the behavior. It Will continue to happen until they learn they cannot resort to violent behavior. They ALL need to be required to undergo anger management classes before they are ever allowed to suit up again and that should become a standard rule for any punches thrown. It was disgraceful and they should be ashamed. If they want to act like street thugs then kick them back to the streets until they can behave. CA should be gone for the rest of the season! TIRED OF THE FIGHTS!
Posted: 2:47 PM   by suleyman
You will hear from many that basketball is being singled out from other sports that have similar altercations. They have it all wrong. Check the videotape. Unlike other sports, the fans are leterally feet from the action and unprotected by glass, fences, dugouts or distance from the field. The chance that my small son could be injured by a seven foot, 300 pound man just because we had good seats is a frightening thought. The players, and the league better clean this up or move fans out of harms way. Glass around the court anyone?
Posted: 2:51 PM   by dyoung
"The NBA is a farce of its old self"

Ummm, have you actually seen games from the 'golden era" of the 80's when LA vs Boston or Boston vs Philly would result in at least a few flagrant fouls every game? The league was 100 times more violent back then than it is now.

Look, I'm not condoning anything, and I definitely feel that the suspensions were warranted, but nobody has given an answer yet as to why a fight in the NBA is looked at in a much more negative fight than a basebrawl?

Can anybody provide me with an answer to this?
Posted: 2:51 PM   by Rafael
Wow, can't believe Isiah Thomas didn't get suspended himself, it would probably help the Knicks (couldn't hurt them). It was really none of his business which opposing players were on the court. Play the game! If the Nuggets want to rub it in, let them... who are the famed (and often hated) junkyard Knicks to complain about such "In-your-face" behavior?

Any talk of George Karl needing to show class by pulling his starters is just nonsense. Sports are a form of entertainment made all the better when the best performers stay on the stage until the final seconds.
Posted: 2:52 PM   by Anonymous
The person with the most culpability here is Carmelo. He could've seriously hurt Collins with that sucker punch. And it wasn't even like Melo was the one who got fouled. JR Smith and Melo both re-escalated the brawl after things had already calmed down. all players were separated until JR Smith charged Nate and then everybody else was separated until Melo sucker punched Collins. And George Karl doesn't get a pass here either. He had plenty of opportunities to sub out his starters earlier. Even MSG announcer Clyde Frazier commented on how Karl was rubbing it in with 5 minutes left and the Knicks down 20(no doubt to stick it to the Knicks for his friend Larry Brown).
Posted: 2:59 PM   by kporter45
This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
Posted: 3:20 PM   by Anonymous
Isiah Thomas is making a laughingstock of the NBA. If you look at all of his talk of street justice over the entire season -- what more evidence is needed. He is creating a culture of retaliation among the Knicks.
Posted: 3:35 PM   by Anonymous
Hey Einstein (Forrester);
Can you tell the public and George Karl at what point does a team take out their starters? Is it more than 10 point lead with less than 3 minutes? Exactly at 19 points with 2 minutes? I've been taught to play hard until the end of the game regardless of the score. To blame Karl equally with Thomas is asinine. Clearly, Thomas is to blame for starting this.
Posted: 3:36 PM   by Anonymous
Thomas was a punk when he played for the Pistons and is a punk with influence now that he's a coach. Too bad the NBA won't ban him from participating in the league in any capacity. Lucky for him that they used on-court productivity when determining whether he should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, or else he would face the same fate as Pete Rose where personal character issues override his accomplishments as a player.
Posted: 3:36 PM   by Anonymous
Granted, the fight was ugly. It is the NBA's responsibility to enforce strict, but fair penalties. The penalties were much more harsh than similar fights in the past. Just last year, Ray Allen and Keyon Dooling had a similar fight that spilled into the stands, resulting in 3 and 5 game suspensions. What about Jason Terry's one game suspension for hitting Bowen below the belt in last year's playoffs? The penalties were too harsh compared to past fights. Also, where was the "enhanced courtside security" anyway?
Posted: 3:36 PM   by Dis
Let me guess, you believe in the "everyone should win in sports" theory. If the Knicks suck, guess what they suck. It isnt Karl's responsibility to make the Knicks feel better about themselves as a team. IMHO Karl had every right to "stick" it to Isiah for whatever reason it maybe. Trying to send out a message to coaches on how they should handle subsitutions in games is the pinnacle of ludicrious. Guess what Isiah, if you dont want to get "disrespected", LRN2GM, and or LRN2COACH.
Posted: 3:39 PM   by Anonymous
I am glad the NY fans did not throw beverages on the nuggets as they exited. I agreed with Isiah that the nuggets starters should have been removed from the game. I think Marty's foul was dangerous and so was Melo's punch (reduce Melo to 12). Artest was ridiculous hitting a small fan with a drink in is hand - totally different. Nate is all heart - he'll learn from this. I wish Dolan would sell the team. Isiah's biggest mistake was the keith Van Horn trade - we were cooking then and Doleac was playing his best ever. That trade took the life out of the Garden.
Posted: 3:46 PM   by Anonymous
What a shame.

The Knicks are a bunch of cry-babies. If you're getting spanked by a team on your own home court, learn to play better defense and shut down the opponent. Running up the score happens a lot in other sports (college football, anyone?)

And mind you, Smith going up for a dunk wasn't something despicable like Ricky Davis rebounding a shot to himself a while back.

Karl also had bench players waiting to go into the game as well. However, if he chose to keep them in there, that is his own decision to make; there is no written rule in the NBA saying that you cannot run up the score.

I hope that there is some evidence that can be pinned on Thomas. He's a horrible coach and person who is not the least bit ashamed that Collins did that foul, which could have really injured Smith.

As for Melo, he shouldn't have sucker punched Collins, but at least the man apologizes. I have yet to hear Thomas or Collins or any stupid Knick apologize for the matter.

I hope that Collins and Thomas never work in the NBA again personally. Thomas has done nothing since coming to the NBA - we know that he's a subpar/mediocre coach at best, and is a horrific GM. As for Collins, we gotta screen out these types of guys. If you keep people around just to do hard fouls, we're becoming the NHL (which keeps goons who can hurt others).

I'm sorry for Melo, and the Nuggets. And I hope for the worst for the New York Knicks.

www.xanga.com/sportsstuff
Posted: 3:49 PM   by Anonymous
The Nuggets had just come from a loss to Boston where they were down by nearly 20 at one point, and their game before that was a 29-point loss to the Wizards. So who can blame Karl for keeping his starters in until it was clear the game was won?

There is no "unwritten rule" to back off when you're ahead, not in the pros. These men are paid millions of dollars to win games, and the idea that beating a team by 20 points is poor sportsmanship is ridiculous. If you don't want to get beat by 20 on your home floor, then show up and play some ball. Nobody, including George Karl, needs to take sportsmanship lessons from somebody like Thomas (who clearly should have been suspended).
Posted: 3:52 PM   by Anonymous
isiah should have been suspended for @ least a game or two.. his postgame comments were clearly excuses.. just cuzz the other team leaves their players in a blowout doesnt mean u can pull something like that.. and the threat to melo is BS

i agree wif JR getting too much, having two hands clammed down around ur shoulders/neck while going up for a dunk.. could have been a serious injury. he had a right to be pissed

nate robinson should probabaly get more.. smith had a right to be in collins' face, but until JR actuali did more, theres no problem wif that the refs woulda broke it off. why the hell did nate just jump in like that? he acted like a complete idiot, he was one that really caused the fight to start
Posted: 3:53 PM   by Anonymous
There is absolutely NO reason for athletes who are getting paid as much as they are and who are supposed to be setting an example to behave in such a manner-- period. The suspensions are totally too lenient. The season should be over for these jerks! Mandatory anger management sessions should be provided for all team members and coaches. What happened to honest sportsmanship!
Posted: 3:56 PM   by Anonymous
Hate to tow what is apparently becoming the party line, but getting upset for losing big is lame. Don't want to lose big? Play better. If George Karl wants to run up a score he has every right.

Isaiah Thomas, on the other hand, is a disgrace and a hypocrite. Take two of his post-game comments...

"We're down 18, we're down 19, you don't need to act like that. Basically, show some class." Yeah, Isaiah, taking out your frustration for being a horrible coach by calling for intentional and dangerous fouls on opposing players is REAL classy...

"I can't speak for [George Karl], but he put his players in a tough position, I think he put his players in a very bad position." So Karl is at fault for 'putting his players in a position' where you have the opportunity to encourage your players to hurt them? How ridiculous is that?

I hope people remember this ordeal and that Thomas' legacy takes the blow it deserves.
Posted: 3:56 PM   by Anonymous
I don't think the punishments were harsh enough. Artest got suspended for the season and derservedly so. These guys get paid way too much money to act like a bunch of Street Thug gangbangers. And, the coaches are just as responsible. There's no way possible that they didn't know what was about to happen. One of them should have shown some class, called a timeout, let things cool off for a bit and try to continue without incident. Zeek (sp?) is a disgrace to the NBA. He was a great player, but has failed miserably as a Coach and President. He needs to retire and take his "Detroit Pistons tough guy" mystique with him!
Posted: 3:56 PM   by TCM
Complete and utter BS. There’s no way ‘Melo deserves 15 games. The ones who deserve the biggest penalty are Mardy Collins, Nate Robinson and Isiah Thomas. None of this would have happened if Isiah had any class at all. He should have been suspended for 20 games – not that it would make any difference to the Knicks – they’d still be awful. After the foul and J.R. Smith got in Collins’ face, it wouldn’t have gone any further if Nate Robinson had not acted like he was a tough guy – I mean he looked and acted like a total imbecil . I wish Boykins would have been on the floor at the time so that he could have picked up Robinson and thrown him half way down the court.

So, basically, the NBA is saying it’s ok for you to tackle a guy in the last few minutes of the game if you’re getting blown out and your coach tells you to do it – but it’s not ok to defend yourself or your teammates…and this is supposed to improve their image?

‘Melo should have gotten 7 or 8 games tops – but you know that if it would have been Stern’s darling LeBron throwing the punch, he would have gotten 2-5 games at most.
Posted: 3:56 PM   by Anonymous
I will start off by saying that I'm a huge Knicks fan. As a result, I detest Isiah Thomas more than anything. Thomas should have drawn some sort of punishment, whether a fine or suspension for his continued idiotic actions. How does Collins get six games??? He committed a flagrant foul, but that is it. It's not his fault that other players caused a melee to break out. Nate Robinson should have been suspended longer for basically igniting the whole incident. However, Carmelo Anthony deserves to be punished the most, even longer than the 15 games he got. He not only was one of the main culprits, he took an absolute cheap shot at Collins. To top it off, he then backpedals like a little girl. Carmelo can talk all he wants about opening gyms for the underprivileged and how he wants to improve his image...in the end, he will always be a thug, albeit a very wimpy thug who throws a punch and then runs. Pathetic.
Posted: 3:57 PM   by Anonymous
All of these posts that state there is nothing wrong with running up the score are ridiculous. If you're up by 20 with less than 3 minutes to go, it's time to pull the starters.

As for Anthony he's obviously a punk, he throws a cheap shot when the fight is being broken up, then runs off down the floor.
Posted: 3:57 PM   by Anonymous
This entire situation is ludicrous and ALL of the suspensions are WAY to severe, and any people who posted saying that the punishments were justified have obviously never played competitive sports. In the heat of battle, some times your emotions get the best of you. I understand fighting is bad and it is not the message the NBA wants to send, which is why repeat offenders should be punished harshly. However, it is unfair to take 20 percent of a player’s season away for one blow up.

Hey Stern,
Lets get rid of the scoreboard, and we can watch the games hoping our favorite team has a fun time. With all the competitive spirit taken away, no one will get upset and no more on the court problems. That will be fun to watch.
Posted: 3:57 PM   by Anonymous
i think melo's suspension was about right...fight was bout to be over until he sucker punched collins

as for isaiah, dude should definitely be suspended...so what if the starter's were in? take your beating like a man...don't tell your players to hurt people...what did you think was going to happen?
Posted: 3:58 PM   by Anonymous
If this was real world, carmelo would be fired and in jail, regardless if he was provoked or not. 15 game suspension is nothing.

Considering Collins had a flagrant foul called on him two games in a raw, throw him out of the league. NBA is no place for him if you want your players to "...set an example for the entire basketball world, on and off the court,"

A lot of comments about Karl's decision to keep his starters in. This is clearly his choice and he did not violate any rules and I don't think he did it b/c he is close friends w/ brown. At the same time don't forget the crowd, the paying customer that wants to be entertained for 48 minutes. If you are loosing by 19, too bad, maybe you should have played a better game. But don't expect the other team to show mercy b/c you decided to quit playing.

$500k fine to the teams for not containing their players? This is nothing. Have them play w/out a crowd for a couple of games. Make them loose enough money b/c only then they'll get the message. It will be interesting to see if the teams decide to punish their players, take some action of their own and tell their employees that they will not tolerate them getting out of line.

No punishment for Thomas?
What kind of message is Thomas sending by 1. telling an opossing player that he shouldn't be in the game (if you can coach better how come and your team is loosing so bad after spending $112M on salaries?) 2. warning a player not to get in the paint (if you can't be a coach, maybe you can be the Godfther. Maybe he should try this w/ Buzzer on monday to avoid another loss by 19!!).
Stern should have punished him purely for crisizing Karl in the press room. You cannot expect the players to respect each other when you allow a coach to publicly disrespect and critisize another coach.

Oh well, at the end of the day the comissioner decided to slap everyone's hand like a sissy and move on. The next brawl is just around the corner.....
Posted: 3:58 PM   by Anonymous
If Stern was a good leader he would attack the cause and not just the symptoms of the problem. Isiah Thomas should have been punished.
Posted: 3:58 PM   by Anonymous
Maybe they should create a version of the "10 run rule" for all the folks whining about leaving the starters in until the end. How about if any team leads by more than 20 points in the 4th quarter the game immediatly ends? You see how silly the whole situation is? There is nothing at all wrong about finishing strong. Not only are the Knicks losers, they are BAD losers.
Posted: 3:58 PM   by Anonymous
Every one keeps wondering why basketball fights are so much worse then football, baseball, and hockey fight, and while I do think there might be some racism there, I think the main reason is the proximity to the fans. In no other sport are the fans as close to the action as they are in basketball and as we saw in Detroit, when fans do get involved in on-court fights, it is disasterous. Here we have 10-15 LARGE fit, muscular men brawling it out in very close proximity to very wealthy high paying customers (Spike was yards away with is young daughter and the author William Goldman was caught underneath). An injured fan surely look poorly on the league.
Posted: 3:58 PM   by Anonymous
Where was Van Gundy in this melee...he would fit right in riding Melo's leg and having his comb-over flopping around?

Suspensions were deserved, but Collins should have gotten the same as Melo...JR Smith, should have gotten 5 games...and Isiah should grow-up...this is professional sports there is no such thing as a "blow-out" in pro sports...this is not the Billy Tubbs OU teams whop'n up 120 plus points on a Div. II patsy.
Posted: 3:59 PM   by Anonymous
I was a big Isiah fan when he played for the Pistons. BUt seeing him as an exec and a coach, he's laughable.

He should have been punished. Maybe as harshly as Melo.

And people wonder why Larry Bird got rid of him in Indiana.
Posted: 3:59 PM   by Anonymous
I don't understand this sentiment in the media that George Karl should not have had his starters on the floor late in the game. The cost of a ticket to an NBA game is obscene. Is it asking too much to see the stars in action for as long as possible during a game? The answer to that question is no, and that's why a coach is not going to be penalized by the NBA for trying to win with his best players. Why is that so hard for media types to understand? Oh yeah, now I remember. It's because they get to see the game for free.
Posted: 4:00 PM   by Anonymous
Isn't it high time the league sees Isiah for what he is. A low class bully, withno sense of character. Remeber the Adrian Dantley for Mark Aguirre trade. the Raptors fiasco, the CBA the list goes on and on.
Why do league execs give him chances. he has not accomplished anything outside of his playing day. and that too because of the team as a whole.
Suspend him then fire him. I am tired of seeing him associated with NBA. and please dont put him on TV. i would rather put up with Bill Walton. at least he is not a rat.
Posted: 4:00 PM   by Btar917
Robinson deserves as much as Carmelo. If that's 15 games, then that's what it should be. Without Napolean trying to be tough (unprovoked, mind you), that fight never even starts. Karl has no blame at all from what I can see. This is PRO basketball. It's not his job to stop his team from scoring. If the Knicks find the score embarassing, maybe they should get better. This isn't Citadel vs. Florida. The Nuggets don't have better facilities, or more scholarships. These are pros, if the Knicks can't play like it, they should at least act like it.
Posted: 4:06 PM   by Anonymous
I think Melo should have gotten at least 20-25 games because not only did he throw that sucker punch after things had been relatively settled, thereby instigating another round of violence, but he wound up in order to take that huge swing. Had the blow he landed on Mardy Collins been even an inch or two off he could have seriously injured him. I had flashbacks to the Kermit Washington blow that shattered Rudy T's jaw back in the late 1970s. What Melo did was scary and was by far the most serious violent act that happened on the Garden floor that night, particularly since he wasn't even 1 of the 2 people who were involved in the initial altercation.

As for Mardy Collins, I think that 6 games is appropriate (and perhaps even harsher than necessary) b/c the league already has a penalty for flagrant fouls and after the initial foul he did nothing further to exacerbate anything against JR Smith and really didn't get into it with him after he fouled him (he kind of ignored Smith and looked away as Smith was jawing in his face). In fact, if Collins really wanted to seriously hurt Smith he could have allowed him to fall badly or shoved him further in such a way that he could have really been injured during his foul. I don't see what Collins did as that much worse than many of the flagrant fouls from the '06 playoffs which resulted in suspensions for those players involved. It was really the secondary instigators (Melo & Nate Robinson) who made this thing blow up far worse than it had to be.

And Smith was no angel in all of this. Of course Robinson shouldn't have been all up in his face and posturing (he certainly was NOT acting like a peacemaker the way Eduardo Najera, David Lee, and Channing Frye were trying to do). But at one point after the initial confrontation, Smith and Robinson had been separated and Robinson was still jawing at him. Then Smith just broke free from Lee (who wasn't really restraining him that well - unlike the firm grip like Najera had) and lunged at Robinson and that's when they went tumbling into the crowd again. Regardless of what Robinson was saying, they were only words and do not in any way justify Smith taking flight like he did and attacking him, starting off another set of violence. They were separated by a few feet and Robinson was no threat to him at that point, only mouthing off (Napolean complex?). Smith just lost it and took off when he easily could have just responded to Robinson's words with - here's a shocker - words!
That's the main reason why I think Smith and Melo should have been penalized more than the other players. Their actions reinvigorated the violence after players had already been separated and when it appeared as though things were going to calm down. This put even more people at risk As for his 10-game suspension, little Nate got exactly what he deserved (maybe he should have even gotten like 15 or more games) b/c he was just an instigator from the start, riling everything up when he should have been trying to calm things down. Ironically, I'm a HUGE fan of the 3 players I think acted the worst (Melo, Smith, & Robinson) but the 3 of them acted simply disgracefully and even though they should have gotten stiffer penalties, they at least deserved to get the longest suspensions among the fight's participants.
Posted: 4:33 PM   by Anonymous
It's simple for the NBA to clean up the league: you fight/throw a puch you're out for the season, do it a second time, you're out of the league. Simple.

Fining these millionaire, cry-babies thousands doesn't mean squat to them - they think it just adds to their "street-cred".

And enough of athletes and sports writers referring to them as "warriors". In my book warriors are the ones in Iraq not playing an organized game.
Posted: 4:37 PM   by Anonymous
I am dissappointed in 'Melo. After his performance with Team USA I thought he was finally changing his image. Isiah jaws at opposing players a lot and I think that Stern should put a stop to that. There is no reason for any coach to talk to the other team. I feel sorry for Collins because he was trying to curry favor with his coach to get more playing time.
Posted: 5:04 PM   by Anonymous
There is no way George Karl is to blame for the incident. If you have watched the Nuggets all season, you would know that they have a tendancy to blow large 4th quarter leads. It is George's right to play any of his players any time he feels appropriate. As far Isiah? What a cry baby. Boo hoo that your team was getting pounded and you find a way to blame the other team for that. He should have been fined and suspended for his comments to Carmelo as well as fostering an atmosphere in New York that is okay to go after people just because you are getting beat. This is supposed to be the NBA. Isiah Thomas is a disgrace to the league.
Posted: 5:06 PM   by Anonymous
A loss is a loss...If you don't want a team to "run up the score" you need a better team. The only way to not get beat (by 1 point or 50 points) is to make sure you have the best team on the floor day in and day out. If anyone is looking for blame, the burdon should entirely be born by the Knicks team...they are the only ones that had the opportunity to win the game, or at least make it close. In the end, they still lost, the standings show win-loss records, not how many of those wins or losses were blowouts.

Everyone, yes, everyone, in professional sports these days gets paid too much for the way they act on and off the court/field. Heck, I would gladly sit on the bench of an 0-and-whatever team for the minimum league salaries these days. At least I would get rewarded for what I am good at, unlike in the real working world where recognition for a good job is the ability to get a paycheck and barely keep up with the bills.

Agree? Disagree? Don't care?
Neither do I...
Posted: 5:07 PM   by Anonymous
i love you peopel who act liek this was a real fight, lmao

go look on youtube for 1988 lakers vs knicks brawl.

longest suspension in that melle was 3 games.

i will never understand why its ok for baseball, hockey, and football players to fight and serve 1 or 2 game suspensions, but basketball, a much more contact orenited sport than baseball, recives the harsh penelties.

also, stern loses total respect from me for ducking the thomas issue. no definitive evidence my butt, does he watch espm? im no lip reader, but thomas's message to anthony is pretty clear. and dont tell me he was warning melo to "not run up the score" as some have put it. watch the video. he says it toanthony with a smug little grin on his face, hes clearly sending melo a message.
Posted: 5:08 PM   by Anonymous
I think the punishment was fair. I wouldn't place any blame on the coaches. Its up to the players to control themselves.If you get upset "play some ball" not get into a "brawl"!
Posted: 5:09 PM   by Anonymous
If they want, "meaning" the league to nip this problem. It's time to start mandate team forfeitures a long with fines. These forfeitures will effect the seasons win loss record and tap into everyones pockets, holding everyone accountable. Kinda like parents and there kids. Money isn't good enough anymore, they make to much of it. One loss can make the difference between being at home or away during the playoffs and owners don't want a empty statium on a scheduled night of play.
Posted: 5:11 PM   by Anonymous
The harshest penalty should have been on Thomas, because he caused the whole thing... just listen to his words!

Karl had subs at the scorer's table and frankly, so what?

If Thomas' team truly 'yielded' as he said, then they should have walked the ball up the court, spent the whole 24-sec and then shot, or better yet, leave the court and forfeit as it is embarassing for fans to pay big $$ to see a bunch of quitters that are told to act like thugs when they are being beat.

Thomas should have been suspended for the rest of the year.

As for Melo... Robinson was the first to throw punches... typical, the guy defending gets the blame, but to imply Melo 'caused' the fight, or is the most to blame is a joke.... Thomas caused it, and his players carried it out, and everyone that watches the replays and hears Thomas' words, can tell...

I lost more respect for Stern than Melo... He showed no guts by picking on a few players and letting Thomas off... that is the real embarassment.
Posted: 5:12 PM   by Anonymous
I don't see where a 19-point lead with a few minutes to play is considered a blowout in the NBA. That's plenty of time for a team to come back and at least make it interesting. The Knicks to their feelings were hurt. Aww. It turns out that these guys, who get millions of dollars to play a game, all they really want is a hug.

Isiah was one of the dirtiest players on one of the dirtiest teams in history. He told a player to exact some playground-style justice. Not in the huddle. Not on the sly. No, on the sidelines, in plain view everyone (and the cameras) to see. I'm getting train-wreck enjoyment watching the Knicks horror show, but it's time for Isiah to go.
Posted: 5:17 PM   by Anonymous
I think the punsihment was fair. Players who HIT people were punished. Teams with players that hit people were punished. I did not see any coaches hitting people on the floor. I saw the video of Coach Thomas. Trash talk happens everyday. He did not order a hit or cause the problem.
Posted: 5:17 PM   by Anonymous
Mardy Collins sure taught George Karl a lesson last night when he slugged JR Smith. Karl should have had all those guys on the bench for long ago instead of leaving them on an rubbing it in the Knicks faces. Now Karl is going to have to play without Carmelo and JR Smith for at least ten games (sure glad I don't own either of those guys). The only player of consequence the Knicks will lose is Jared Jefferies...Mardy Collins out for six games...doesn't matter a bit. Carmelo and JR out for fifteen & ten games...the Nuggests will slide...and, in fantasy world, whoever owns Carmelo, JR and maybe Nate are gonna take a BIG hit!
Posted: 5:17 PM   by Anonymous
Bottom line here is that the Nuggets broke the unwritten rule of the league. The game was over and George Karl knew it! He was trying to RUB it In The Knicks faces. For those who understend the rule, a HARD foul was warranted. I do not condone fighting in the league, but the game is one of respect is given as respect is earned. Isaiah was calling his team to task to ensure that they would not just take the embarassment that the Nuggets were handing out, to show some PRIDE. It's something that people must understand although these guys are highly paid professionals, they are also human, imagine how you would feel if someone came into your house,tried to embarrass you in front of your family and friends, how would you react? Yes, this is a stain on the league, but let's make certain that people understand what is the real issue here and that is the Nuggets and George Karl (in particular) stepped over the line. A coach with class like Riley or Jackson would not have had their Stars i the game at that point !!
One note to the Players, Guys remember this game is your livelyhood, respect it and the FANS who pay your salary, most of us responding on this blog would love to wear your shoes, even if they are size 15.
Posted: 5:19 PM   by Anonymous
Flagrant fouls have no place in the game. Hard fouls, yes, they happen, and when executed properly, don't provoke retaliation. Flagrant fouls, no. Committing one should result in an automatic 10 game suspension. As for the brawl that ensued, the only people allowed/qualified to intervene should be the officials and arena security. No players, no coaches, no benchwarmers, no one. That way, if two guys start a fight, then only two guys will be held accountable. Enough already with the "I got your back" bravado. You need to have the fans' backs, and act like you deserve $4 million a year. And as for those that threw a punch, let's just put it this way: if I got in a fistfight at work, I'd be fired. Period. No questions asked, the police would be called and I 'd be escorted out of the building. Why should the NBA any different? This fight, and the slaps on the wrist that followed, validates my decision to never pay $80 a ticket to watch this nonsense in person.
Posted: 5:20 PM   by Anonymous
Long over due and glad David Stern took a stand. Maybe this will show the would be street thugs that this behavior will not be allowed. However he should have come out and said that the stiff fine against the organizations were in large part due to the coaches for these two teams. If anybody thinks Karl was trying to run up the score on a already beaten team then your on crack. Does he have that right sure he does but also he is putting his players in harm by keeping them out on the floor for something that petty.. and Thomas did he say foul them sure he did, but the bottom line is that the ref called it and after the jaw jacking..it should have stopped there... but JR Smith is not angel here he went into those stands throwing fist too... and Anthony well lets just say that he looked like Isiah back in his day with that sucker punch...if I wanted to watch fights..i would watch boxing or the fight channel, NOT THE NBA...
Posted: 5:23 PM   by Anonymous
I think it was fair indeed. Poor Carmelo- everytime he tries to do things to boost his image- he does something stupid like throwing punches to cause further harm- he wasn't even man enough to stay and face the blows- he takes off running. What a coward! I hope the 15 games he got for his actions would allow him to really think about he did and what it will take for him not to make foolish mistakes again.
Posted: 5:26 PM   by Anonymous
What does Karl leaving his starters in have anything to do with it other than providing a lame excuse for Isiah to justify the brawl? Absolutely nothing! It's his prerogative to play whomever he wants as is Isiah's to play whomever he wants regardless of whether it's the last two minutes of the game or the first. That's NOT the point. In fact Isiah using this excuse just means he totally didn't get what his players (Collins and Robinson) did wrong. Or maybe he ordered the hit himself. If he condones this behavior (atleast it is looking that way from his comments and his players' comments), he's a worse coach than I originally thought. Robinson and Carmelo are the ones who absolutely instigated this beyond what was necessary. And after the game, Robinson didn't even think he did anything wrong except defend his teammate. Yes.. by instigating a brawl. The whole "code" or "classy" issue or lack thereof is totally another issue for another time and place. This is simply about players losing control and deciding to partake in boxing rather than basketball. If you ask me, the punishments were lenient if anything. The only way to teach these guys their lesson is to take the game and the money they earn away from them. Atleast that will enforce the idea that the league is absolutely serious about this and that this game and the millions they earn is a privelege that very few get. Fining the teams is a start. Hopefully this will set a precedent that punishment will be even more severe the next time round. Because if not, what's stopping the next brawl?
Posted: 5:28 PM   by Anonymous
I can't possibly imagine the reason for any punishment. Look, if I got in a fight at a bar, or in the stands at a game, I wouldn't be suspended from my job. You've got to look at this from a labor rights perspective, it's ridiculous. Financial penalties as behavior control? If the league wanted to put no fighting into the rules of basketball it should do it, and make it part of the game with standards penalties for instigating, escalating, leaving the bench, etc. (with changes allowed as circumstances dictate). They can be as harsh or lenient as you like. But an arbitrary punishment with no standards and no obvious relation to the seriousness of the offense is pretty shameful.
Posted: 5:28 PM   by Anonymous
Leaving Isiah Thomas to deal with the mess he has created is the best punishment.Mr Stearn has sealed Thomas' fate!
Posted: 5:31 PM   by Anonymous
I hear all this talk about "Stern going tough on both teams". Where? Ron Artest got 72 games 2 years ago for fighting, Melo gets only 15? I think Melo should have gotten suspended for the remainder of the year and Collins should have gotten more than 10 games.
Posted: 5:32 PM   by Anonymous
Thank you, dyoung. How come brawls in baseball do not cause this type of reaction? I don't have the numbers, but I would say there have been as many if not more base-brawls in the last couple years. Um, how bout when Varitek bodyslammed A-rod, then Tanyon Sturtze got bloodied by the tag-team duo of Trot Nixon & Gabe Kapler. Where was the crisis to our collective sporting culture then?
Posted: 5:35 PM   by Grengle
I think it's absurd that we allow these sorts of things to happen. If I were in charge, all 10 players would be handed their walking papers and banned from the league for life. It's intolerable, and a message needs to be sent.
Posted: 5:36 PM   by Anonymous
I think the punishments were to light. This is a professional sport and you have these players acting like thugs on a street corner instead of professionals making millions. Isiah Thomas should have received a punishment for the ridiculous comments he made after the game. To imply that another coaches' game decisions gives just cause why his players acted like wild animals is absurd.
Posted: 5:37 PM   by Anonymous
It seems a liitle odd that JR Smith amd Nate Robinson received equal suspensions. When Smith was the one who was "hacked" and then instigated by Robinson. Carmelo Anthony was plain wrong in throwing that punch. Not to minimize the players role in the melee, I do feel that Isiah Thomas had a lot to do with the behavior of his players. Listening to his post game comments it sounded as if the Knicks were justified in thier actions because denver was running up the score. What a lame excuse. Thomas should step up, protect his players and put the blame on the one who started the fire, himself.
Posted: 5:38 PM   by Anonymous
Flagrant fouls should be banned in the NBA; that would make a clear line for both coaches and players on what can be tolerated as far as hard play!
Posted: 5:41 PM   by Anonymous
In general the penalties for the players were fair, but I think Stern showed his typical gutlessness in his lack of punishment for Isiah. Isiah should also have been suspended for at least 5 games for his part. If you really want to teach a lesson, why not punish the instigator?
Posted: 5:43 PM   by Anonymous
I think the punishment was fair. However, I missed what Jeffries did besides try to go after Carmelo, 4 games for that might be a little much but it's only 4 games. Anyways,I'm still mad that Jason Terry got suspended in the postseason for what he did to Michael Finley. However, Reggie Evans didn't for what he did to Chris Kaman. Oh well about time the Commissioner did something right.
Posted: 5:43 PM   by Anonymous
Does anyone know what Collins said to Melo that provoked the punch? Yes, the punch was stupid but depending on what was said, sometimes punches are deserved. People should stop making Collins out to be some sort of angel in all of this. After all, he started the whole thing.

I think this is way overhyped and I think the punishments are a little harsh. Why are NBA fights such a big deal whereas fights in other sports don't seem to get the same attention? The punishments are especially harsh when you consider past punishments (before the Artest one). Dennis Rodman got a total of 17 games for two incidents involving non-players (a photographer and referee, respectively).

I think Isiah should have gotten a suspension, not for whatever he said to Carmelo but for is idiotic post game comments indicating that the foul was justifiable.
Posted: 5:44 PM   by Anonymous
Anyone who thinks George Karl has any responsibility in this doesn't know anything about basketball nor sports for that matter. The suspensions were completely unjustified seeing as how Anthony recieved the same suspension as Jermaine O'Neal who punched a fan. Either Isiah Thomas or David Stern should go ahead and admit their partnership so that this whole thing will make a little more sense. Oh wait, that wouldn't make sense because Stern has a racial prejudice towards African Americans. Way to increase your infinite list of things you've done to attempt to ruin basketball and further secure your title as the worst human being to ever live David.
Posted: 5:47 PM   by Anonymous
My problem is Isiah should've been held accountable. Like in that Temple game, where the coach told one of his players to take out another player. Players listen to coaches, even when they are complete morons (in Isiah's case).

Whether or not the Nuggets had their starters in or not shouldn't have mattered. Karl was running the risk of getting one of his starters injured by running up the score. So there was a risk and benefit ratio there anyways.
Posted: 5:50 PM   by Anonymous
But At Least We Control Ours
By Matin Salaam Bari


The "spin" factor, with which many media institutions control the mind of the consumer, is rotating at a mercurial pace. First of all, who made the assumption that the fans absolutely do not want NBA players to fight on occasion? Quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind if J.R. Smith had encouragement to strip head and arm bands and serve as Rocky Balboa to Mardy Collins’ Clubber Lane . I’ll get drilled if I make this a white/black thing, but white guys do it every night in the NHL. Some get encouraged and even deified when they succeed. They have sites like www.hockeyfights.com that chronicle each “round” in any game, on any given night. Recently, I wondered if is still illegal for black men to engage in any form of unsanctioned public demonstrations (especially violent, even if “violence” in the Garden “brawl” meant, like 1.25 punches and 6 shoves). It is 2006, but I can’t say that I know a definite answer to that question. Maybe I need to revisit that statute? I do know that there seems to be this unpublished, inaccurate consensus that the NBA will lose money if its players fight or do or say anything that’s deemed “too urban”. Or that the NBA is in some sort of power struggle between the "image" its renaissance was built upon and those who've sought to alter that image. It also looks as if the NBA executives have done a fine job of spinning the "hip-hop imagery battle" of the NBA into a "but at least we can control ours" type of situation where you have NBA executives who are not really interested in changing the hip-hop image of the league, but very interested in the value that builds by making it look as if they do care. What this means is that the total value of the League is increasing as the head executives get called things like “gangster” and other mob-like references for being super tough on who we perceive are young, spoiled, and ungrateful black men. The same strategy worked in the NFL when the term "No Fun League" was coined. I call it The Cops and Robbers Corollary. The only way to out-buzz a bad-assed cop show on TV is to create this new show with badder-assed cops and even worse robbers. So you make it look like the athletes have gotten worse and the League has gotten stronger against them. This makes for far more interesting subject matter, while also serving as a diversion from some of their real underlying schemes to make money, such as raising ticket prices to insane levels, playing with a cheap ball, etc. (This trend actually extends far beyond the NBA. Look at Iraq , or example.)

In reality, though, the image doesn’t change. If so, only slightly. To the fan, the image of J.R. Rider in 1996, Marvin "Bad News" Barnes in 1976 or Ron Artest in 2006 is one and the same. Just because these individuals represent the far end of a spectrum doesn't change how similar men in their position are viewed. The bottom line is that young, sexy and rebellious will ALWAYS be the benchmark, the main points that bring any American product to mainstream market. And there's absolutely nothing sexier than young, rich men of African decent--in this country, given what it often takes to achieve such status. This is what the NBA product has become. The business of professional basketball has very little to do with the game itself, and hasn't for a while. So for league executives and media pundits to suggest that they're working to reshape the image of the league seems awfully silly. What they'd like is for you to continue to believe that the players are spoiled brats who need to be controlled. And without proper guidance from league officials, most of these guys would find themselves lost inside many of our most popular, yet equally horrible urban stereotypes. The truth is Carmelo may have lost over $850k in salary because of this fight, but the league (and Nike) will be sure to double that amount when you account for the increase in Carmelo jerseys, Brand 23 gear and things of that nature. This event, just like Mr. Owens spitting in Mr. Hall’s face, has intensified the collective "star" of the League and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

It doesn’t matter, though. Neither the NBA nor Carmelo Anthony will use any of that $850k to stop genocide in Africa .
Posted: 5:51 PM   by Anonymous
Why doesn't the NBA do something constructive for the long suffering fans in NY by stepping in and taking over the NY Knicks from their incompetent owners? Both the coaching staff and GM are an embarrassment to NY and have been for 20 years now.
Posted: 5:52 PM   by Anonymous
Another NBA mistake, like the new ball, and it needs to be fixed. Isiah should be punished. To many comments blaming Karl for the score points the blame back to Thomas. This flunks the smell test big time.
Posted: 5:58 PM   by Anonymous
In contrast to the Knicks – Nuggets game: The Miami Heat were blown out in a 42 point loss in this season’s opener, a night when they were being honored for winning last year’s championship. How embarrassing on a night that should’ve been wonderful for them. Yet Pat Riley didn’t give instructions for Shaq or Zo to break Kurt Hinrich’s neck. He didn’t tell any Bulls to stay out of the paint. You didn’t hear any speeches from any Nate Robinson-type player about protecting home turf and “family.” Mardy Collins, a Knicks rookie who’d gone unnoticed until he committed an oddly similar flagrant foul just 24 hours prior, with something like 1:40 minutes to go in a game against the Pacers…a game with a similarly large point spread, was making good on Isaiah Thomas’ threats. What did Bad Boy Santa promise you Mardy? A few extra minutes in the next game? You should’ve at least held out for some shiny rims. David Stern, you have neglected to punish the man who instigated the problem. Zeke, the man whispering sweet nothings in Melo’s ear. Zeke, the man under a cloud of sexual harassment, made it sound like the Nuggets had violated him and his team. “They were really sticking it to us. They were having their way with us”. (approximate quotes: I don’t feel like looking up the exact words right now.) I didn’t see any Nuggets flinging Thomas to the court with his thighs spread. That should’ve been your job the next morning Mr. Stern.

Devora Walters
Los Angeles
Posted: 5:59 PM   by Mr. Boots
I have to agree that most of the punishments were fair. I do think that Mardy Collins' was excessive. There is already a protocol for flagrant fouls. Did it look dangerous? Yes, but I've seen worse, with far less punishment. He tried to bearhug Smith before he left the ground to keep him from getting the shot off, and mis-judged, thereby making it a dangerous foul. Had he intended to hurt Smith, he could have waited until Smith went airborn, and then submarined him or collared him. Far more dangerous a move.

Stern is an egotistical, arrogant little man who was embarassed on what he considers to be his home court. So he unloads on a meaningless rookie like Collins (standard punishment for that foul is one, maybe two games), and goes soft on Anthony, one of his moneymakers, who escalated the situation twice. Once, when he reached in to give Nate a shove, and then, when it was all over but some trash-talking,by throwing a sucker punch.

As far as Anthony's punishment goes, he'll go down in history as a guy who threw a sucker punch, and ran like an old lady from a mouse, rather than standing in like a man.
To paraphrase Arnold, "Girlie-man, Girlie-man, Girlie-man . . ."
Posted: 6:00 PM   by Anonymous
1) Isiah Thomas: Coach your team to play basketball FOR THE WHOLE GAME! You surrendered? What? The Garden is your house! Why do you think your players are pulling down all those bones? If you're getting embarrassed - that's YOUR FAULT. Take some advise - quit basketball and run for public office - you'll go far.

2) Mello: What was THAT? You're the leading scorer. You earn a lot of jack. Your team has a chance to make a serious end-of-season run...and you wack some guy with a girly fist that wouldn't hurt his momma? Play basketball and don't even think about becoming a boxer. 7 games for what you did, another 8 games for stupidity. Fair punishment.

3) Collins: Flagrant foul master. Your coach isn't helping you. Advise: next game against Nuggets, call in sick.

4) George Carl: You had three guys from the bench on the score keepers laps ready to go in. Next time against the Knicks, don't even THINK about pulling starters. Win by 30..... and no Christmas card to Isiah.
Posted: 7:30 PM   by Anonymous
Regardless of the merits of the punishment, the result of these suspensions will be the elimination of the Nuggets from the playoffs. So Isiah Thomas, who is probably the most culpable in this whole sordid affair, will have the last laugh by having caused Denver's demise. If that is the result Stern was seeking, he will be successful. Of course, the Nuggets were stupid enough to have fallen into the trap. They have no one but themselves to blame.
Posted: 8:02 PM   by Anonymous
I totally agree with the penalties handed out but am real disappointed that Isaiah Thomas was not fined. I don't understand commisioner Stern's comment that he had no definitive proof. All he had to do was read Thomas's lips like the rest of the TV audience did.
To say George Karl was at fault is hard for me to grasp. There is no rule that says you cannot play certain players during certain parts of the game. If you are getting blown out then maybe you need to practice harder. These players need to grow up and act like the adults they profess to be.
Posted: 9:38 PM   by Anonymous
How come the guy who started it (Collins) got off so easily? He should be banned from the NBA. We don't need that kind of play there.
Posted: 9:56 PM   by Anonymous
Let's suppose it's up to Karl to take out his starters at some point. When does he have to take them out? Karl makes a good point when he responds by talking about the Nuggets' blown leads of late.
What's the rest of the league to do if the Knicks continue to suck all year? Are these losers allowed to dictate to their opponents who does and doesn't play? Are they going to strangle anyone who dunks on them during garbage time? Should Karl get his rotations approved by the worst coach in the league before he makes substitutions?
Isaiah Thomas can't coach his way out of a wet paper bag. He's been worthless on the bench and in the front office. His post game press conference reeked of someone who's becoming increasingly frustrated with having to lie in the bed he made.
It is too bad the Nuggets got suckered by a team going nowhere and a coach who won't work an NBA bench again after his imminent firing.
Posted: 10:03 PM   by Anonymous
Way too light - Carmelo Anthony should have gotten 30 games. The Pacers got the shaft and these teams just got a light slap. Come on Stern -take a REAL stand!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: 11:05 PM   by Anonymous
Stern got it wrong. Isaiah should be fined and punished with 10 games suspension. First time I heard a coach asking player of opposing team not to play anymore or else...

Melo got it right with 15 games but I think Mardy Collins should be suspended more games since he started it all - and because of what - they are getting beat...tsk tsk tsk

Lastly, the Knicks stink so badly that if they need to ask the opposing team not to score on them anymore to get a 'good' final score, they should consider playing instead in CBA or USBL perhaps....
Posted: 11:18 PM   by Anonymous
Why any fines or suspensions at all? Let them fight, and the injuries will decide "suspensions".
Those silly attempts at discipline by the league accomplished nothing.
Posted: 11:32 PM   by Anonymous
I believe that the NBA has over reacted to the brawl between the Knick and the Nuggets. 15 and 10 game suspensions are too severe and a half million charged to both teams too extreme. The foul, I don't believe to be premeditated by the coaching staff, seems harsh and players in the heat of battle over-react. Plain and simple, let boys be boys. Usually these guys look back at how badly they've made themselves look. Believe it or not, they know that negative impressions can effect their game and their teams' performance. Nobody in this league 'wants' to lose. The Association has to do what it has to do. Ulitmately the individual players have to learn that stupid free-for-alls destroy team viability for a Championship run but being a cool-headed performer (like Joe Dumars, Bill Russell) will cultivate winning. Dollar amounts and time away from the court are meager ways to punish a team. They simply do not work.
-cct
Posted: 11:43 PM   by Anonymous
I think punishment is not fair. Isiah thomas deserve some punishment. It is his action started the fight. Also Carmello punishment is too long.
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