Catch the latest news on NBA Blog, a journal of hoops-related commentary, news and analysis, and reader-driven discussions.
1 AM ET, 12/17/06
Ugly Night At MSG
Posted by Kelly Dwyer
Denver's J.R. Smith (right) and New York's Nate Robinson will be facing lengthy multi-game suspensions after playing key roles in Saturday's brawl.
By now most of us have seen the clips. Late in Denver's 123-100 win Saturday night, Knicks rookie Mardy Collins nailed Nuggets guard J.R. Smith with a flagrant foul on a breakaway dunk attempt. The two exchanged words, New York's Nate Robinson offered his own personal brand of peacemaking and a melee ensued.
By the end of the scrum, 10 players had been ejected. Collins and Robinson were thrown out, along with Knick teammates David Lee, Jared Jeffries and Channing Frye. Smith was also tossed, along with Denver's Andre Miller, Eduardo Najera, Marcus Camby and Carmelo Anthony.
Predictably, the last name is going to raise a few eyebrows. Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer, nailed Collins with a roundhouse right just as the brawl appeared to be dying down. Robinson also appeared to throw a punch at Smith while the two were engaged in a seemingly innocuous bout of chest-to-chest posturing. All in all, it was a disturbing end to a one-sided Nuggets win. A few more things to ponder:
• Just before Collins' foul, Knicks coach Isiah Thomas could be seen jawing with Anthony from across the court while the Nuggets were at the free throw line. Thomas admitted after the game that he was perturbed because Nuggets starters Smith, Anthony and Camby were still on the floor toward the end of a blowout. Reports out of the Knicks' locker room suggested that while the foul on Smith may not have been called for, it wasn't a surprise that it actually occurred. Though Thomas may not have instructed Collins to foul Smith, it's easy to see why Collins may have tried to curry favor with his beleaguered coach. After all, if the coach isn't above talking smack with players half his age, what's to stop a hard foul?
• George Karl and ex-Knicks coach Larry Brown are close friends, which may have led to Karl wanting to run up the score on Thomas' Knicks. This hardly absolves this sort of brawl, but it is worth pointing out.
• Cable TV reaction, no surprise here, was over the top and unwieldy. Especially with one ESPNEWS report (with breathless talking heads sounding borderline apoplectic) preceding a monotone detailing of Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson's bodyguard getting shot in a Chicago bar, just days after Johnson's house was raided by police officers in a drug/gun raid.
So what do you think? What sort of suspensions will follow? How many games should Anthony be suspended? And what role did Thomas and Karl play in leading up to this mess?
There was something ugly in the air at that game--I was there. The Garden fans are so frsuterated with this team. New York is a frusterating place, and playing on a losing sports team, or rooting for one, makes it worse. From where I sat I think the biggest culprit is Nate Robinson, for some reason. He had a terrible gme, and seemed to want the catharsis. Anthony's punch was so unwise it was hard to believe he did it even right before you eyes.
awful incident. collins (temple/john chaney disciple) made the flagrant foul but then came off smith immediately. smith went after smith and the knicks just tried to protect their player. smith comes flying back at nate and nate knows how to fight, even though he's small. melo comes flying back in to PUNCH collins. closed face, not a slap. nuggets' starters shouldn't have been in the game (karl's fault). nate and collins suspended 5 games, smith 10 and melo 15-20. thomas and karl suspended 3 each just because it happened.
The league has to send out a very strong message that such behavior should NEVER be tolerated again. There is absolutely no justification for Carmelo's punch but it may be time for the league to view flagrant fouls more seriously as clearly not all lessons were learned from the Detroit brawl.
Pacers fans and management have a right to be incredibly mad if Carmelo doesn't get at least 30. How is this all that different than what happened with Jermaine O'Neal, who actually punched a guy running toward him (not Carmelo's sucker-punch), but both of whose infractions came after the brawl was winding down?
I'm also waiting for the day when Stern docks coaches a game or two for allowing conditions to continue that create a favorable atmosphere for a brawl to break out, as both Karl (leaving starters in late in a blowout) and Thomas (seemingly sending Mardy Collins out as what John Cheney would call a "goon," and then all but defending Collins' action afterwards) seemed to do in this situation; but I'm not holding my breath that Stern would actually do this.
While punishments for Carmelo, Robinson, Smith, and Collins are warranted, George Karl's decision to pour it on the Knicks at least deserves to be questioned. It is inexplicable as to why an experienced, premier coach with one of the best teams in the league would seek to humiliate another roster. Are the Knicks a bad team with no concept of defense? Sure. That doesn't make it right for a superior team to actively seek to embarass them. Imagine if the Yankees are beating the Royals 10-0 in the 9th inning and Joe Torre orders his players to steal bases and lay down bunts. Sports fans would be outraged and probably would accept if a Royals pitcher decides to hit a batter.
Of course this doesn't justify the flagrant foul or brawl that ensued. But in a sports world where people turn their heads when managers order pitchers to beam other players when he feels a team doesn't conform to unwritten rules, we ought to at least chide a coach who should know better than to blatantly seek to annihilate another team for no other purpose then to take revenge for his friend losing a coaching job.
New York is one of the worse teams I have ever seen. They are poorly managed and coached. This teams is so bad that they ran out a hall of fame ooach in Larry Brown last year. Now Isiah Thomas thinks he can coach them back to the glory days. Dont get me wrong, Thomas, a good player but not a good executive or coach.
Now onto the brawl. Everyone was wrong about in this situation. But you are grown men and if the score is getting runned up on you dont hurt the player for doing what he is paid to do and that is play the game. Its a game. I have played high school games where the score would be 60-30 and the starters still be out there. New York Knicks are a joke. I wish every team would run the score on them so they will know how bad they are. Carmelo was wrong on his part for throwin a punch. Being a leader of the team he should have just walked away. I think they shhould all get suspended mulitple games. And also i think the NBA should hire security not for the fans but for the players. To keep them from doing something like this...
This is not at all like the Pacers-Pistons brawl... two Pacers were targeting fans! Carmelo, Robinson and Smith need to sit for at least 15 games. If Isiah was telling Carmelo to stay out of the paint (warning him a flagrant was coming), he should be suspended several games as well.
There is no punishment in the NBA. Collins should be suspended 10 games for instigating, Nate gets 20, Smith gets 20, and Melo gets 25. The NBA players need to be role models for kids and this game was a showing of players not living up to their duty as responsible citizens of our communities. David Stern needs to lay his foot down..so when is the next brawl? Players know there is no stiff penalty and they just don't care!
The difference between Carmelo and Jermaine's actions is that Jermaine actually struck a fan! That's a complete no, no. So I don't think you can draw any close comparisons between the two, and thus reason that Carmelo should recieve a similar punishment. However, Jermaine was some what confronted while Carmelo just threw a cheap sucker punch/slap that left you asking why?! I would say a 5-10 game suspension would be reasonable for Carmelo. You know, back in the days, fights were more frequent and there was never such an uproar from both the leauge or the fans. Matter of fact, you could argue that the fans were attracted to the game even more. I understand that what happened in Detroit is inexcusable, but pretty soon the leauge will set precedents that will completly eliminate player emotion. It's alreday started with the no whine rule and will only get worse. Pretty soon you will have guys getting suspended for not whispering to an official. Do I want to see the NBA send a positive image? Yes. But I also want to see some emotion and not watch robots shoot the basketball.
Look, under no circumstances should anyone blame the nuggets for what happened tonight. Before people accuse me of bias, i just want you to know that i care for neither of these teams. Whatever the score may be, the knicks' players are still making MILLIONS of dollars. In my book if you make a million dollars, you lose the right to complain about ANYTHING. The knicks can cry me a river about running the score up. Some how, some way, i think that they could care less when they cash their checks. The knicks committed the foul, and then Nate Robinson escalated the situation. So, thats two knick infractions before Anthony even thinks about throwing a punch. What did we expect Smith to do after such an obvious foul? Honestly people, what is worse, running up the score, or committing a flagrant foul like Collins?
While Carmelo's punch was the hardest thrown in the melee, I disagree that he should get a significantly longer suspension than Robinson/Collins. The NBA has to look at the instigator/s of the brawl and tack on additional games for them, even if they didn't throw the most and/or biggest punches.
I remember incidents like P.J Brown throwing down Charlie Ward in the late 90s. A lot more Knicks players got suspended than Heat players. The Heat won the playoff series.
It seems to me that the NBA is allowing players to bait other players. Sure, you get a suspension, but the other player gets more. Just like in a court of law, the NBA should add games on for premeditation.
The only way Anthony will receive a long suspension is if Stern tries to send a message. In previous seasons, throwing/landing punches warranted a 1-2 game suspension. I would probably think he'd receive 6 games max, similar to what Rick Fox got for fighting with Doug Christie, then going after him in the arena hallway. But then again, if Stern tries make an example out of this incident, Carmelo could be out for 10 games or more. He shouldn't get as many as players from the IND/DET brawl who punched FANS. Though Smith/Robinson could see 10+ games for fighting in the stands.
All of you guys have the wrong idea about running up the score. The biggest "goon" in the whole melee is nate robinson. He was acting if he was from a street gang. Nate and anthony are the ones that deserves to get 30 games each. Collins did try to twist j.r. smith neck so please don't tell me that was a clean fragant foul. Is there maybe a chance the nuggets were in the game to put on a show for fans that have been suffering from this disease you call a team. They were just looking for anything to cheer for to bad it was the other team and the Knicks couldn't handle it. It will happen again because the league can never control a sport which hard fouls don't have any kind of suspensions or fines.
There is a double standard against basketball players when it comes to fighing. All other North American sports have their brawls, and in hockey, football, and baseball, these brawls are always more dangerous because of the objects the players have to use in a fight (sticks/pucks, helmets/cleats, and baseballs/bats). But in these sports fighting is either celebrated (hockey), forgotten (football) or laughed at (baseball). Why are tall black guys treated differently? Fighting in the NBA is a blemish and tarnishes what I believe to be probably the most gentlemanly game in the world. But, this over the top reaction to a Saturday night fight is ridiculous and, possibly, racist.
No doubt that each player deserves to be punished severely for the ugly incident that happened at the garden. i have to admit that im a melo fan but he should at least get 15 games for this. but the others (particularly Nate and Smith) should also get 15 for taking it to the stands. but the biggest punishment should go to thomas for putting a guy like collins in the game, it was bound to happen. didnt collins do the same in the ny-indiana game? thomas should be suspended for 30 for putting in collins. he knew that would happen, he didnt have to tell collins to do that. and please dont blame karl for leaving his starters on the floor. i think its his prerogative to do so. he doesnt have to do anything to humiliate the knicks, the knicks just have to take the beating and get better. it isnt karls fault that the knicks are a poor excuse for an nba team. its thomases fault.
C'mon folks, get real. These guys are professionals, and any professional team can run up the score if they want to. They're not high school kids, they're not college kids, they are professional athletes being paid ridiculous amounts of money to play a game. If Karl wants to leave his guys in (and risk injury), that's his call.
A flagrant foul is so often treated as a simple afair. A clean, hard foul. Essentially a flagrant foul is an attempt to injure. There is no excuse for that. What happens if a player sustains a serious injury off a flagrant foul? That person's career could be in jeopardy because of one person's whim. That is not acceptable. The NBA needs to crack down on the first act. That's the thuggish, flagrant foul. That act needs to be banned and the ban enforced.
You can't get down on Karl for leaving the starters in. The last time these two played, in Denver, the Nuggets gave up a huge, I think it was 16 points, lead in the fourth quarter and lost. I think he was trying to teach them to finish teams off.
Everyone is to blame here, players AND coaches included. While yes, perhaps Karl shouldn't have had his players out there, that's no excuse for what ended up happening(as it seems Thomas justifies it). Carmelo should and will get the harshest penalty of them all, and what a shame for him after he was finally starting to establish a positive image for young fans.
I do believe though, that it if it is somehow proved that Isiah Thomas had ANY influence on the flagrant foul, that should be the final straw for Dolan to fire him. The Knicks are not going to get any better and the move would help some of the horrible PR standing the Knicks have with their frustrated yet loyal fans.
Last night's melee provided further proof that I made the right decision in giving up my Knick season tickets. The team is an abomination. Just as he did countless times as a player, Isiah Thomas ignited the fireworks, as shown by his warning Carmelo Anthony not to return to the paint. David Stern should toss him for the season. Nate Robinson and Carmelo should be banished as well, 25 games minimum.
I can't say I'm shocked about this, Isiah Thomas, along with Lambeer, Mahorn and the rest of the crew associated with the Detroit Pistons were always dirty and sore losers when they played. He never had much class and continues to demonstrate it.
Jermaine O'Neal wasn't suspended thirty games because he threw a punch. O'Neal was suspended thirty games because he punched a fan. There's a huge difference (in terms of liability and public reaction) between hitting another player and hitting a fan.
This is what I say to everyone who defends or thinks getting beat badly warrants dirty play that intends to hurt another player. DON'T GET BEAT LIKE THAT. If the Knicks or their coach put half as much energy in defending their pride as playing the game then they wouldn't get blown out every night. Isaiah will be fired, he sealed his fate. Apparently he thinks he is still in the Bad Boy era with Detroit. That era is over and so is his career. Dolan please fire this idiot now, don't wait until the end of this year. He shouldn't represent the organization another day.
Yes, Anthony should get a hefty suspension, but we should punish as harshly the instigator of the whole mess, Collins, who started the whole thing by fouling Smith so blatantly and in a very dangerous way, and the stupid coach of the Knicks(Sorry, I was a Knicks fan till yesterday), who basically gave the green light to Collins to do so.
Sure, Nuggets shouldn't have tried to run up the score and JR Smith shouldn't have retaliate. But seriously do YOU turn the other cheek if someone came after you? I am always for punishing the instigator more harshly, and the NBA should start doing this too. That way, players will think twice about starting something, and they will think twice about taking matters into their own hands.
All involved in this incident acted like complete idiots. The events that happened some time ago at the The Palace at Auburn Hills should have been a lesson learned for the ages. Apparently not. Suspend them all for 30 games each. They've earned it.
The outcome of this is sadly, rather predictable. David Stern will once again be completely oblivious as to who is most at fault here and overpunish the wrong people. Bottom line: Security failed AGAIN. Alleged attorney Stern apparently still hasn't learned the lessons from the Palace debacle. Had security performed even adequately and separated the players, Carmelo never would have had the opportunity to throw the punch. That doesn't excuse Melo for what he did, but there is a lesson in shared culpability here. It appears that alleged attorney Stern missed that chapter, but another good attorney from the Player's Union could teach it to him the hard way, I bet.
If the players involved are suspendedfor 15 or 20 days with no salary, I believe they will think twice before initiating on court brawls. I also think that in some instances the coaching staffs are the initiators and they should be dealt with just as harshly.
As a Nuggets fan I was pained to watch Melo throw the sucker punch. I would like to hear what Collins said to him right before the incident, not that anything he said could mitigate Anthony's culpability. I would just like to know...
Isiah should recieve the harshest suspension. No matter the score, you don't send out a goon to "send a message". This isn't hockey.
Hey, hard fouls happen...Carmelo literally pushed this into a bad place when he shoved Smith and Robinson into the stands. To then sucker punch somebody and run away like a dog (tail between his legs) is truly, truly sad.
Carmelo, 10 games Robinson, 6 games Smith, 6 games Collins, 2 games Jefferies, 2 games
Suspending anyone for only 5-10 games is just a slap on the wrist that almost ensures this will happen again. A 5-10 game suspension says "if you guys fight we're not going to happen, but it won't effectively cost you anything" If the NBA wants this violence to stop they suspend each of the players ejected for the rest of the season without pay. Maybe that would make players think twice before throwing punches.
First, Fans come to see the stars, they come to see the Carmelo Anthony's, the J.R. Smith's, the Marcus Camby's. Knicks have one of the most expensive tickets in the league, I'm pretty sure they didn't want to see Linas Kliza, Kuba Diawara, and Joe Smith out and didn't care to see 'Melo. It was a hard foul, and J.R. acted like a human being in the heat of battle. Carmelo and J.R. are best friends on this team, Carmelo is the captain, the leader, what is wrong for him to defend his teammates. If you look back, Collins is doing the talking to Carmelo as he was being restrained. Carmelo should get 1-4 games.
This is Stern's chance to really set a precedent. Suspend Collins for 40 games for the flagrant foul. Start the third man in rule like hockey and give Nate 10 games, everyone else should be handle the league handles any fight.
If the Knicks are PROFESSIONAL basketball players, they should be ready for competitive games no matter what. They should not complain that they, as professionals making the highest combined salary in the league, can not compete with other teams. The blowout is no excuse to start a brawl.
I dont see why this is such a huge deal. Their are brawls very often in other sports like hockey and baseball, and yet this happens and every one goes crazy. Quit with the comparisons to Artest...he went after a fan. This is very different.
Carmelo should get 8 games, and it should lessen from there.
While things got out of control, it's ridiculous to equate the Nuggets' actions with those of the Knicks. Collins practically clotheslined J.R. to the ground by the neck... outrageous. Admittedly, Carmelo was way out of line in throwing the punch as things seemed to be dying down, but he was choked by Robinson! Classless! I can't believe the Knicks actually thought "they were running up the score" was a justification for slamming a man to the floor by the neck.
By the way, why was Lee ejected? Or Miller? They didn't seem to be throwing fuel on the fire. Perhaps I missed something?
Thomas: 2 games Smith: 5 games Collins: 10-15 games Robinson: 5-10 games Melo: 5-10 games
To give Melo 30 games would be PREPOSTEROUS. J O'Neal didnt get 30 games he got 25 and later got 10 of them removed.
Stephen Jackson got 30 games and did you SEE how wild Jackson was? Throwing punch after punch, going into the stands, instigating, inciting. That is NOTHING like what Melo did.
Furthermore, the idea that the Nuggets are somehow not allowed to run up the score is ridiculous. They can do whatever they want as far as deciding who is going to be on the floor when. That shouldnt even be a part of the discussion. Because you're getting humiliated and the opponent decides not to let up...you have the right to be contentious? Ummm no. The Knicks should be used to being humiliated anyway.
Melo was wrong for throwing a punch but all you people calling for 30 games, or even 25 are nuts. Jermaine O'Neal did MUCH more than simply drop a fan and only served 15 games.
Im usually a Knicks fan. I saw the game and the Knicks are to blame, except for the punch. I dont blame Karl after what happened to the Nuggets against the Knicks last game. Isiah clearly instructed his guys to hurt somebody, unacceptable. Collins 1 game, Nate and JR, 3 each, though i think Nate instigated the fight completely. Caremlo, 6 games. If a punch, by the rules, only warrants a 1 game suspension, it would be completely unreasonable to give much more than 5. I dont blame Carmelo, i heard that he has been trying to take JR under his wing. If someone picked a fight with my little brother, i would beat them worse than a stupid half-punch.
I didn’t see the game, I saw some of the highlights but I’ve played plenty of competitive games throughout my career having been in several brawls for different reasons. I’ve read many points of view as I scrolled down this page and I respect them all. I may not be entitled to condemn but I can state my personal opinion. This has to be analyzed from the beginning of the second half and see the small things that provoked the brawl. Melo has never been a hotheaded guy but was being provoked by the Knick´s coach, Thomas, something that is intolerable. The finger points at Melo for being the super star, a fan favorite, and thus making the inexcusable brawl more of a highlight. The instigators need to be punished hard. The Bad Boys of the late 80´s and early 90´s should stay away from the 21st century, thus implying Mr. Dolan should indeed fire Thomas (also taking in consideration the money invested in a losing team and the poor performance as of yet). I’ve never been a Knicks fan and never will but I used to love the Bulls VS Knicks of the mid 90´s (never missed one single game) and I remember the NY bullies such as Mason and Oakley but regardless of the fierce-full rivalry between both there was never something even close to what happened yesterday. As I said before, I may not be entitled to condemn but I can forecast what is to follow taking in consideration the harshness of the Pistons-Pacers melee and knowing how Stern disciples things like this, I see the instigators getting less of a punishment, in proportion, to the big names involved (Melo). This would mean a super star, aside from getting a big paycheck and selling plenty of jerseys, needs to fulfill a role in accordance to the social perspective... a Shaq-like Sheriff stature. Finally, I want to send all the loyal Knicks fans my support in which by far seems the black age of such a great franchise.
It's ridiculous to recommend 40 game or season long suspension's for Melo. Sure, stupid move, give him 5-10 games. Robinson threw the first punch, he should get at least as long. Isiah Thomas needs to get fired. In fact, the Knicks should just purge their whole roster. Stiff penalties will not have an effective deterrant effect--it's (striking someone) an emotional and not a rational decision.
Thomas should be thrown out of the league for life. 1) For concocting that ridiculous team; 2) For egging on his players to take matters in their own hands 3) For pathetic excuses re their actions 4) For hypocrisy- i.e. Robinson's consistent show em up actions in prior games- now all of the sudden the nuggets are so bad? 5) last but not least- he should be thrown out of the game for his big mouth-and for not silencing the other knicks after the fight- Karl at least had the sense to silence his players
for some people to side with the Knicks on this one about running the score up is rediculous in my opinion. These guys are all professionals and they need to act like them.No matter if the Knicks were down by 20 or 30- so what who was on the court. I like that the Nuggets players have each others back this year--finally. All teams need to suck it up and play ball and quit worrying about their images first. Carmelo gets 10,Smith and Robinson get 5 and all others 1.
Yeah, Isiah Thomas is the big problem. He is an incompetent basketball executive and coach. I suppose it might not be uncovered in the investigation if his players protect him but we all know he either expressly or impliedly approved Collins thuggery. He needs to be suspended for the season and fired. 5-10 games suspensions for the players involved.
Fans need to boycott the NBA. No watching games, buying gear, no going to games. This is it. We need to show the league and its players that the fans are the reason they make millions of dollars and are internationally know. Last night's fight is the final straw. The NBA isn't even good enough for these players to be doing this stuff. Most of them can't shoot, can't pass, can't dribble, can't play defense. The NBA is out of control. I, for one, am taking a stand and putting up with this behavior no longer. Boycott the NBA!
If Robinson really wants this to end, if he wants the MSG boos silenced, then he should get his teammates to compete hard the first 46 minutes, not just foul hard in the final two.
If Thomas wants to stop people from running up the score on him, then he should have built a better club. He shouldn't have wasted all that money on illogical signings, outrageous trades and heartless characters.
no lead is SAFE in the nba! so what if karl had 'starters' in the game up by 19..we've all seen the suns/rockets lose 20 pt leads easily with the high scoring that exists in the league today. wanting to simply WIN the game is not a crime!!! hurting somebody and whining about it is!! 2 wrongs don't make a right....
First, it was a fight, and in sports such things require punishment. Even though fights ALWAYS will happen in sports. But the union will get the games reduced no matter what happens, because this isn't nearly as big a deal as the Pacers incident. Second, the good news for the Knicks is that Isaiah should be fired after this. Assuming an investigation shows that he implied or encouraged a hard foul to happen.
Mardy Collins - hard foul on Smith (came down on his shoulders, not going after the ball), and he was assessed a flagrant foul (justifiably). But objectively, why are people saying he should be suspended? The rules say he should be assessed a flagrant, and he was. Did he throw a punch? No.
J.R. Smith - fouled on the play, flagrant was assessed, he's due to shoot two free throws. At that point, no suspension, though he definitely overreacted by jumping up and getting into Mardy Collins face. He should have just laughed at him and pointed to the scoreboard. But when he reacted to Robinson's silliness (see below) by punching him, he earned a suspension, by definition.
Nate Robinson - I love his enthusiasm, but clearly, he was out of line on this one. No reason he should have been woofing at J.R. Smith, he wasn't even in the play. So he was an instigator, part of what elevated the incident into what it became. At one point, his posture (flexing, arms at side, hands balled into fists) reminded me of Mike Tyson after he bit Holyfield's ear off and they were deciding what to do with him....out of control.
Carmelo - I like Melo as a player, he's a tremendous talent, but....what was he thinking when he sucker punched Collins, especially when everything was dying down? And then ran away backwards, to boot, LOL! So much for the tough guy image. Ooops, sorry, I'm snitching on him, LOL. Hey, if you're not even in a situation, and you enter the situation (by throwing the punch, that's what he did), you earn your suspension without question. He should have just pointed to the scoreboard and laughed too.
Jared Jeffries - I thought HE got hit, the way he was going after Carmelo. But he didn't hit anybody, at least. But he didn't help the situation calm down by running after Melo, even if he knew Melo was a punk by the way he was running away after punching Collins.
Here's what I think the merited suspensions are:
Mardy Collins - 0 games (no punches thrown, flagrant assessed - multiple flagrants earn a suspension, by the rulebook)
Jared Jeffries - 1-2 games (no punches thrown, but didn't just let the situation die down)
J.R. Smith - 3 games (Unnecessarily jumping up into Collins face earns at least a technical, punching Robinson earns an automatic suspension, having the fight spill into the stands makes it a multiple suspension).
Nate Robinson - 5 games (Instigator - he wasn't fouled, no reason for him to even be involved. He got hit first, but he swung back, plus it spilled into the stands. And even after that, he looked like he wanted more)
Carmelo Anthony - 10 games (Absolutely no reason for sucker punching Collins - remember, Smith was fouled, not Melo. Plus, the situation was almost under control, and that just brought things up again. That could have gotten REALLY nasty at that point. I'm glad they held Jeffries back, because they might STILL be pulling him off Melo.....).
Not saying the fight was OK. It wasn't. It was the wrong thing for those players to do. But, why is this a sign that the league is "out of control" or that the "nba is full of thugs"
If fighting is wrong, why isn't every fight in baseball looked at the same way? Cause it's "part of the game" Come on! So, should baseball come under fire as needing to clean up it's image if fighting is inherently "part of the game"?
also, okay, suspend the players, fine them, i'm all for it, i don't think fighting has any place in sports. however, if 'melo get's 20-30 games, which i have seen called for, that equates to 40-80 games in a baseball season. Would a baseball player EVER get suspended for that long??
let's treat all athletes the same, regardless of league.
Anthony should not be punished with a suspension. Just before he threw a punch he was being choked by a Knicks player. Can he not react in self-defense? About the discussion concerning running up the score: Shut up! The Nuggets blew a big lead earlier in the year to the Knicks and Karl had every right to ensure that history didn't repeat itself. Collins and Isaiah Thomas are poor losers. There is no excuse for the clothes line type move that was used.
Karl wanted to humiliate the knicks and he will pay a big price for that. There was no reason for him to keep his starters on the floor a minute and a half before the end of the game when his team was up by 20 points and Isiah had already pulled Stephon and Curry from the game. What was that all about? Never mind the reverse dunk a few seconds before the fight. Instead of trying to run out the clock, the nuggets were playing as if the game was on the line in the last two minutes. They were just showing off the knicks. That’s what created the tension and that’s what caused this whole thing. May be Karl can convince his buddy Larry Brown to play for him in Carmelo’s place!!!
My 11-year old has been a huge NBA fan. We have stretched the family budget to get season tickets the past couple years. But incidents like this just kill kids' ideas of sports heros. I agree with the earlier comments -- these guys are professionals making millions. The Knicks have plenty of talent. There is something terribly wrong within that organization that needs to be corrected. I have watched elementary school and middle school kids and AAU teams gut it out against huge loses this year on their courts this year in their games.....and somehow the Knicks can't take it. This is incredible!
If you look closely at the tape, Nate Robinson is THE instigator of the entire thing. J.R. Smith was chest to chest with Mardy Collins, but it was about to end right there until "mighty mite" decided to show his stuff and grab Smith from behind. Smith spins around and "Sugar Ray" Robinson puts up his fists and barks something, and away they go. If Robinson never touched Smith, it would have ended right there. And Isiah "next time break Bruce Bowen's foot" Thomas is everything that is wrong with the NBA. He is a perfect example of our society today....blame everyone but yourself regardless of the circumstances. Does the guy ever admit to being wrong ? Ever ? What an embarrassment !
Look, I don't think we should be making as big of a deal out of this brawl itself, other sports have fights and often times they are much worse and more frequent. That being said, this fight is mainly the fault of Isiah Thomas, a man who has to be the least respected man (that's probably an understatement)in the NBA right now. For the second straight blowout loss, he put Mardy Collins in the game late, and in each game he happened to commit a hard foul in a game that was no longer a contest. While Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith both deserve to be punished for their actions and George Karl needs to be scolded for leaving his starters in the game, Isiah Thomas deserves to have the harshest punishment from the league. He is not a player reacting in the heat of the moment to a physical threat to his teammate, he is a coach and an executive, a supposed professional and who should be an example to his players. If Knicks' ownership had any sense, which they obviously don't given they are employing Isiah while he has run this team into the ground, they would fire him right now, issue an apology condemning his actions, and move forward. I should also metion that Nate Robinson deserves to be punished almost as much as Melo given that he turned what at worst should have been a one on one scuffle into a brawl by his instigating. That guy has the biggest Napoleon Complex I have ever seen and I'm just waiting for the day he pisses off someone who is a foot taller than him (fingers crossed that it's Ron Artest) and he gets reminded of his size.
as a knicks fan, what happened last night sickens me to no end. but i can't say i'm surprised that it happened. this incident is fruit of a larger organizational problem, and is not solely the fault of the players involved. isiah thomas oversees a team that has no accountability, no discipline, and no real direction. there are no guidelines for conduct and respect. when you create a team that is comprised of largely overpaid, jaded veterans, it's not surprising that their attitudes rub off on younger, more impressionable players (mardy collins, nate robinson). james dolan is now on the spot - he can either do the right thing, which is to immediately fire isiah thomas (in my eyes the true architect of this disaster of a basketball team) or the wrong thing and take no action. there is no excuse for any of this. if he isn't fired, i hope the NBA suspends him for the season. as for the players, the blame clearly falls on robinson for instigating the brawl. he should get 30-40 games. anthony should be punished to the same extent. i'd give 20-25 to collins and smith. 10 to all the other players involved. i'm still sick thinking about it and the effect it will have on the league - hopefully it will send a message to everyone in the basketball community. a league that has this much trouble with violence is in dire straits, and it must be addressed and corrected swiftly.
Was it wrong for Melo to punch Collins, of course, but Collins, Thomas, and Nate Robinson should all receive harsh suspensions. I honestly think that David Stern should suspend Isiah indefinately and conduct an investigation into his actions regarding his instructions of players to hurt opponents. Melo will probably unfairly receive the brunt of the blame because he is the most high profile player, but his actions are understandble given his teammate was fouled hard and then provoked into a fight. Who's a greater danger to the well being and integrity of the game, a player who sucker punches someone in thye heat of a fight, or a coach who orders hit men onto the floor late in games to commit dangerous fouls and threatens NBA superstars from the bench? My heart goes out to Knick fans for having this man as your coach and manager.
Anyone who suggests that Nate Robinson should get more time than Smith is absolutely out of his mind. Smith ran at Robinson and only then did Robinson body slam him. Just because Smith got slammed by someone who's a foot shorter than he is does not mean that he should get less time for involvement in an altercation that he decided to start.
No on should be surprised that something like this happened involving the Knicks considering what just happened with San Antonio's Bruce Bowen. Had Collins been a little better at his job he would have probably been sucessful at driving Smith's head into the hardwood floor. Smith had every right to give him an earful when he got up. Had Robinson not immediatly gotten in Smith's face ready to fight the whole incident would have ended there. What Anthony did was just as uncalled for as what collins and Robinson did and the three of them should get harsh suspensions. Smith should also get suspended for getting into it with Robinson but it should be less severe than the other three. If Thomas made this all happen by sending someone in to injure another player he should face the harshest penalty of all.
Is there a rule against a coach running up the score? I think George Karl is well within his rights to leave his starters in at the end. That's between him and his GM. But for the knicks to deliberately attempt to hurt players because their feelings are hurt is just pitiful. And should be deserving of serious fines/suspensions. Isiah should also be fined.
As a wizards fan, I am very happy for Jared Jefferies. How you leave a team on the upswing for a mess that is NY is beyond me.
Alleged attorney Stern stated that Garden security did an admirable job. I'm guessing that the fans courtside who were landed upon by Robinson and Smith would have a different opinion. Who is he kidding (besides himself)? I don't recall any security people in between the players and the fans at that point (where they are supposed to be in a potentially dangerous situation, according to Sport Event Law). Once again, had security been even adequate in this situation, it wouldn't have had the opportunity to escalate to the point that it did. Commissioner David Stern...still an idiot, two years later.