December 18, 2006

They Fight! They Fight! They Fight They Fight They Fight!

There was another huge NBA brawl the other night, this time pitting the New York Knicks against the Denver Nuggets, with the focal players being Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Gary Coleman lookalike Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, and Jared Jefferies. Today, the league handed down 47 games in suspensions, including 15 for Carmelo (the league's leading scorer), and 10 each for Robinson and Smith.

On these sorts of things, I tend to come down on the side that yes, the players involved deserve to be suspended, but it's not the horrible pox on humanity that many scolding sportswriters believe it is. I agree with Ben Mathis Lilley's' great Slate piece (re-run today) which argued that the famous Auburn Hills melee wasn't the NBA's Black Sox Scandal- it was its Disco Demolition Night.

The brawl was the main topic of conversation for today's Bill Simmons chat; see the posters all compete with Bill to provide the best anti-Isiah jokes.

UPDATE: An additional thought: it's been rumored that Denver is the most likely landing spot for the still-not-traded Allen Iverson. But after Saturday, I can imagine the Nuggets are scrambling to explain to their season ticket holders that no, the players aren't really a bunch of thugs. Bringing in Iverson, the man who essentially brought hip-hop/cornrows/tattoo culture to the NBA, may not exactly jibe with such efforts on their part.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 18, 2006 03:14 PM
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