Skip to comments.(Carmelo) Anthony may face stiffest penalty in wake of brawl (Knicks/Nuggets fight)
Posted on 12/17/2006 11:00:40 AM PST by Roberts
NEW YORK -- About a minute or two before the Knicks-Nuggets brawl erupted Saturday night in Madison Square Garden, New York coach Isiah Thomas mentioned to Denver star Carmelo Anthony that it wouldn't be a good idea to go anywhere near the paint, according to a member of the Denver Nuggets organization.
The message was unmistakable: A hard foul was coming. And when it came, the NBA had its first full-scale fight of the 2006-07 season.
As it tries to stay in the race in the Western Conference, Denver now has a huge question to ponder: How long will Anthony be suspended? That's in addition to that other question they've been dealing with for a week: Is Allen Iverson coming aboard?
My first guess was that Anthony would be suspended for four games, a prediction I related to Denver coach George Karl after he reviewed a tape of the fight.
"I'll take the over," he said.
Anthony is likely to be penalized the hardest because he threw the punch everyone is going to see over and over again, a roundhouse right that decked Knicks rookie Mardy Collins -- the player who initiated the fracas with an egregiously hard flagrant foul against J.R. Smith on a breakaway with 1:15 remaining.
The Knicks were angry the Nuggets still had their starters in the game in the final two minutes despite a double-digit lead, including a 119-100 advantage when Collins committed his foul.
"They were sticking it to us pretty good, really giving it to us. J.R. had one dunk where he reversed and spun in the air, and Mardy didn't want to see that happen again in front of our fans," Thomas said.
Smith immediately jumped up and challenged Collins, and the fracas escalated when Knicks guard Nate Robinson ran into the fray. About 15 seconds after the initial foul, as players from both teams were clustered along the baseline just a few feet from Garden owner James Dolan's seat, Anthony threw what appeared to be a sucker punch at Collins, decking him.
Anthony backpedaled downcourt after the punch, with Jared Jeffries nearly coming out of his shirt as he tried to chase Anthony down, and various people tried to stop Jeffries. All 10 players who were on the court -- including all of Denver's starters except Nene -- were ejected.
"From what they did, keeping their guys on the court, I knew a foul was going to come. It was a good, clean, hard foul, and after that things went down from there," Robinson said. "I've never seen a team up 20 keep their starters in. They wanted to embarrass us, and it was a slap in the face to us as a team and a franchise."
Robinson is certain to draw a suspension for his part in escalating the brawl, and likewise Collins for the part his flagrant foul played. The league might come down hard on Thomas, too, if it finds him culpable for instigating the fracas by ordering a hard foul.
But the biggest penalty likely will go to Anthony, who began the night as the league's leading scorer and was just 75 seconds away from wrapping up a 2-3 road trip on a positive note.
Now, he might be out until Christmas, and he might even have Iverson as a teammate by the next time he plays, although Karl didn't sound too positive about that possible development, either.
"I spoke to [general manager] Mark [Warkentien] yesterday, and he said it seemed like it was dying down. I didn't even bother calling him today," Karl told me before heading out the locker room door for the flight back to Denver, facing an immediate future without Iverson or Anthony ... and sounding convinced things are going to stay that way for a while.
I can't work up much sympathy for Carmello "Stop Snitching" Anthony, the thuggiest thug who ever thugged.
Can it really be considered a brawl when they were fighting like girls? It's always disappointing and hilarious to watch athletes fight.
Anthony ought to get a nice long vacation for the cheap shot he took, and ought to be embarrassed (though I'm sure he won't be) that he ran away after doing so.
That doesn't change the fact that Crysiaah Thomas started the entire incident from the bench. He ought to spend some quality time away from the game with 'Melo.
And the league wonders why they are losing fans. The NBA is full of thugs.
Baseball and basketball players, yes.
But hockey players know how to fight.
'Melo ran away like a schoolgirl after taking his cheap shot.
How would you like to be one of the fans sitting courtside (floor seats), having paid hundreds of dollars to be there, lining the pockets of these thugs, and have a fight spill over into your seats?
The NBA had better deal out some harsh punishment.
Once a Bad Boy, always a Bad Boy. Isiah Thomas is like a Russian mobster. He'll knife you in the back while flashing a pretty smile.
The NBA will again (I predict) barely slap hands of over-paid, illiterate, ill bred, street trash for fear of starting a race riot and offending the same, aforesaid punks.
I still have the "Malice in the Palace '04" on my Tivo. It's far more entertaining than the NBA has been in years.
Carmelo... was that a pimp slap or a *itch slap?
Mostly true, although I've aways loved the film of the guy charging the mound when Nolan Ryan came inside on him. Ryan took him down like a week old calf than punched his head until he was pulled off.
Thomas created the Bad Boy mystique of the Pistons and is the reason why Rodman became the clown he is today. He ran the CBA into the ground, criticized Michael Jordan and other stars when they went to Barcelona and he couldn't go.
People think he's this nice guy with a nice smile but nothing could be further from the truth.
Yep, Nolan used Robin Ventura's head like a speed bag. Very entertaining.
"...it wouldn't be a good idea to go anywhere near the paint,"
Can anyone tell me what this means? Not really a basketball fan.
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