THE MANY LAYERS OF BASKETBRAWL
So by now you have likely read about if not seen the melee that ensued at MSG on Saturday night. Marc Stein of ESPN has a great breakdown of its ramifications.
And Chris Sheridan of ESPN reports:
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.
I’ve never been a fan of George Karl and certainly not Isiah Thomas. I’ve also never been a fan of poor sportsmanship, even if it is against the Knicks. But I understand where the Knicks were coming from. If you’re not going to have any respect for your opponent or the integrity of the game, expect something bad to happen.
A hard foul is simply that: a hard foul. The Nugs exacerbated the situation by getting all righteous immediately after. You can’t throw down 360 jams when the game is already decided and not expect to get hammered. Smith deserved the foul. Instead of taking it like a man he wigged out. And then in one of the most cowardly moves in recent sports history, Carmelo Anthony–he of the ‘street’ DVDs–throws a suckerpunch and runs away, afraid to stand toe to toe. How weak was that?
Mardy Collins and the rest of the Knicks deserve to be punished. But the Knicks also deserve some props. They stood up to the Nuggets, who made it clear they are a bunch of showboats who can’t take what they dish out and don’t respect the game. If I was Isiah I would have said the same exact thing.