There has been a fair share of classic fights in Madison Square Garden.
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier battled in 1971.
In 1985, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. took on Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff at the first Wrestlemania.
However, Saturday night’s brawl between the Knicks and Nuggets was not a fight for the ages at the World’s Most Famous Arena.
Sadly, I didn’t see this live, so I’ve only have highlights to go off of, but it sure seemed that everyone was in the wrong here. Why were the Nuggets starters still in? What was Mardy Collins thinking with that horribly unnecessary flagrant? What was Nate Robinson doing jumping J.R. Smith, sending both of them flying into the front row?
Worst of all was Carmelo Anthony’s sucker punch on Collins. The punch was bad. The retreating as quickly as possible was way worse. I’d suspend him an additional game for that cowardly act.
I hope the Nuggets and Knicks are appreciative of David Stern’s generosity in bringing back the old ball because he’s about to go Dictator on everyone involved in the ugly fight. I expect some swift punishment tomorrow, and every single person who took place in the brawl will deserve whatever Mr. Stern hands down.
It’s disappointing that once again we have another horrible, unnecessary, flat-out stupid incident that will again mar the league’s image, but I’m realistic enough to know that this won’t be the last one. I hope I am wrong. There’s no place for any of that in the NBA.
A.I. IS STILL A SIXER
So, how will all these forthcoming Denver suspensions affect their ability to get Allen Iverson? And are they really in the running for Iverson?
As of print time (ha!) Sunday night, Iverson remains out of action, waiting for his fate to be determined. Although the Sixers have lost 11 in a row and are fading deeper into the cellar of the worst division in basketball, they appear to be in no hurry to move Iverson.
Denver, Minnesota, and Boston appear to be the frontrunners for his services if you believe reports or rumors, but Billy King just keeps listening.
The best rumor of the week was that Miami was a player in all of this. Can you imagine? Iverson, Wade and Shaq running around trying to co-exist with Jason Kapono, Gary Payton and Wayne Simien. It’s hard to comprehend. Personally, I don’t think it would work. There’s still only one basketball, and unless Shaq is out for the year, he’s not going to be happy as a third option. Plus, Miami would be crazy to get into the luxury tax for that lineup.
However, I’d be glued to the TV to see every game. I didn’t think Pat Riley’s moves would work last year, and boy did the Heat prove me wrong.
Anyway, fantasies aside and writing without any sources, I still think Iverson is going to Minnesota because deep down I think that’s what everyone wants. Philly doesn’t need multiple draft picks if they’re headed towards a top three pick this year. Rebuilding could come very quickly with Randy Foye, Greg Oden and cap space. Let’s make this happen.
INJURIES ARE PICKING UP
Nothing can ruin an NBA team’s season faster than a star player being injured for a long period of time. It’s happening all over the place.
Kenyon Martin is out for the year in Denver.
Tracy McGrady’s back is acting up again in Houston.
The Lakers’ Lamar Odom is out at least a month with a sprained knee.
Ray Allen is sitting for the Sonics with a sprained tendon in his foot.
Shaq has missed a ton of time with a bum knee in Miami.
Steve Francis, Peja Stojackovic and Hedo Turkoglu are all on the sidelines as well.
Some teams will get by because they have elite players to help get them through this time (Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Yao Ming).
But others like New Orleans and Seattle will find that missing their star players for an extended period of time will also probably mean missing the postseason.
It’s the nature of the NBA, and it shows just how important guys 3 through12 on your roster really are to the overall success during the season.
-I hope we get a Lakers/Rockets playoff series because the teams played two of the most entertaining games of the year this week, even though Lamar Odom and Tracy McGrady missed the majority of both of them.
-Is Phoenix ever going to lose again? I don’t see it happening this week as they host Toronto, head to Denver to face a scrub-heavy version of the Nuggets and then shoot it out with the Wizards? Circle December 28th on your calendar for the Suns against the Mavs in Dallas on TNT. That will be fun, and it very easily could be a Western Conference preview.
-Ben Wallace is back to being Ben Wallace, and low and behold, the Bulls are streaking. Wallace played his two best games of the year this past week, recording 20 rebounds on Wednesday against the Sonics and then topping himself with 27 on Friday against Milwaukee. The Bulls look poised to be in the mix for the top seed in the East.
-Who is my pick for most disappointing team in the NBA at this point? New Jersey. How is it possible that they’re not winning the Atlantic Division by at least five games? I I feel back for Lawrence Frank. Those Larry Brown rumors are only going to get worse.