Monday, 18 December 2006

Knicks/Nuggets Suspensions handed down

For the record, here are the suspensions:

Carmelo Anthony - DEN - 15 games
Nate Robinson - NY - 10 games
JR Smith - DEN - 10 games
Mardy Collins - NY - 6 games
Jared Jeffries - NY - 4 games
Nene - DEN - 1 game
Jerome James - NY - 1 games
Isiah Thomas - NY - 0 games

In addition both teams were fined $500,000.

Some of the suspensions I thought were just right, some I thought were too harsh, and then there was some parts thought the penalty should have been harsher (or there should have at least been a penalty).

First, the longest one, Carmelo Anthony. This was too long, I think. First off, it was not a sucker punch. I can understand that from the angle most commonly shown it does look like a punch, but from the reverse angle his fist is not closed, showing it was more like a hard slap than a punch. Still obviously not a good thing, but not as bad as everyone is quite making it out to be.

Then there's Nate Robinson. Honestly, I don't know why he did not get a longer suspension, or at least the same length as Carmelo. Certainly the foul and reaction of JR Smith started things, but Robinson is the one that escalated it by immediately getting in JR Smith's face and then throwing the reverse bodyslam on him. After that, Robinson continued jumping around and getting in the faces of the Nuggets player. Robinson, as much as anybody, caused this thing to get as big as it was.

Smith with 10 games, I don't really have a problem with that in relation to what the other guys got. Same for Jeffries, James, and Nene. Mardy Collins getting 6 games I felt was a little harsh, because if the fight hadn't escalated he wouldn't have gotten suspended at all, and he didn't really have a role in the fight. I mean, it was a hard foul and a flagrant foul, but I've certainly seen a lot worse.

Then, in my eyes, the most egregious error of them all... the fact that Isiah Thomas did not get suspended at all. Now, I'm not a professional lipreader, but the videos show he said this to Carmelo Anthony right before the whole thing started: "Don't go to the basket right now." Of course, Thomas says he said it not as a threat but as a lecture on sportsmanship. Yeah, I bet. As great as a player that Isiah Thomas was, he's a clown off the court.

The other thing that I find funny... according to the Knicks and Nate Robinson, this all escalated because they felt the Nuggets were trying to run up the score and had some starters still in. Yes, being 9-17 and being booed at home constantly is not that embarrassing, but having a team have 4 starters in in the 4th quarter of a 19 point game is just way too much to handle. Makes sense to me.

Also, kudos to Carmelo Anthony for at least issuing an apology and recognizing that he was over the line. Unfortunately, no such thing has been heard from Nate Robinson or Isiah Thomas, and I doubt they will be forthcoming either.