Monday, December 18, 2006
Stern Hands Down a Stern Warning
Everyone knew Carmelo Anthony was going to be suspended; frankly, he deserved a suspension. He deserved a five, six, or maybe seven game suspension for taking a poke at another player during an altercation with the Knicks that saw ten players ejected and coach Isiah Thomas accused of leveling a threat at Carmelo Anthony before the fight.
A fifteen game suspension for Anthony seems excessive as does the half million dollar fine each of the teams will be paying, especially when Collins, whose flagrant foul of JR Smith sparked the brawl, only faces six games off. It seems even worse that Isiah Thomas, who allegedly warned Anthony not to get caught in the paint--essentially threatening that his players would hit Carmelo with the kind of hard foul that Collins put on Smith--isn’t even facing a public reprimand.
The players deserved suspensions, regardless of whether I agree with the particulars. But while I expect players to be a bit unruly at times, I don’t ever expect a coach to encourage his players to foul with the intent to injure.
I can’t say that I like this response from the league.
Update: If you go to ESPN.com right now, you can also watch Thomas’ warning (with the aid of just the tiniest bit of lip-reading).