By now everyone has seen the huge fight that took place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night (and if you haven’t just check it out here in the NBA section) and hopefully everyone has heard of the strict punishments Darth Stern has handed out this week to all those involved. A total of seven players (out of ten who were actually ejected from the game, if that makes sense) were suspended and each team was actually fined $500,000 in an effort to hopefully avoid further similar “events” and preserve the NBA’s already decaying image.
So Stern got the opportunity to dish out some pain this week and honestly, I don’t think he took full advantage. We all know that Stern has been trying to turn the NBA’s players into little 12 year old boy scouts who can do no wrong and after the massive fight Saturday night, I really thought that Carmelo Anthony would be reported as missing and Nate Robinson would wind up in a crate on a cargo plane on its way to somewhere in Nicaragua. Hey, it could happen. The lucky winner to receive Stern’s largest suspension of 15 games was none other than Carmelo (no surprise there) while Nate Robinson and J.R. Smith got 10 games each. I don’t know about you, but personally I think I would have given Anthony way more games because when the fight looked to be over and everyone was starting to calm down, he comes over and punches a Knick player in the face and starts the fight up all over again. I’m not saying Stern dropped the ball because his punishments were definitely reasonable but considering the response from writers and analysts, like Wilbon and Kornheiser, he could have gotten away with much more.