Monday , Dec , 18 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

NBA strikes back at Nuggets and Knicks for brawl

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony has been
suspended 15 games for his primary role in Saturday’s ugly brawl with the New
York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

NBA strikes back at Nuggets and Knicks for brawl

Commissioner David Stern suspended six other players and levied a fine of
$500,000 against each team.

Denver’s J.R. Smith was hit with a 10-game suspension, as was New York’s Nate
Robinson. Mardy Collins of the Knicks was suspended for six games and teammate
Jared Jeffries was given a four-game penalty.

New York’s Jerome James and Denver’s Nene were each suspended one game for
leaving the bench during the altercation.

“The NBA and its players represent a game of extraordinary skill, athleticism
and grace, and, for good or bad, set an example for the entire basketball
world, on and off the court,” Stern said in a statement.

“On the positive side, there is our players’ passion for the game, engagement
with our fans, commitment to their communities and respect for the history and
tradition of the game. With respect to the negative, while we have worked
diligently to eliminate fighting from our game, there are failures such as
Saturday night at Madison Square Garden that demonstrate there is still more
to be done.

“It is our obligation to take the strongest possible steps to avoid such
failures in the future and to make a statement to all who follow the game of
basketball that we understand our obligations and take them seriously.”

A total of 10 players were ejected from the Nuggets’ 123-100 win over the
Knicks Saturday night after the brawl late in the fourth quarter.

It was with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter and the Knicks behind 119-100 when
Collins threw his arms around the neck of Smith as he drove to the basket.

Collins was called for a flagrant two foul, but Smith immediately protested
the hard contact and jawed at the Knicks rookie. Robinson then barreled in and
yelled at Smith, tackling him into the stands.

Anthony then pushed Jeffries and extended his right hand to punch Collins, and
the action moved toward center court when Jeffries tried to get at the Nuggets
star player, but he was pulled down by another player before order was

Although the violence fell short of the brawl between Indiana and Detroit,
which spilled into the stands in November 2004, this melee was out of hand as
far as the players were concerned in the nation’s most famous arena.

Anthony, Smith, Eduardo Najera, Marcus Camby and Andre Miller were thrown out
of the game for Denver, while Collins, Jeffries, Robinson, Channing Frye and
David Lee were all ejected for the Knicks.