Sunday, December 17, 2006

Someone Call Don Cherry...

The next time somebody complains about the violence issue in the NHL, all Gary Bettman needs to do is show them some NBA video from Saturday night.

As the Knicks and the Nuggets were playing out the string of a rather embarrassing game (for the Knicks), a hard foul resulted in a bench clearing brawl that resulted in ten players kicked out of the game. This following a wild melee on the court at Madison Square Garden, that at times ended up two or three rows up behind the Knicks basket.

It made for an ugly scene at the temple of basketball in New York, players rushed the floor with bodies flying everywhere as the fists flew, the shoves were hard and a mob mentality seemed to take hold on the court.

Accusations of running up the score, keeping your best players on the court and a settling of scores were bounced around in the post game press conferences. It was one of the uglier incidents of late in basketball, which at times has received some pretty bad press over the post whistle scrums deteriorate.

The developments of Saturday night brought back memories of the Pacers/Piston brawl that involved fans back in 2004, though in comparison they weren't quite as ugly as that day in 2004 was .

Expect NBA Commissioner David Stern to come down very harshly on the participants and coaches involved, however, while he contemplates his justice the sports video stations are feeding off the frenzy of Saturday night. His statements shortly after the 2004 incident, should pretty well set the tone for what he will have to do about this one.

ESPN had complete coverage on the incident, from the original foul, to the brawl to the post game pontificating.

While hockey is often thought of as a rather violent sport, the evidence as compiled by Sports Illustrated certainly doesn't paint hockey as the main offender in sporting malfeasance.

Don Cherry may wish to expand the video empire, some of the best scraps aren't on the ice anymore, they're on that hardwood court that covers it on off nights of the NHL. Rock em Sock em B Ball anyone?

The above post first appeared on my General interest blog, A Town Called Podunk.

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