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NBA slaps big fines on brawling players, teams
Latest Updated by 2006-12-21 16:46:22
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NBA Commissioner David Stern responded to Saturday's brawl between the Knicks and Nuggets at New York's Madison Square Garden with stiff fines and tough talk, suggesting players who fight will not be tolerated by the league.

"I was very disappointed," Stern said. "Clearly, we're not getting through or players in certain circumstances just don't want to be restrained. I would suggest that those players will not have long careers in the NBA. We have set up the goal of eliminating fighting from our game. We haven't eliminated it completely."

Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer, got the harshest punishment after hitting New York player Nate Robinson in the face. Anthony was hit with a 15-game suspension,costing the star 641,000 U.S. dollars in salary.

In all, seven players were suspended for a fight that spilled into the stands with just over a minute left in Saturday night’s game. Also suspended were New York's Nate Robinson and J.R. Smith of the Nuggets, 10 games; New York's Mardy Collins, six; teammate Jared Jeffries, four. The Knicks’Jerome James and the Nuggets’Nene each were penalized one game for leaving the bench area during the chaos.

Stern came down hard on the teams, too, fining each an unprecedented half-million dollars.

"We have set up the goal of eliminating fighting from our game. We haven't eliminated it completely," Stern said.

The record fines were "more general message that I'm going to start holding our teams accountable," he said.

Asked about the previous largest fine for on-court misbehavior, the NBA couldn't find anything remotely close.

NBA players' union director Billy Hunter said he would talk to Anthony and his agent Tuesday before deciding whether to pursue an appeal.

"I think that 15 is a bit heavy," Hunter said. "I don't think 15 games is necessary. I think it's out of whack compared to what been imposed in the past."

Anthony's conduct represents a big blow to the All-Star player, team and league. He starred as a captain on the U.S. team at the world championships this summer, and had been getting more marketing opportunities as one of the league's brightest young stars.

Stern took none of that into account when issuing his decision.

"We judged him on his actions on the court, period," Stern said. "And they deserved a harsh penalty."

Stern was especially troubled by the fight between Robinson and Smith that landed in the seats.

"My concern is actually for the safety of the players and the fans, and when things get out of hand you cannot predict or project where they're going to go," Stern said. "There were certain players who weren't going to allow themselves to be calmed."

"The incident was deeply regrettable, unacceptable on every level and I hope and expect to never witness anything like it again. We are all very sorry it happened," said Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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