NBA scoring leader Carmelo Anthony was suspended for 15 games Monday and six other players were penalized as commissioner David Stern came down hard on both teams after the Nuggets and Knicks brawled at Madison Square Garden.[READ MORE]
Nate Robinson and J.R. Smith each got 10 games, and four other players also were suspended. Stern fined each organization $500,000. But there was no separate penalty for Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, who had warned Anthony not to go into the lane before the mayhem started Saturday night.
It was the NBA’s scariest scene since the brawl between Pacers players and Pistons fans two years ago. The league is still recovering from that episode, and Stern made it clear the players must learn to control themselves.
Although it’s more than twice as much as the last fine for spitting, the flamboyant receiver avoided a suspension.Did he or didn't he:
At first, he said he did, telling the NFL Network after the game: “I got frustrated and I apologize for that. It was a situation where he kept bugging me and getting in my face.”
But on Monday, he insisted it was an accident.
“When it happened, we were jawing in each other’s face, so it wasn’t anything intentional,” Owens said. “I didn’t intentionally spit in his face. He’s trying to make it seem like more than what it was by saying I hauled off and spit in his face. I feel like if I spit in his face ... somebody would’ve seen it.”