RUSH: Well, the commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, has handed down the punishment here for the brawl in the Garden of Evil on Saturday night, Madison Square Garden. (Well, you know, “Malice at the Palace,” “Garden of Evil.” These things have to have their names.) Carmelo Anthony who is a Denver Nuggets star and is the scoring leader of the NBA was suspended for 15 games today. Six other players were penalized as well. Nate Robinson and J.R. Smith each got ten games. Four other players were suspended, and Stern fined both organizations a half a million dollars each,” $500,000 each. No separate penalty for the coach of the Knicks, Isiah Thomas, and many of the sports media wizards in New York thought that he would be singled out because during a time-out with a minute and a half to go he warned Carmelo Anthony, “Don’t go in the paint,” meaning don’t go in the lane. Don’t go for the basket because if you go in there, your head’s going to be hunted. And sure enough, somebody went in the paint, they get a neck job, rammed the guy to the floor, purposeful card foul, and the fight began, and that’s where the suspensions come from. It’s what it is: a half million dollars for each team.
The root of this is, folks — actually, the fault, well, I don’t know “fault.” But, you know, George Karl, the coach of the Nuggets is a good friend of Larry Brown’s, who was the fired coach of the Knicks last year. They fired him after one year and brought Isiah Thomas in. So the Knicks were being beaten by 20 points or some such thing, and Karl kept his front line starters against the Knicks scrubs, and the Knicks felt, “Well, we’re being dissed. Why, we’re being dissed. Why, we had surrendered. The game is over. It’s their fault, their fault for keeping their starters in! They were embarrassing us on our home court.” One guy, one Knick went in for a reverse jam backwards layup, and that’s considered to be showing up the other team, when the game was already won, and it’s bad sportsmanship and so forth, or it is said to be. I always believe if a team is going to surrender, pound ’em further. If they’re going to give up, make them pay for it. Pound them and pound them. But , that’s just me, folks.
RUSH: Here’s Art in Shepherd, Montana. Glad you waited. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Unfortunately Pittsburgh doesn’t have a black and gold basketball team, but it has three other black and gold teams. Anyways, can you imagine Red Auerbach, Dick Motta, Rudy Tomjanovich or Popovich tolerating what happened in New York? Or can you imagine —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait! Whoa, whoa, whoa! Who are you saying “tolerated” it this time?
CALLER: Well, I don’t know who tolerated it, but I personally believe if you have a coach like Popovich or Tomjanovich or Dick Motta or Red Auerbach, that this stuff would not happen.
RUSH: Look, come on now! Look it, I’m not even that big a basketball fan. Does the name Kermit Washington mean anything to you?
CALLER: I’ve heard the name.
RUSH: Well, Kermit Washington, this goes back (I’m guessing) 30 years, 25, 30 years. Kermit Washington came in playing for the Lakers, and Rudy Tomjanovich was playing for the Houston Rockets, and there was a brawl on the court, and Kermit Washington came in with a vicious right hand, full-fledged hook —
CALLER: Basically destroyed Tomjanovich’s career.
RUSH: — destroyed Tomjanovich’s career, ruined his face, ruined his career. It was over. He’s a coach now, or has been.
CALLER: That’s what I mean: as a coach.
CALLER: That’s what I mean: as a coach he would not tolerate it.
RUSH: Well, I know. What you’re really saying is he wouldn’t have permitted it. I think what you’re really saying is that the coaches here, Isiah Thomas and George Karl, are responsible for this because they created the atmosphere which made the players think it’s okay to behave this way in a given set of circumstances in a game, because tolerate it means when it happens, you don’t do anything about it except slap some wrists. Nobody’s tolerating this. I think what you’re really saying is you think these coaches as opposed to old great coaches of the past are making these things possible by not reining in the natural instincts of these guys in the competitive arena.
CALLER: Well, in hockey Scotty Bowman kept McSorley under control, and —
RUSH: Oh, come on. Hockey? You can’t possibly cite hockey to me as someplace where (laughing).
CALLER: Yeah, but McSorley removed the face of a guy when he was playing for a different team but when he was playing for the Penguins, Bowman kept him under control, and Danny Murtaugh? Look at the teams that Danny Murtaugh had. Look at the —
RUSH: Come on, man! Look, everybody thinks this is the worst that’s ever been. You’ve forgotten what happened in Auburn Hills, at the Palace of Auburn Hills, with the Pacers and the Knicks. Have you forgotten? You had a great manager in Walter Alston, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Dodgers are playing in San Francisco. Juan Marichal got into a bean ball war with the catcher of the Dodgers, Johnny Roseboro. Marichal picked up Roseboro’s bat and tried to hit him in the head with it! There are bench clearing brawls in baseball. Frequently. There were a couple of them last season. There is not any era where this didn’t happen!
What’s different now, I think, if you want to try to attach a difference to some of the lack of civility in sports is blame it on me. Blame it on politics, because everybody says, “We are a more partisan country and we need more civility, and we all need to learn to get along.” Well, who’s responsibility for the incivility? It’s always conservatives, right? They don’t compromise their principles and agree with Democrats and liberals. The circumstance here is to why these brawls are happening — like in Detroit, like in Madison Square Garden on Saturday nigh — there’s probably a reason if somebody wanted to do a sociological examination, but to say that the events are new and that certain people never allowed them, that’s probably true, but there never was an era where there was really fair and pure, constant, 100% sportsmanship. It has never existed. Here’s the thing about this incident in New York that nobody’s talked about and I’m, frankly, surprised. What started this was a hard foul as the guy is charging in for a layup, and I forget the names here, but the Knick player in order prevent the basket literally but the Nuggets player in a choke hold for a couple seconds and rammed his head into the floor and of course the guy who just got jammed to the floor, stands up, “I’m not taking that,” and a brawl starts, and where do they end up?
They end up in a seat full of fans.
Now, I haven’t heard about the health of the fans. Somebody had to get hurt when these two guys tumbled into them and the rest of the team piled on, right under the basket. So the fans got involved in this again. The fans didn’t get involved in it. The fans didn’t fight back or anything, fight spread, but this could not have been a pleasant experience, and those are the expensive seats. So the rich took it on the chin at the Garden as well! Those seats can go for 250 or 300 bucks. Those are more expensive than Allen Brothers steaks, folks, and, you don’t get to see a fight when you buy Allen Brothers steaks.
Here’s another thing. I want you people to consider this. You mentioned hockey. Guys go to sporting events and a fight breaks out and I guarantee you nobody leaves for a beer. Nobody goes to the bathroom. They want to see it.
Now, the league has to come out and say, “We’re appalled. Why, this is not who we are.”
Yes, it is. You did it!
“Well, this is not us. ”
Yes, it is! It happens a lot!
“Well, this is not the image, clearly ,that we want to project.”
But you did, and you do. The dirty little secret in marketing is that they’ll go through the notion of suspending these guys, and they’ll fine the teams $500,000, but it’s going to keep happening; it’s just human nature. Dawn, do women like watching these fights when these things break out and so forth? (interruption) I don’t believe you. I think the women secretly love it, too. At any rate, I appreciate the call out there.