Last night’s Houston Rockets-Phoenix Suns game produced the first on-court fight of the season, as the two teams mixed it up at mid-court with surprising vigor.
Two players, Matt Barnes of the Suns and Rafer Alston of the Rockets were ejected with double technicals, and Shaquille O’Neal, Tracy McGrady and Steve Nash each received technicals for their roles.
The video, via ClutchFans, does a good job of catching all the “action.” At about the 5:30 mark you can watch trouble brew as Barnes collides with Alston, who is trying to set a pick for McGrady. T-Mac promptly steps back and nets a 3-pointer.
Alston then charges down the court after Barnes and the two players play chest-bump, with McGrady then joining the freckas from the side. All he does is flap his gums at Barnes, hardly playing “peace-maker.”
That’s when things get interesting.
Other players start to get involved, along with the referees. There’s plenty more pushing and shoving, especially from Shaq, who comes in and just destroys both McGrady and Alston and anyone else in his way.
I’m telling you, it’s must-see YouTube.
Anyway, Nash again gets the blunt end of an altercation as he’s sent sprawling after sucker-slapping Alston. He tried to get away after his cheap-shot antics but could not. He’s so small; there was nothing he could do. He was trampled by the herding masses caused by Shaq’s wide swathing.
With Nash unsuccessfully attempting to retreat a certain trampling, Alston manages to get in a few retaliation hacks at his grill. This makes Little Stevie get really ‘Nash’ty. You can see that Canadian blood start to boil as his face, already red with humiliation, sprouts a white maple leaf from ear to ear and forehead to chin.
In the end, referees, coaches and that pacifist Yao Ming do enough to clean up the mess and get order restored. I think the Rockets win the game, but that’s not important. What is important is that the league review the tapes and fine and suspend the appropriate parties. Namely, Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaq practically incited a riot with brute strength. I think that his decision to join an on-court altercation should be judged with the same severity as players who leave the bench to join an altercation. That is, automatic ejection and suspension. He’s a behemoth, a modern-day King Kong. He could end a point guard’s life by simply bopping him on the head. The threat he poses to other humans is immense and can no longer be overlooked because of his charm and funny one-liners.
Some member of arena security should have plugged him full of tranquilizers and put him in a shackles or an iron cell. If that had happened he would now be en route to NBA offices under armed surveillance, probably smelling terribly and lusting after white women — just like King Kong.