It is not clear why the punch-up in the final minutes of a basketball game on Saturday was so newsworthy. The NBA cracked down hard on the teams, the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets, and the offending players, suspending seven of them.
ABC, the network that owns the TV rights to broadcast NBA games, assigned Jeremy Schaap from its sibling network, ESPN, to diagram the brawl. He fingered Knicks' coach Isiah Thomas, "once the star of the league's nastiest team, the Detroit Pistons of the 1980s," for warning the opposition not to run up the score against his badly-beaten team. Schaap implied that he instructed his players to foul the Nuggets flagrantly. Thomas escaped punishment from the league after the incident, "to the dismay of many observers," as Schaap put it.
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