Not so Stern: Commish lets Isiah off the hook
- NEW YORK -- Before Monday night's Jazz-Knicks game, there was no braying from New York coach Isiah Thomas, who just hours before had been called an unprintable barnyard epithet by Denver coach George Karl. After escaping punishment from NBA commissioner David Stern, Thomas kept his mouth shut and didn't gloat as he prepared to coach a game for which many expected him to be suspended. Surprisingly, Stern ruled there was not enough evidence to prove that Thomas had ordered his players to commit the hard foul that Knicks rookie guard Mardy Collins put on Nuggets guard J.R. Smith, which touched off the worst NBA melee since the infamous 2004 Pacers-Pistons brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills.A statement from Knicks owner James Dolan was read to the media by a public relations official before Thomas said anything prior to New York's game against Utah, and after the statement was finished, Thomas didn't have much to add to a crowd of several dozen reporters, cameramen and photographers. "We won't discuss that anymore or talk about it anymore," Thomas said of the brawl. Asked if he wanted to respond to Karl, who called him "a jerk" and much worse names after learning that Thomas escaped punishment, Thomas simply replied, "Not at all." Asked if he was confident earlier in the day that he'd escape a suspension, Thomas said he was. And so remains the question of why Thomas eluded blame, and why Stern, during his half-hour conference call early Monday afternoon, did not even chastise Thomas for his actions. During that call, the league and the commissioner announced the suspensions of seven players, most notably Denver star Carmelo Anthony, and a fine of $500,000 for each team. We are left to pick apart Stern's comments, and his lack of comment, and to postulate over what may have motivated Draconian Dave to spare the guillotine and practically issue a pardon to Thomas, who appeared to be an instigator.AP Photo/Mary AltafferIsiah Thomas deals with the media swarm at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
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GARDEN FIGHT FALLOUTAs expected, the NBA did not go lightly on those Nuggets and Knicks involved in Saturday's brawl in New York. Of the 10 players ejected, seven on Monday were given suspensions totaling 47 games. League-leading scorer Carmelo Anthony drew the stiffest penalty of 15 games. Story
• Hill: Don't blame 'thugs' for fight
• Bucher: Melo walking dangerous line again
• Sheridan: Not so Stern penalty for Thomas
• Stein: Answering brawl questions
• Stein Blog: Way too easy on Isiah
• Sheridan: NBA to use experience to rule
• Stein Blog: Nuggets' Iverson plan
• Melo won't appeal, will serve suspension
• Northwest pulls mag featuring Anthony
• Karl calls Isiah 'a jerk'
• League looking into roles of Isiah, players
• Carmelo Anthony apologizes
• Notable brawls in NBA history
• Knicks' loss to Nuggets turns into free-for-all
• Allen Houston not surprised by penalties.
• Dan Patrick Show: Union president Billy Hunter discusses punishments.
• Karl blasts Isiah
• Daily Dish: Sheridan, Ford discuss brawl
• Reggie Miller: Isiah and Karl deserve suspensions
• Stephen A. Smith's take
• Karl says Isiah's actions 'despicable'
• Isiah issued warning before brawl
• Players fight at Madison Square Garden
• Sheridan analyzes brawl
• Stephen A. breaks down brawl
• Isiah Thomas discusses battle
• Nuggets react to situation
• Kiki Vandeweghe's take
• What do you think of the punishment?
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