Originally created 12/19/06

7 out after brawl



NEW YORK - The NBA came down hard on the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets for brawling, and no player involved was spared.

Not Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer, who got the harshest punishment, a 15-game suspension. And not the teams themselves, which were fined an unprecedented half-million dollars each Monday.

"We have set up the goal of eliminating fighting from our game. We haven't eliminated it completely," Commissioner David Stern said in meting out the penalties.

In all, seven players were suspended for a fight that spilled into the stands at Madison Square Garden with just more than a minute left in Saturday night's game.

"I was very disappointed," Stern said. "Clearly, we're not getting through or players in certain circumstances just don't want to be restrained. I would suggest that those players will not have long careers in the NBA."

Though there was no separate penalty for Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, who warned Anthony not to go into the lane before the mayhem started, Nuggets coach George Karl singled him out, calling his actions "despicable."

"There's no question in my mind it was premeditated," Karl said. "He made a bad situation worse. He's a jerk for what he's trying to do."

Stern acknowledged hearing about Thomas' comments to Anthony, but he said he relied only on "definitive information" when handing out punishments.

But Stern was clearly annoyed by remarks from Thomas and the Knicks that the Nuggets were somehow responsible because they kept four starters on the floor late in the blowout.

Earlier Monday, Thomas didn't back away from assertions that Karl left his starters in too long.

"I can't speak for him, but he put his players in a tough position," Thomas said.

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Seven players were suspended for their involvement in Saturday's brawl at Madison Square Garden

NUGGETS

Player, [filtered word]. Games
Carmelo Anthony, F 15
J.R. Smith, G 10
Nene, F 1



KNICKS

Player, [filtered word]. Games
Nate Robinson, G 10
Mardy Collins, G 6
Jared Jeffries, F 4
Jerome James, C 1