I've, personally, always loved a good scuffle in an athletic event. Few things give you more of a glimpse into how fired up these athletes can get, and sometimes, you just have to shove things out.
And that's just it.
It wasn't a fight. A fight involves punches.
Nobody should be suspended as a result of yesterday's events. However, what most of us think should happen, and what David Stern does, don't usually coincide.
After a hard shove by David Lee, who was jockeying for rebound position, Roy Hibbert responded with a forearm shimmy of his own. Lee responded with a shoulder to the upper chest/lower chin area of Hibbert. At this point, most of the players on the court had flocked over to the two in an attempt to break up the scuffle.
Then came Stephen Curry.
I'll give Curry the first go at Roy, it did look like he was trying to pull him away from Lee. However, compared to the 7'2" Hibbert, Curry is nothing more than a mouse. Hibbert turned his body and, in one fell swoop, Curry was on the floor.
He should've left it at that.
Curry proceeded to get back up and go at Roy full speed, which I believe was done so in a malicious way. Again, Hibbert embarrassed him by putting him on the hardwood. The altercation moved over towards and sideline and spilled into the first row as David West and Co. tried to pull Hibbert and Curry apart.
In a matter of seconds. Seconds. Everyone was back on the floor.
However, due to the altercation going into the first row of spectators, everyone has to freak out. I mean, you can sort of understand Pacers' fans holding their breath when an altercation goes anywhere near people that aren't playing the game, right?
Indy Star Columnist, Bob Kravitz sums it up perfectly:
Admit it, when you saw Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert swatting away Golden State guard Stephen Curry like baseball's Pedro Martinez dispatching of Don Zimmer, you thought to yourself:
Please, Lord, not another Brawl. Not another Detroit. Not again.
Is that an overreaction? Sure. However, it most certainly isn't unwarranted.
All in all, a suspension for anyone would be an overreaction by Stern and Co. There were no punches thrown, which, in my opinion, should be the threshold between a fine and a suspension. Sadly, we can't say "it's been that way before" due to Stern's wildly inconsistent reactions to these altercations.
Personally, I'm just glad the punishments were relatively even across the board, although I'm still not sure how David West avoided the NBA's long arm of the law.
After the game, Roy talked about how he was solely looking to "talk" to David Lee. Curry didn't need to be getting involved. I think Roy's shove looks a lot more hostile than it really was. Curry is so much smaller than Hibbert, it was like a 16 year old shoving a 7 year old to the floor which, understandably, makes people say "oooohh!"
We Pacers fans know how passive Hibbert can be. He's not an angry guy. In my opinion, it's great Roy finally got fired up about something. I've always thought he was one of the softest big men in the league, and I'm ecstatic to see him get angry about something. Again I'll say, nothing wrong with a little scuffle between two athletes that want to win.
But a fight? Please.