“Malice at the Palace” was NBA’s most infamous brawl. Talking about infamous NBA fights, the most penalized on-court fight since that Pistons-Pacers brawl is Nuggets-Knicks brawl.
It was December 16, 2006 at Madison Square Garden the Mecca of Basketball, but there was no peace that day at the MSG.
It started with a flagrant foul by the Knicks’ guard Mardy Collins on the Nuggets’ guard J. R. Smith, on a fast break by slapping his arms around Smith’s neck, knocking him to the floor. This foul-play was set up by Knicks’ coach Isiah Thomas according to Carmelo Anthony.
“Isiah Thomas got beef with George Karl. I don’t know what the f*** beef is, but they got beef” – Carmelo Anthony
Isiah even as a player was infamous for his dirty plays with the “The Bad Boys” Pistons, he the leader of that team.
Although they were not penalized, Nuggets coach George Karl and Knicks coach Isiah Thomas were both scrutinized for their part in the brawl. Anthony was also criticized for harming his image as a star, as well as league’s image of supporting non-violence.
Describing that incident Melo said “Isiah got beef with George Karl. I don’t know what the f*** beef is, but they got beef. So in the game, Isiah looks at me and says, ‘Yo, nobody go to the hole.’ We on the free throw line, the ball comes off, we get the rebound, we throw it to JR Smith. We up, we bustin’ they a*s, we blowin’ them up.”
“JR was about to do something crazy on the break, and all I see is this kid (Mardy Collins) runs full speed on the court and grabs JR out the air.”
“I look at Isiah, ‘You a sucker for that.’ You don’t do no s*** like that. You a sucker for that. Now, JR and Nate Robinson are in the crowd. I run over there, coaches and players are grabbing me, I’m like ‘Nobody touch me!’ And then I think Jared Jeffries or somebody grabbed my neck and I blacked!”
As the fight was seemingly coming to an end, Carmelo Anthony confronted Collins and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground. That got him a 15 game suspension.
Fans did not come onto the court during the entire scene, which prevented repetition of the Pacers–Pistons brawl.