I think there's a giant divide between physical basketball and brawls/fights/donnybrooks. As such, I think the case for one (physical play) does not necessarily sync up with the case for another (fisticuffs).
Speaking only on the subject of fighting (and not regarding hand-checking, a higher tolerance for physical engagement within the game, etc.) I think the NBA was definitely right in removing brawls to the best of their abilities. Fans who like fights suffer a little bit, but I think it was the right thing to do. I'm not sure how David Stern could watch Jo Jo English and Derek Harper throwdown into the courtside seats right in front of his eyes and not
do something. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md3rFQeCkAE
I think there were 12,000 reasons to cut back on fighting and dirty play and just a few reasons to possibly keep it around. I personally miss the entertainment factor of fights, but I do not struggle in reasoning as to why it had to be removed.
Originally Posted by Legends66NBA7
I think both NBA players and fans alike enjoy physical basketball and any type of "fighting" would just pump them up even more, ala Rondo/Humpries incident (no ejections). It just brings the whole emotional part of the game into play and really brings out the best of which players play the best under the most extreme of pressures. Having a rivalry last for a long time is great too.
Now, as someone mentioned, I don't want to see a case like Rudy T. Nor do I want to see Artest going into the stands. It shouldn't be overly violent and fans don't have to get involved.
I think a big part of the issue is fights are not an exercise in control. Officials can't place two opponents in a small ring and order them to fight, but not too seriously or to the point of anyone getting too hurt. When fights happen, things have the possibility of getting wild and when that happens, there's that unnecessary risk of someone (player, fan, official, cameraman, photographer) getting seriously hurt.
Originally Posted by SHAQisGOAT
I'd really like to see some of today's stars getting taken down after driving to the basket, if they complain after a touch today they would cry after that, or dealing with handchecking, scratching, holding and so on.
Kids think it's a fantasy that it wasn't happening like that, smh, I can put many highlights of brutal fouls that weren't even flagrants, let alone ejections and suspensions.
Man, I cannot agree with that at all. I can look back at some big fouls on stars back in the day and marvel at the physicality, but that's largely because I already know things were going to be alright. If I see a clip of Jordan being dragged down by the Pistons, I know Jordan's going to be okay, because it already happened. I don't want to see clips of Karl Malone bloodying Isiah Thomas or knocking out David Robinson.
Like fighting, with meaninglessly flagrant or intentional fouls, the outcome is always up in the air. Players can
get back up, but why would the league encourage something that could lead to one of those players not
getting up? I would not like to see today's stars taken down after driving to the basket and I don't think it should be a part of basketball anywhere - in the NBA, college, high school, or the park. That is not basketball. I like the idea of playing the game without having to think about a random player deciding to break the rules and push me out of the air a la Bynum/Barea just because he wants to send a message.
Edit: I have to be real, I re-read your piece and I think I may have misinterpreted your tone the first time through. My apologies. It seems you're more just commentating on how weak or babies modern day players are in comparison to their older counterparts (as opposed to honestly wishing they were to get hit hard).