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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 18, 2006

Brawlers may find out their fate today

Advertiser News Services

The NBA is expected to hand down harsh penalties today following a brawl between the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in which all 10 players on the court were ejected.

The melee featured Nuggets guard J.R. Smith and Knicks reserve Nate Robinson tussling in the stands, the league's leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony, delivering a sucker punch and Jared Jeffries angrily charging after Anthony, dragging along security, players and coaches in the process.

The league's policy has been to rule on any suspensions before the teams involved play their next game. The Knicks host Utah today; the Nuggets are home against Washington.

If suspensions are levied today, it will likely leave the Nuggets without Anthony for today's game and possibly much longer. He faces an automatic suspension for throwing a punch, while Smith and Robinson will likely be penalized for their actions in escalating the fight.

While it's unclear how NBA commissioner David Stern will rule, he is very conscious of maintaining a proper image, so most observers expect the punishment to be severe.

Anthony said yesterday he was sorry his emotions got the best of him.

"Last night's altercation with the Knicks escalated further than it should have. I take full responsibility for my actions in the matter," Anthony said in a statement.

SIXERS

KING IN NO HURRY TO TRADE AWAY IVERSON

Philadelphia team president Billy King told The Associated Press last night he would not rush to deal Allen Iverson, the disgruntled former MVP who has drawn heavy trade interest from around the league.

"We never put a timetable on this," King said. "The only timetable I'll put on this is to make the best decision for this franchise for the long haul."

King said he's received calls from all but two other teams in the league, and they're each interested in either acquiring Iverson or acting as a facilitator for a deal.

King said it could take three or four teams to make a trade for Iverson, who is averaging 31.2 points per game.

ELSEWHERE

Hornets: Guard Peja Stojakovic had lower back surgery yesterday, and the team gave no timetable for his return. Stojakovic, a three-time All-Star who has missed nine games, had a disc fragment removed. He initially was diagnosed with back spasms.