Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony remembers 2006 NBA fight

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Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul and Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo and forward Brandon Ingram could receive multiple-game suspensions and fines for their involvement in an altercation during Saturday night’s game.

The last major fight in the NBA was almost 12 years ago, when current Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony received a 15-game suspension while playing for the Denver Nuggets.

“I got 15 games, and it was a tough time,” Anthony told ESPN’s The Undefeated. “You can’t go to the arena. You can’t go to the practice facility. It was a lot to deal with.”

Anthony was suspended 15 games for punching Knicks guard Mardy Collins during the Nuggets’ 123-100 blowout victory in New York on Dec. 16, 2006.8

Then-Knicks coach Isiah Thomas was angered by Nuggets coach George Karl, who appeared to keep Anthony in the game late to run up the score.

Thomas made a late sub in Collins, who soon after flagrantly fouled then-Nuggets guard JR Smith with 1:15 remaining and the Knicks down 119-100. During the ensuing altercation after Collins’ foul that included several players on both teams, Anthony punched Collins in the face and was ejected.

Anthony, the league’s leading scorer at the time, received a 15-game suspension from the NBA three days later. The Knicks and Nuggets organizations were both fined $500,000. Smith and Knicks guard Nate Robinson were suspended 10 games, Collins was suspended six, Knicks forward Jared Jeffries was suspended four games, and Knicks center Jerome James and Nuggets center Nene were suspended one game for leaving the bench.

Then-NBA commissioner David Stern said that his decision was influenced by a need for teams to be accountable for their actions, for players to maintain their cool instead of escalating the situation, and for the involved players’ refusal to maintain direction from the referees, thus putting the fans in harm’s way.

“It is our obligation to take the strongest possible steps to avoid such failures in the future and to make a statement to all who follow the game of basketball that we understand our obligations and take them seriously,” Stern said in a statement.