Pheonix – Houston NBA Brawl


Via ClutchFans, here’s video of last night’s shoving match. As you’ll see, Suns forward Matt Barnes starts it up by popping Rockets guard Rafer Alston in the grill, and all the big names — Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash, Yao Ming, Shaquille O’Neal — get involved from there.

After coaches and officials separated the gang, the referees huddled and decided to eject Alston and Barnes with double technicals. McGrady, Nash and O’Neal all drew technical fouls. Here’s what they’re saying out in the ether about the mess …

Dime: “Replace the key participants with some other players around the League, or replace the two teams altogether, and last night’s Rockets/Suns ‘brawl’ could have been much, much worse. […] We heard Ron Artest was gonna get involved, but the chip David Stern had implanted in 2004 activated and temporarily paralyzed him. (The same thing happened when Stephen Jackson was watching the fight on TV and started to jump up off the couch.) Put the blame on Barnes for this one.”

FanHouse: “Matt Barnes talked about what happened and why he got things started by making sure he fought extra-hard through that screen. ‘I tried to get through a screen, and I guess I was too rough for him, so he tried to retaliate,’ Barnes said. ‘It was just a bunch of pushing, I didn’t think anyone should have gotten thrown out because there were no punches thrown. But the refs did what they thought was necessary.’ When asked if that might have been retaliation for a hard screen the Rockets gave to Steve Nash, Barnes didn’t say anything that would contradict that assertion. ‘Yeah, they hit us with a couple of hard screens, so … they’re not going to screen me hard, so I ran through a screen, and he didn’t like it,’ Barnes said.”

ClutchFans: “Steve Nash came flying in towards Rafer, and Tracy McGrady stopped him then threw him like a rag doll to the floor. Shaquille O’Neal entered the picture to play ‘peacemaker’ (cough) by McGrady, Yao and Rafer from behind. I love too how Suns coach Terry Porter isn’t seen running over until Nash falls down. You can imagine what’s going through his head … ‘Barnes? Meh. Wait, Nash?! Get in there!'”

With Leather: “A lot of people are crediting the coaches and refs for keeping this under control, but I’d like to think that the soothing influence of Ron Artest had something to do with it as well.”

Bright Side of the Sun: “I understand Barnes and Alston getting the boot. I also understand Nash and Shaq receiving the technicals. What I don’t understand is, after throwing Nash to the floor, how T-Mac escaped with merely a technical foul. He seemed to be doing the most shoving of anyone on the floor. Maybe it’s just me, or did anyone else think T-Mac should have gotten the boot as well?”

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