December 16, 2006: The New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets engage in the worst brawl since the Malice in the Palace
A game that was seemingly heading into a blowout loss for the Knicks turned into one of the most infamous days in team history. With 1:15 left in the game and the Nuggets up 19, Knick rookie Mardy Collins flagrantly fouled future Knicks JR Smith by the neck as he was driving to the hoop for a dunk.
Both players shoved each other and Nate Robinson further instigated the brawl by shoving and tackling JR Smith. Various players went to separate both JR and Nate including Jared Jeffries and future Knick Carmelo Anthony.
Melo inexplicably decided to punch Mardy Collins and ran away from him as both Jared Jeffries & Collins both ran up to half court to confront him. Unlike the Malice in the Palace, the altercation didn’t involve fan interaction. However, the refs ejected all 10 players on the court in an unprecedented move.
In the aftermath of the brawl, Nate Robinson received a 10 game suspension for instigating the fight. Mardy Collins received a 6 game suspension for the foul by the neck and Jared Jeffries received a 4 game suspension for chasing Carmelo Anthony. Jerome James received a 1 game suspension for leaving the bench.
The NBA suspended Carmelo Anthony 15 games for reigniting the brawl with the punch. The NBA suspended JR Smith 10 games for tussling with Nate Robinson.
Despite the player suspensions, the NBA decided not to suspend either Isiah Thomas or George Karl for their roles in the fight. The NBA briefly investigated Isiah for a potential role in triggering the fight. Isiah supposedly warned Melo not to go into the paint. However, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to suspend him. Several outlets also criticized Karl for leaving his star players in the game during a blowout.
This was one of the last significant brawls that involved multiple punches and lengthy suspensions.1 The melee further exposed the chaos around the Knicks and Nate Robinson’s relative lack of maturity that haunted him throughout his NBA career. However, Carmelo Anthony & JR Smith faced significant repercussions after the brawl. The brawl pained a negative image onto Melo and it took many years for him to shed that negative depiction of him. For JR Smith, the brawl further cemented his reputation as a headcase in the league.
December 16th 1993: Patrick Ewing becomes the Knicks All-Time Leading Scorer
Patrick Ewing had a double double with 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Knicks past the Los Angeles Lakers 108-85. Ewing became the Knicks all-time leading scorer and past Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s record of 14,617 points.
Ewing ended up with 23,665 points as a New York Knick. To put that number in perspective, Allan Houston scored 11,165 points in just over 8 seasons as a Knick. Carmelo Anthony scored 10,186 points in nearly 6+ seasons as a Knick.
It’s fair to say that any current Knick would need to remain with the team for more than 15 years to come remotely close to reaching Ewing’s scoring record.
Knicks Film School Historian, amongst other things