I just watched a hard fought game between the LA Sparks and Detroit Shock that ended in a real fight. The ending was horrible with three players and one coach ejected and, I’m sure, lots of unwelcome attention from the press which ordinarily completely ignores the WNBA. Gosh, maybe now even the New York Times will cover a game.
I was most shocked by Detroit Assistant Coach Mahorn, who is male and
well over 7ft tall 6ft 10inches, pushing over Lisa Leslie. He needs to be suspended for the rest of the season. You do not touch the opposing team’s players ever. Under any circumstances.
But mostly I blame the referees. There were several incidents leading up to the fight between Parker and Pierson. Cheryl Ford should’ve been T’d up. So should Coach Laimbeer. And Candace Parker. The officials let things get out of control. They let the nasty atmosphere boil over into violence. Can the refs be suspended for the rest of the season? I’d like to see that.
And now several players are going to be out for a bunch of games. Plenette Pierson, Candace Parker and Delisha Milton-Jones for sure and most likely Muriel Page and Deanna Nolan as well. Not to mention Cheryl Ford getting injured trying to keep Pierson from attacking more LA players.
I hate this crap. This is not why I follow the WNBA. If I want to watch people brawling I can watch the thugby (otherwise known as Rugby League) or the NBA. The New York Liberty plays the LA Sparks on Friday. It’s not going to be as good a game without Parker and Milton-Jones.
And all because the officials couldn’t put a lid on Laimbeer and Ford and Parker. When a coach is screaming abuse at you, when players have to be held back, when players are going after the ball long after the whistle is blown—T them up. And if they do it again—throw them out. As I saw tonight that aggressive nastiness spreads.
I really hope this is the WNBA’s first and last brawl.