A lot of people are calling for some type of punishment for Isiah Thomas for ‘ordering’ the hard foul that started the Knicks/Nuggets brawl this weekend. While there is a lot of blame to go around, I think George Karl deserves some scrunity for this. There is bad blood between the Knicks (including Thomas) and Karl, and the Nuggets coach was obviously was trying to stick it to them a little bit. That’s fine, and maybe it was justified but once you decide to leave your best players on the court after the game was out of hand, you deal with the consequences.
The bottom line is that his top player is out 15 games and it wouldn’t have happened if he were on the bench where he should have been. If Lloyd Carr decides to leave Chad Henne and Michael Hart on the field late into the Illinois game next year and something happens on the field (injury, fight, suspension, whatever…) that causes them to miss a big game, I don’t care how or why it happened, it’s on Carr. Because Karl felt the need to turn the knife a little bit, he has to accept some of the responsibility for what happened while these guys were out on the court.