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Marcin Gortat suggests NBA allow in-game player fights

Mar 10, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT

Marcin Gortat; DeMar DeRozan

Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat, in a Q&A with Kyle Weidie at TrueHoop, was asked which NBA rules he’d change:

I would say I would loosen up a little bit the rules about the fighting fines. That’s what I would loosen up. Because today you go to an ice hockey game, and the one thing they’re waiting for is a fight, you know what I’m saying? So if they could set it up something like that in the NBA. That if there are two guys and they have a problem, if they could just separate everybody. And these two people that have problem, if they could fight …

During the game?

During the game. Quick, 15-20 seconds, throw few punches, then referees jump in and break this thing up. I think the game … these two guys, they resolved their problem. They’re both suspended and they’re leaving. But end of the day, they fix the problem between each other, fans are super excited, and I think that would be a pretty cool idea [chuckles].

Of course Gortat wants to allow fighting. Dude is nicknamed “Hammer.”

In the same interview, he said, if he weren’t playing basketball, he’d be a boxer or a bouncer or something else that involves body-building. Yup, this guy wants to fight.

Everyone else? Not so much.

Fighting is a problem hockey should address, not encourage. Players get seriously hurt over something that has nothing to do with the sport, and that’s a shame. There are two reasons hockey has gotten away with fighting for so long.

1. The NHL has a higher proportion of white players than the NBA, and viewers and advertisers are more critical when players in the NBA – a league with a higher proportion of black players – fight. That doesn’t make the double standard right, but the NBA is certainly in no rush to test the racial limits of this country by throwing away money.

2. Hockey is more of a niche sport and operates further on the margins than basketball. The NHL can just take more chances.

The NHL is much closer to banning fighting than the NBA is to allowing it. Sorry, Marcin. You’ll have to save your punches for your second career as a boxer or bouncer.

Oh, wait. He actually wants his next job to be Poland’s president. Check out the rest of the interview for more, um, interesting thoughts from Gortat.

  1. alexb1234 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    ron artest ruined fighting in the NBA, every now and then there’d be a good fight the guys would get suspended and everybody would move on. Now if there’s a fight guys are called thugs or the N word and the NBA gets a “black eye” but in hockey it’s ok and encouraged…..

    • shuttaman1990 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      The imbecile who threw that drink at ron ruined it. Aka the fans.

      • reesesteel23 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        ^ This

    • brookwell2013 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      Gortat is a moron.

      • stayhigh_247 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        this is the dumbest thing i’ve heard suggested about the nba yet. hockey is hockey, but to see 2 dudes that can’t fight throwing air punches in an nba game is ridiculous. play your game, if you shut people down, then shut his ass down, if you score, light him up for 40 but I don’t want to see fights. have you seen nba fights? they are the most sissy looking bouts you’ve ever seen. dudes pretending like they want to get at somebody, punching the air, its laughable. Then theres guys like David West, Ron Ron, Steven Jackson (when he played) I don’t wanna see them hurt somebody, those dudes are loose canons. bad idea Gortat!

  2. ningenito78 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Love it!

  3. legend30 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    J.R. Smith vs. Tyson Chandler … Only the Knicks would the players agree to fight each other. Also why not bring out James Dolan to the court, and allow him to pick any Knicks fan to fight with.

    *Somewhere Metta World Peace is upset that the Knicks released him*

    • money2long - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Players fight in practice more than you know it

  4. pharohislife - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    If this did happen everybody would see that despite Lebron’s size he’s never fought in his life. And Blake Griffin would stop showing up to games alot of players have beef with him, and he’s terrified of Demarcus Cousins.

    • jerdogthompson - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      Hope you realize BG trains with MMA fighters, yeah he’s a real pansy.

      Terrified of DM? What proof of that do you have? None, that’s what I thought.

      • chunkala - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        And you’re proof – none, just a statement.
        It’s your comment, so provide a link. Griffin may train with MMA guys but that doesn’t mean he’s learning armbars.
        Another example would be if a guy works out with a heavy bag. But remember heavy bags don’t hit back.
        It’s pretty safe to say only a few NBA players could throw a real punch anyway.

    • bizmarks12 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Cousins would EAT blake griffin ALIVE! LOL Griffin really looks like a punk and Chris Paul looks like a peanut.

    • reesesteel23 - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Regardless Both of those guys would whoop Your ***…so….what now?

  5. andreboy1 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    this would be awesome. would have loved to see KG backing down from guys like Gortat.

    • pharohislife - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Wouldn’t happen.

      • sire2334 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Yes it would…Gortat isnt some lanky guy just thowing his arms around. He’s a military trained fighter and KG would be well advised to just let whatever the problem go. lol.

      • pharohislife - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        So now its to my understanding that it wouldn’t just be KG backing down but almost ANY player given @sire2334 statements, or was the reason why you chose to mention KG, such as the public perception that he’s a “Fake Tough Guy” (which is the wrong perception)…If so there are alot more real “Fake Tough Guys” than Kevin Garnett.

    • nycalldayz - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      I would love to see step up KG or anyone. Guess what? It will never happen, because you’re an internet tough guy.

      • andreboy1 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        How am I an internet tough guy? I never said I would fight anyone did I? Great reading comprehension. Keep spelling “days” with a Z at the end, loser.

    • nycalldayz - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I can see I struck a nerve with you. Reading your comments I can tell you’re a internet tough guy. I’m sure your friends think you’re soft too. I’m shocked you can comprehend a sentence.

      • bkbell3 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:20 AM

        My man,no one is tough anymore,just willing. Willing to pop a cap in someone’s ass. Nobody just fights anymore and wins or loses and walks away. A 13 year old girl is as tough as anyone of us if she is willing to walk up and pull a trigger. Also KG is a fake tough guy. You never see him get up in the face of anyone who is his size, only smaller guys. Me i’m old and have replacement parts. I don’t care who I can beat in a fight. I don’t mess with other people and if someone would mess with me for no reason i have 2 things that still work good. I can still swing a baseball and my trigger finger still works Fighting in the nba is stupid for alot of reasons starting with rudy tomjohnavich and ending with the fans are just a few feet away(see indy. fight), in hockey the fans are behind walls.

    • pharohislife - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      @sire2334 Ok so you’re saying almost ANY player would back down from Gortat not just KG. Cmon man, why didn’t you make that clear from the Get-go.

      • sire2334 - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        My bad…lol

  6. cantonbound13 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    LeBron would quit if they ever allowed it.

    • reesesteel23 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Because he would be focusing on what’s at hand. Something tell me, the only people that would be fighting are the teams that have NO CHANCE IN HEYULL of making the playoffs

      See: New York Knicks

    • therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Not necessarily.

  7. bucrightoff - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    The only thing this article shows is the author knows little to nothing about hockey. You know why fighting in hockey is accepted and its not in basketball? Hint: Nothing to do with race.

    Fighting has been in hockey, like it or not, forever. Fighting has never been a part of basketball in any way, shape or form. To just all of a sudden have fighting in basketball would be random and arguably pointless. Whether you agree with the reasons for fighting in hockey, they hold some validity(protecting star players, retribution for a dirty play etc…). In basketball it would just be fighting for the sake of fighting. That’s the difference, intent, not race. Basketball, especially now, is less physical than ever. Fighting might have made sense in the 80s and 90s when basketball was very physical, but now where touching a guy is a foul? Pointless.

    • nycalldayz - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      There’s no need for fighting in any sport, but it happens.

      • sire2334 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        I get what you’re saying but have you been to just a court in the neighborhood? Cats fight over things said let alone being touched. When you have competition it breeds taunting which breeds hard feelings which breeds reaction.

      • bucrightoff - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        Of course there’s no need. But like it or not it serves a purpose in hockey. Same as there is no need to be putting one in a guys earhole like they do in baseball, but there is a purpose, like it or not. Fighting serves no purpose whatsoever in basketball other than just to fight. That’s why people would look at it in a bad light, not race.

      • calkinsrob - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        The same purpose would be served in basketball as in hockey. – to protect you players and to get rid of the fake tough guys. You cant say it serves a purpose in one sport and not another

      • sire2334 - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        @bucrightoff I dont know you but you’ve gotta be the biggest colorblind person (which is a great thing) in this country or extremely naive to think that race doesn’t play a part in it. It does. Hell Im black and it looks different to me when they fight in those sports. And to use an excuse that “it serves a purpose” is doesn’t cut it. There’s plenty of reasons one could want to fight in the NBA. Just because fouls aren’t as hard as they were doesn’t mean that they’re not hard.

      • borderline1988 - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        The race thing is idiotic, come on man, and you have to give me a better explanation than “I’m black, you’re white, you wouldn’t understand”.

        Basketball was rougher in the 1980s, and most people on this site seem to think that was a good thing. According to your logic, most Americans would have a harder time watching 1980s NBA basketball than today’s NBA because it’s harder to watch black people be rougher. Doesn’t your logic sound stupid when you turn it on its head?

        Fighting in hockey/basketball has nothing to do with race. That’s a presumption with literally zero evidence, but just sounds good to the masses.

        Come on, let’s think with our heads. Maybe fighting in basketball is less tolerated because there is no barrier between the fans and the court, and it’s really easy for fights to spill over into the stands (as opposed to hockey, or say, baseball)? Or maybe because fighting was part of hockey since Day 1, whereas it was never part of basketball and it would be dumb to add it in after the fact?

  8. jamesk2465 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    idk bout you guys but I wanna see David West fight someone

    • reesesteel23 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      David West vs. Udonis Halsem

      Patrick Beverly vs. Russell Westbrook

      Dwight Howard vs. Kobe LOL

  9. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    How is hockey a niche sport but the NBA is not? The US is ruled by football and then baseball- everything else is a distant third (hockey, NBA, MMA, etc.)–nhl.html

    • RavenzGunnerz - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      it’s niche sport that is confined to the northern parts of the united states. watch sportscenter, you will see none of that fighting nonsense…

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        “it’s niche sport that is confined to the northern parts of the united states”

        Erm… within the last 10 years, the Tampa Bay Lightening, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings have all won the Stanley Cup… the Kings and Lightening are also among the league leaders in attendance…

      • ss22703 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        I’m from DC and I can tell you that a lot more people go to and watch hockey here. We are a basketball town and no one cares about our team because they haven’t done anything since forever ago. Hockey has a smaller more regional audience (in that people in one city will watch all of their team’s games but they don’t watch nationally televised games for other teams) but it is more dedicated than most other sports when it comes to the active participation from those fans. Basketball has more people watch their national games, but interest is pretty low in most regions that don’t have a contending team. The NHL also has some teams in the non-northern markets that do pretty well. San Jose has a thriving team as do St. Louis and even Tampa. It’s more niche, but not in the way you make it out to be. It just has more of a white middle class to upper class fan base that is more regional in following. And sportcenter has pretty much always hated hockey, they don’t even spend thirty seconds on the sport in an hour of coverage, so you really shouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t spend 5 seconds of that 30 seconds of coverage on a fight.

      • thatsjustchipper - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        Hockey is the only major sport ESPN does not have an agreement to televise games, so of course they aren’t going to cover it. That would just drive up interest to tune into games over on rival NBC Sports. It sucks, but that’s business.

      • flyerspsu - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        Espn also doesnt have a contract with the NHL, hockey is growing like crazy, its still behind the NBA but every year it gets significantly bigger, ratings, money, and amount of people playing it around the world

        more than half the teams in NHL sell out more home games than not and have significantly better attendance than the nba

    • storminator16 - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      Preach on. I love both sports, but basketball fans are really ignorant of their place in the grand scheme of things. Note: both sports are on the same level, and hockey isn’t quite the niche sport. Ice hockey has been in the deep south for almost 50 years now.

      • brianjoates - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:22 PM

        In the grand scheme, soccer is number 1 globally with basketball being right up there. Why? Because of cost and ease of access to be able to play worldwide. We love football in America, but it is not beloved by others worldwide, others don’t get the rules and hate the constant starting and stopping , it’s boring if you didn’t grow up with it. Hockey is more inline with lacrosse as being a niche sport. Yes, hockey is currently more popular, but eventually lacrosse will surpass it in popularity, because again cost and being able to play easily.

        Hockey is a fun sport to attend a live game, but it also doesn’t translate well to a TV audience, whom might be giving it a try for the first time. Hockey is not going anywhere ever, but it is not going to leap frog any of the top sports in America, it is actually below Nascar, soccer and golf and that’s not including college football and basketball.

      • storminator16 - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:42 PM

        We can agree to disagree. You all can go back to gluing yourselves in front of ESPN all day.

  10. calkinsrob - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    The same purpose would be served in basketball as in hockey. – to protect your players and to get rid of the fake tough guys. You cant say it serves a purpose in one sport and not another. Wasnt the NBA losing ratings when the bad boy pistons and teams like riley’s knicks were straight up fighting. Some find it entertaining but I think overall it hurts ratings. So it will never be allowed.

    • flyerspsu - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      are you allowed to hit people as hard as you can while skating at insane speeds in basketball?

      do you carry around a wooden stick while you play basketball?

      no? ok then its completely different, it would surely reveal the fake tough guys and would add an interesting element but it makes no sense in basketball while it makes perfect sense in hockey (99% of nhl players are in favor it)

      • calkinsrob - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        Im not a big follower of hockey, is that truly why they allow it? to prevent guys from just hacking away with their sticks? Im not sure I believe that. The could just not allow fighting at all and penalize for slashing like they already do. maybe back in the day they had issues with concussions from swings to the head, I dont know im not a big hockey fan. Im not for fighting I just was saying I think it would serve the same purpose in bball that it does hockey. and I still kind of feel the same. Im surprised I have more downvotes than upvotes.

      • bkbell3 - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        It’s still in hockey because the fans love it. You could use the same reasoning better for football as in protecting the quarterback but it’s still stupid to fight in any sport. Also the bad boys in Detroit were a joke just like the old goons were in hockey. In Detroit your not good enough or athletic enough to move your feet and play defense so you close line a guy who comes down the land or grab,hold and trip players, it was a joke and a wrestling match and boring. Just like goons in hockey didn’t have the speed and skill to stay with guys like Gretzky so they hooked him and held and grabbed him etc. and it was killing the game. I think they have gone a little over board in the nba but guys are so big and fast and high flying and you pay guys so much money you can’t have it be as physical and in the past.

  11. katra2logic - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Fighting in hockey is moronic and would be even dumber for BBall. If you want to see dimwits punching each other out, tune into a boxing match or the UFC. Notice a hockey game does not break out in the middle of those events 😉

  12. chucknorrissinspiration - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Gortat just moved up to being my 3rd favorite player behind Duncan and durrant. Think I might buy his jersey now as well.

  13. davidly - Mar 10, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    The torrent of latent homoerotic fantasy that this thread let loose is amusingly predictable.

  14. mtheparrothead - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Wow the lack of knowledge regarding fighting in hockey is amazing. It’s allowed in hockey because letting two men air their grievances with their fists is a way to prevent players from airing them with sticks. Introduce hockey sticks to basketball and then the logic is comparable.

  15. zickhead - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Haha Gortat’s awesome. I think the Grizzles would be the team everyone would be afraid of with Z Bo and Allen, followed by West, Cousions and the Polish Hammer.

    • borderline1988 - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      You have to include Ron Artest in that list. That guy is both strong and legitimately nuts.

      • zickhead - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        True, completely forgot about him.

  16. brianjoates - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Fans can’t get involved in a hockey fight nor can it spill into the stands with the possibility of injuring a paying spectator.

    Basketball is a game of skill, there is no need for fighting. Sure you have tough guys who play hard and physical, nothing wrong with physically trying to dominate another player within the rules of the game. David west is a great player,really like his game,but he is not there to fight anyone. Allowing fist fights would ruin basketball, guys like LeBron and kd would be attacked every game. They would get kicked out and now you have short changed the fans of seeing basketball played at its highest skill set. Jordan and pippen hated the pistons, the bad boys were terrible for the game. They actually tried to injure guys.

  17. flyerspsu - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    interesting idea and you would get a lot clearer picture of who the real men are but it doesnt make sense in basketball and only works and makes sense in hockey

  18. thatsjustchipper - Mar 10, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Also, does anyone realize how much harder it is to fight on skates on an ice rink? With stable footing, like a basketball court, you could really get a lot more weight behind those haymakers and more accuracy as well. BAAADDDDD idea.

  19. trickybastard - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Too bad NBA players are pussies

  20. titansbro - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    I hate the NBA but I saw this headline & now Gortat is my favorite player. And FU to the writer of this article who clearly knows nothing about hockey. You keep your flops & overblown whistles & I’ll keep watching a real mans sport. And no, the nhl is not close to banning fighting.

    • brianjoates - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM

      Thanks for the contribution. What’s the difference between figure skating and hockey? Is it the pads the men have to wear?

  21. indrathegod - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    So let me get this right:

    The PRIMARY (#1) reason that fighting is allowed in the NHL and not the NBA is because the majority of hockey players are white and most professional basketball players are black..? Thus making them look like the ‘barbarians’ they are portrayed to be and enticing White Americas belief that they are nothing but over-paid thugs who happen to have talent?

    Please, please, tell me you are really not that ignorant and bigoted.

    • jusdre313 - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      @indrathegod.. You dont think this is accurate? For example, go back to the Richard Sherman comments after they beat the niners.. he was trash talking about crabtree & cap, what followed an outlash of him being called a thug etc etc.. he had no criminal history and he pointed it out that there was big brawl a few days prior to that in a hockey game and no one ever even mentioned it.

      its a BS racist double standard. point blank. the black athlete in America is treated differently than whites. im telling you fighitng in hockey is A ok now.. watch what would happen if a ton of black players joined the NHL.. they would banning fighting so fast lolol

  22. dinofrank60 - Mar 11, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    That thump you hear was Adam Silver fainting at his desk in New York.

    Meanwhile, the loser of the fight will go to the locker room and get a… that’s messy. Waiting outside the locker room or underneath the arena or by the team bus… Bad idea!!!

  23. eugenesaxe1 - Mar 11, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    The league SHOULD allow fighting. In fact, they should take the guys involved, toss them from the game, then FORCE them to fight. Then we’d get to see how big a pansy some of these so-called tough guys are.

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