With Adam Silver taking over for David Stern as commissioner of the NBA, the conversation about discussing rule changes and adjustments to make the league better has really gotten going. We've had suggestions of a four-point line, widening the court, shortening the season, and various other ideas to hopefully improve a league that is doing pretty well right now.
Silver probably won't be picking Marcin Gortat's brain any time soon on the matter though. The Washington Wizards' center did a Q&A with Kyle Weidie of TruthAboutIt.net on ESPN.com and said he'd like brief fighting allowed into the NBA game. It would be something along the lines of what is allowed in the NHL. From TrueHoop:
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].
You'd need bigger refs. You couldn't have Dick Bavetta out there.
At some point when the referees jump in, then you'd have to stop. You'd have to stop. So I think that would be a great idea, just like the ice hockey fans waiting for that, that's would NBA fans would get into, as well.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is unlikely to even reach the commissioner's desk or iPad. It seems like Gortat may have been describing it in jest a little bit, but he also seemed to have the idea pretty fleshed out for someone on the spot. At nearly seven feet tall and roughly 250 lbs. it's unlikely many people would want to get into a tussle with Gortat. Maybe he has a few guys he feels he needs to resolve issues with on the court and that's why he's suggesting it?
Regardless of the reason, it's a semi-entertaining idea that has the potential for a big disaster with the fight spilling into the stands. We've seen that kind of thing happen multiple times in NBA history and the league isn't going to risk that again. If only they could handle it like they did years ago when Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone became professional wrestlers for a brief moment, we could get that aggression out.