Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Brawl (as it may come to be known)

If you didn't catch it, here is some links and reaction from no doubt the biggest news story in the WNBA this season and perhaps its history. It just so happens to be the kind of publicity this league never wanted or imagined it would have to deal with. The brawl that broke out in the final 4.6 seconds of the Los Angeles Sparks' 84-81 win over the Detroit Shock Tuesday will most likely produce fines and suspensions for several players, including Candace Parker, Plenette Pierson and Shock assistant Rick Mahorn. I didn't catch the game last night, but I have poured over some footage, including this from ESPN News, some extended footage from the actual game that includes an interview with Lise Leslie around the 4-minute mark and another few minutes of replays and commentary.

The Sparks were scheduled to have practice at Mohegan Sun Arena later this evening in preparation for their game with the Sun tomorrow night, so check back here for more info from their perspective. But here are a few things we (kind of) know from the fracas:

(1) Parker and Pierson seem pegged from some type of disciplinary action. If that affects Parker's status for Thursday's game is unclear. Rick Mahorn, who appears to push Lisa Leslie, and DeLisha Milton-Jones, who punched Mahorn in the back in retaliation, may also receive some type of fine, suspension or mixture of the two. As far as I know, the league has never had to deal with something like this, so it will be interesting to see how quickly they respond.

(2) Cheryl Ford left the court in a wheelchair after apparently spraining her right knee trying to restrain Pierson from the fight. The AP story doesn't give any more details after that on her condition, though it includes a blow-by-blow of the fight.

(3) The Palace, home of the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl of 2004 that Mahorn was also involved in, may start to get a rep. Here's another take from Detroit's local media.

As far as I can recall, nor has anyone written as such, this is unprecedented for the WNBA or women's basketball. If you can recall a similar situation, albeit international play, college or pro ball, post it in the comments.

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