NEW YORK, December 18, 2006 – In response to the events at Saturday's game between the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets, Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement:

“The NBA and its players represent a game of extraordinary skill, athleticism and grace, and, for good or bad, set an example for the entire basketball world, on and off the court. On the positive side, there is our players’ passion for the game, engagement with our fans, commitment to their communities and respect for the history and tradition of the game. With respect to the negative, while we have worked diligently to eliminate fighting from our game, there are failures such as Saturday night at Madison Square Garden that demonstrate there is still more to be done.

“It is our obligation to take the strongest possible steps to avoid such failures in the future and to make a statement to all who follow the game of basketball that we understand our obligations and take them seriously. Accordingly, I am issuing the penalties listed below, and will take the occasion to set forth some of the considerations that have influenced my decision here and will continue to guide us as we seek to demonstrate our determination that the NBA and its players be viewed as standing for the best in sports.

“Among the considerations that influenced my decision:

“Teams will be held accountable for the actions of their employees – management and players alike.

“Players must take advantage of a break or pause in a heated situation to stop and restore order, instead of escalating the situation.

“Players must heed directions from referees and others who are trying to maintain order and not continue to put fans, referees and peacemakers in harm’s way.”

The suspensions and fines are below:
  • The Knicks and Nuggets organizations have each been fined $500,000 each as a result of the altercation.
  • Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony has been suspended for 15 games.
  • Knicks guard Nate Robinson has been suspended for 10 games.
  • Nuggets guard J.R. Smith has been suspended for 10 games.
  • Knicks guard Mardy Collins has been suspended for six games.
  • Knicks forward Jared Jeffries has been suspended for four games.
  • Knicks center Jerome James has been suspended for one game for leaving the bench during an on-court altercation.
  • Nuggets forward Nene has been suspended one game for leaving the bench during an on-court altercation.