Friday, January 20, 2006

Antonio Davis

At first, I thought Antonio Davis was a hero for going into the stands to protect his wife, and that the NBA would be foolish to punish him.

However, as I thought about it, I realized that Davis could have gotten himself into big trouble. He painted a large target on his back, just asking for a fan to throw a punch. Also, this was shortly after a heated fistfight on the court between players, much like the start of the Artest thing a year ago.

Players need to be aware that if there is a problem, the security and guest services staff at the arena will take care of things. We keep an eye on the crowd, and if anything seems unusual, we watch closely. If you see something happening, grab someone from security. They'll go get it. That's their job. Your job is to play basketball, and ignore the stands.

Do I think he deserved a five game suspension? No. 1-2 would have sent the message.

Also, the story about what was going on in the stands is coming out, and what hapopened depends on who you ask.

We'll start ladies first, from the Chicago Sun-Times:

New York Knicks forward Antonio Davis said his wife, Kendra, was physically assaulted Wednesday at the United Center, and that was the reason he waded into the stands.

''First of all, the guy did swing at her and did grab her,'' Davis, who was hit with a five-game suspension, said Thursday on Sporting News Radio. ''My wife said the guy was rude and all that, and that's understandable. You can't control what a guy is saying.

''But when it becomes a physical matter where someone is placing his hands on my wife, then that's a whole [different] matter.

''I think there was an usher, a security guard, that came down and said something to him. And then someone else jumped into the conversation and began to call my wife names and came over and, I think, grabbed her, from what my understanding is.''

And, now for the Gentleman, from the Seattle Times:

Michael Axelrod, the 22-year-old fan that Davis confronted, said he did nothing wrong — and he plans to file a $1 million battery and slander suit against Davis and his wife, Kendra. Axelrod said Kendra Davis tried to scratch him after he protested a call. He said he never laid a hand on her and he was not drunk, as the Knicks forward contended.


"Once the ref blows his whistle, I yell out, 'That's a terrible call,' and then I start booing with everybody else," Axelrod said.

"She gets in my face and says, 'These are his kids. Shut your ... mouth,' " said Axelrod.

"She has her finger on me, on my cheek. She was digging her finger in. I thought she might start scratching me," Axelrod said. "I say, 'Get your hands off me. Don't touch me, I'm trying to watch the game.' "

He said she then started rubbing his cheek and mocking him, saying, " 'I'm not touching you. It's OK, baby.' "

"I felt like hitting her, but you can't — she's a woman," he said

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