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.