Marcin Gortat is one of the NBA’s top personalities. He is usually good for a quote, and keeps a fun Twitter feed. So when Kyle Weidie decided to interview the Polish Machine for ESPN, there were bound to be some good snippets.
One of the more interesting exchanges to come from the piece was Gortat’s stance on fighting in the NBA. He would like to see the league loosen up the rules and let guys go at each other for 15-20 seconds, much like in hockey.
I would say I would loosen up a little bit the rules about the fighting fines .… And these two people that have problem, if they could fight …
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].
It’s an interesting idea, but improbable. The league will forever be marred by Kermit Washington’s punch heard ’round the world, and has worked since the 70s to ensure nothing like that happens again. Beyond that, hockey players have a code that if two guys are fighting, they’re left alone. This means NBA guys would have to step back and let their enforcers go to work, and nobody could jump in.
Gortat envisions the rules playing out like the NHL where refs can jump in and separate players, while individuals still get to settle differences.
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.
Again, it’s food for thought. But it’s hard to envision the league simultaneously having ticky-tack hand check rules while allowing guys to wail on each other for a minute before getting ejected.