Bread City Basketball


It’s the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and the Knicks are rocking black sneakers for good luck. This is their shot. 1994: the year without Jordan. New York has to win now, while they can. Because whatever little fantasy MJ is living out at that moment – pretending to be a baseball player, Indian chief, astronaut, or whatever – they all know it won’t last.

And the Knicks are winning the series 2-0, when the scuffle breaks out between Derek Harper and Jo Jo English in Game 3. These teams hate one another. Pippen and Charles Smith had technical fouls before the game even started. Now the benches clear quick.

The fight goes down to the ground on some bad jiujitsu. Arms and legs everywhere. John Starks is about to throw a punch when Phil Jackson grabs him from behind. They both get tackled into the stands, and security bodies Starks up. Ewing and Pippen play the old hold me back, hold me back game. And Pat Riley’s not even mad until Derek Harper puts hands on coach’s suit.

But the best part? David Stern sits a few mere rows from the melee. He’s literally close enough to reach out and break up the fight himself, but he can’t move. The commissioner just stares, bug-eyed, into his own personal slow motion disaster reel, as both teams crush the heavy spenders sitting courtside.

New York went on to win the series in 7 games, and Jordan returned to basketball the following season.


Warmup windbreakers tearing, assistant coaches flying everywhere. Greg Anthony snuffs KJ, and still keeps his silk shirt fresh, pre-dress code. Starks does his signature fight move, a.k.a forehead-to-forehead trash talking. Even Rolando Blackman gets up off the bench looking for some, so you know it’s good.

At the time, Phoenix and New York were the two best teams in their respective divisions. The league handed out $160,000 in fines.

The brawl doesn’t really get going until the 4:00 minute mark, but it’s worth watching the fight-before-the-fight, if only to see how funny Danny Ainge looks when he’s mad.

Gotta love the clean deco lines on that 90s Suns court design.

August 14, 2007, 8:05 am
Filed under: Baseball, Bread City | Tags: , , ,

How many games back are we? We’re not just coming from your team now, Boston, we’re coming for each and every last one of your sandal-wearing fratboys. How many games back?

derek jeter gang sign


Overtime. Score deadlocked. Virginia basketball. 17 seconds on the clock in the biggest basketball game ever played in the brand new John Paul Jones arena. The Wahoo faithful are on their feet. The nine-game losing streak to the despised Duke Blue Devils is finally poised to end. With one second left, Cavalier superstar point guard Sean Singletary hits a falling one-handed floater over the outstretched arms of 6-foot-10 Duke forward Josh McRoberts. The arena explodes into mayhem and Singletary looks right at the camera, a moment that will be No. 1 on Sportscenter that night. There’s no hesitation in the stands. Everyone knows it’s time to rush the court for the first time in the arena’s history. As the buzzer sounds, we stream from the stairwells onto the hardwood; students, alumni and even adolescent kids pour onto the court at the John. It doesn’t matter who you’re next to – every fan is your best friend at that moment. Belting out the Good ‘Ole Song with thousands of orange-clad fanatics around you – that memory will never fade.

by Jeremy Root

Rushing the court