FIBA announced its punishment for the Greece-Serbia brawl today and it appears our boy Nenad Krstic has gotten off relatively easy. He was handed a three-game ban, with a fine that comes to about $44,000.
The other three involved got two games with no fine.
I’d say it’s a pretty fair punishment in the sense that Krstic got more than everyone else, plus this doesn’t prevent him from playing in the World Championships. While the fight was definitely a bad thing, it wasn’t THAT bad. Other than toss the chair at the end, Krstic didn’t do anything worse than others. I’m not justifying by any means because the fight was embarrassing for Krstic, his country and the Thunder, but it’s not something that should warrant a massive suspension. I saw some calling for a year ban for Krstic which is just ridiculous. Three games is pretty light, but FIBA hasn’t historically come down that hard on these type of things.
Fights happen a lot in Europe. I remember a game between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos being canceled because of fear for fan rioting and player fighting. Baseball brawls, hockey fights, basketball pushing contests… it’s nothing all that new. If you look back at the 1970’s and 80’s in the NBA, there were fights darn near every game. Players like Larry Bird, Dr. J, Magic Johnson – they all fought.
So in the end, Krstic gets a punishment that pretty much fits the crime. He still gets to play at least two games and he’s a little lighter in the wallet.