Recent fight decisions, by commissioner (Lawrence) O'Brien of the NBA, seem to castigate only the last pin left standing. A fight requirers participation by two or more persons. There is generally provocation and response . . . the commissioner appears to have overlooked these truisms.
Kevin Kunnert and Kermit Washington should have been reprimanded because of their participation in a fight during a recently played basketball game. The action of Rudy Tomjanovich remains undetermined because as he approached from behind Kermit, on the run, Kermit turned and punched him. Kermit states that he sought only to protect himself from a reawarded assault. Rudy says he was only attempting to break up the fight.Actually, when Mr. Kunnert had been knocked down, the fight was over and the officials were moving in to assure that there would be no further fighting . . . Mr. Tomjanovich's help was not required and served only to get him punched.
If there is no existing ruling which would serve to fine interference by players, one should be developed. This would have served as a mechanism to protect Mr. Tomjanovich from injury.
Decisions of fault are not easily obtainable. An investigation of the circumstances should have been the commissioner's basis for determining guilt and punishment. The commissioner's actions have succeeded in threats of multiple suits by all parties as well as ridiculous accusations by the Houston management, which only seeks to undermine the sport, the business, and the attitude of current and future participants. The commissioner's action does not mete out justice and equal discipline and does not serve as an example of good management expected from his office.