Not since Jackie Moon defused an explosive situation on a team bus between Ed Monix and Downtown “Funky Stuff” Malone has roundball witnessed such tension between two teammates as the Iowa Energy did on Tuesday night.
The referees ejected forward Jarnell Stokes and guard Kalin Lucas for fighting during a timeout in the third quarter of an NBA Development League game. Did Stokes call Lucas a “jive turkey” or something?
The basketball huddle quickly turned into a rugby scrum. The players whaled on each other, with the melee leaving Lucas bloody, the referees pining for the professionalism of jayvee basketball games, a child wandering on the court confused, and fans confused why a child would be wandering on the court. The Rio Grande Valley, heeding Napoleon’s advice to “never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake,” left well enough alone as spectators.
Nothing says “D-league” louder than punching your teammate in the face.
Both players, who’ve seen limited time with parent club the Memphis Grizzlies, enjoyed excellent performances up until the point when they fouled one another. Lucas posted an 18-point, five-rebound, and five-assist night while Stokes tallied 16 points and eight rebounds. The Iowa Energy ultimately triumphed 124-120.
If only the pugilistic players grasped the first rule of basketball: E.L.E.–everybody love everybody.