I think it was about third grade at Llewellyn School when a bunch of us got into a little dispute about whether a line drive during the pre-school softball game landed fair or foul. Someone got a little bit physical about the whole thing and pushed another kid. That guy pushed back. Nobody quite knew what else to do so everybody started pushing everybody else.
I think there was a quick trip to the principal's office but not much else.
That's what the "brawl" in Indiana last night reminded me of at first glance. Roy Hibbert and David Lee got into a shoving match. A few other guys started shoving. The shoves ended up off the court. But not a punch was thrown. Players have figured out that punching is just something you can't do in the NBA any more. And that's fine. We're a civilized bunch these days. But all I'm saying is that wasn't a "brawl" -- as it's been characterized many places.
Heck, this little fight between Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal wasn't even a brawl. Although it was a pretty entertaining quick fight as Shaq fires a straight left at Chuck, who retaliates with a good, old-fashioned double-leg takedown, landing on top of O'Neal. (So when you see Barkley teasing Shaq on TNT some nights, you'll kind of understand there's a little underlying edge there from the old days.)