By now, you’ve probably heard about the Pacers fight. Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner got into a bit of a brouhaha before Game 1 of their first round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks. Kind of a kerfuffle, if you will. Much ado about fighting, perhaps. A heaping helping of hubbub. …sorry. The fight was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
On the eve of this Eastern Conference series, the wobbling No. 1 seed punctuated its final playoff preparations in a most self-destructive way: Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson.
Turner hadn’t been the first Pacer to lose his temper with Stephenson these tumultuous several weeks, and Stephenson’s relentlessly irritable nature suggests Turner won’t be the last. These scrapes aren’t uncommon in the NBA, but this confrontation had been weeks in the making and that reflected in the ferocity of the encounter, sources told Yahoo Sports.
“This stuff happens, but the timing wasn’t ideal,” one witness told Yahoo Sports.
Right. It happens, and we all know it. The classic example of fisticuffs between teammates is Steve Kerr “landing a punch” on Michael Jordan; more recently, there was the fun story of the fight that broke out between Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo over a game of cards. As the unnamed eyewitness said, the timing probably could have been better — the fight between Kerr and Jordan, for instance, occurred in training camp — but if Stephenson and Turner were at the point that they felt they needed to come to blows, so be it. I prefer a diplomatic approach, but it’s probably better for the two to let their emotions out than to keep them bottled up.
On the other hand, maybe there wasn’t even a fight in the first place. That’s David West’s perspective, according to multiple reports today.
The altercation between Stephenson & Turner on Friday was nothing in the view of David West. "It's not uncommon, it wasn't even a fight."
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) April 23, 2014
Asked who won a recent reported scuffle between Lance & Turner (first reported by @WojYahooNBA) Paul George smiled. "The Pacers," he said.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) April 23, 2014
Not surprised David West defines a fight differently than the rest of us.
— Tom Lewis (@IndyCornrows) April 23, 2014
No, in fact, it’s not surprising at all. An exhaustive list of events that West considers fights:
- The Battles of Kawanakajima, which raged off and on for over a decade between two evenly matched forces whose strengths and weaknesses were in perfect alignment, led by generals familiar with each other, their own troops, and those of their opponent. Those two generals, Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen, would meet in a one-on-one fight that’s become the stuff of legend.
- The eternal struggle between matter and antimatter. Spoiler: David West wins, which is why the universe exists in the first place.
- John L. Sullivan vs. Jake Kilrain, a boxing match that lasted for 75 rounds. Yeah. Seventy-five rounds of guys just beating the hell out of each other, almost certainly drunk to withstand the pain, because the only other explanation is that they were demigods who’d decided that mountain-climbing Olympus was for pansies and just wanted to see how many punches it took to send one of them back to mortality.
That’s it. Nothing else comes close to qualifying as a fight to West. What Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner did was probably parliamentary procedure to a man who could fight the very concept of fighting. And I mean, sure, West is in a position where denying the fight is in his best interests, so maybe he’s being disingenuous. Maybe Stephenson and Turner (I would watch this sitcom, by the way) really did come to blows. But are you going to tell West he’s wrong?
I didn’t think so.