Carmelo Anthony Was 'Shocked' Chris Paul Only Received a 2-Game Suspension

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2018

Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony (7) hugs the ball before the start of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The NBA came down relatively lightly in its punishments for Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul following their skirmish Saturday night.

Count Carmelo Anthony among the surprised.

"I'm actually a little shocked at the number of games that they are missing," Anthony told reporters following Sunday night's 115-112 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

"It actually works in our favor to be honest with you," he continued. "I have seen it go 10-15 games before—I was the culprit of that years ago. But to see CP—I don't want to be speaking on CP—but to see CP only get two games ... I didn't know what to expect to be honest.

"Nothing surprises me with the NBA anymore; nothing surprises me. So for him to only get two games is good."

Anthony has firsthand experience that likely informed his opinion. He was suspended 15 games for his role in a 2006 fight while he was a member of the Denver Nuggets.

The circumstances behind Anthony's lengthy suspension were a little different. That brawl came just two years after the Malice at the Palace. The pressure to send a message to players was higher at that point, and the Nuggets-Knicks fight involved more players and more landed punches.

NBA VP of Basketball Operations Kiki Vandeweghe told ESPN that Ingram likely avoided a longer suspension because his punch missed. The fight began when Rondo allegedly spit in Paul's face.

"I talked to [Chris] before the game, checking in on him to check he was good," Anthony said. "His spirits were up; nobody wants to be suspended. I think we all know how much of a competitor he is, and to be here missing this game against the Clippers after coming off a big game last night, I am sure he is disappointed. In life things happen; you got to adjust to it."

The Rockets, 1-2 following their loss to the Clippers, are in danger of dropping to 1-3 to start the season with Paul forced to sit out Wednesday's game against the Utah Jazz.