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L.A. Sparks’ Lisa Leslie and teammates brawl on the court

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Today WNBA officials reportedly are investigating the bench-clearing melee at The Palace of Auburn Hills, last night. It happened during the final seconds of the televised game between the L.A. Sparks and Detroit Shock.

It started when Sparks’ Candace Parker and Detroit’s Plenette Pierson got tangled up and tumbled to the hardwood. Parker and Pierson got into a scuffle. Players from both benches rushed over, among them Lisa Leslie.

That’s when Leslie was apparently pushed to the floor by Shock Assistant Coach, Rick Mahorn. Leslie was unharmed, however, a Shock player Cheryl Ford may have injured her knee in the fracas and was taken away in a wheelchair.

Now, I understand how tempers get hot in an aggressive game of hoops, even for the women.  So if a player or two throws a punch, pulls some hair or just screams and shouts I can handle that. The problem I have with this rumble is the involvement of the Shock assistant coach, a bear of a man, shoving Leslie. Hey dude, you’re supposed to be a calming force!

When the referees finally gained control of the situation, they ejected Rick Mahorn, Candace Parker, Delisha Milton-Jones, and Plenette Pierson.

I think Mahorn should be slapped with a heavy fine, suspension, and maybe even a ban from the league. I believe his actions stepped way over the line of professionalism. Also, what about that rule, a guy doesn’t push a girl?

By the way, the Sparks won the game 84-81.

A lot of comments, more than 150, about the fight and some photos at http://www.latimes.com

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