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Thomas and Haywood fight, Thomas suspended for two games

No.  Not again.

"Washington Wizards centers Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas were involved in a fight during practice yesterday, marking at least the third time over the last two seasons that the two have traded punches.

Late last evening, the team suspended Thomas two games for "conduct detrimental to the team."

The Post goes on to describe the moment.

The two were jostling for position near the basket at one end of the court, the source said, when one of Haywood's elbows connected with Thomas. Play then went to the other end where Thomas, who believed the elbow was intentional, shouted at Haywood and threw a punch. Haywood responded with punches of his own and the two continued to trade blows until coaches and teammates broke them up.

Haywood declined to comment, but Thomas didn't, spewing venom in the direction of Haywood.

 "This entire situation is ridiculous," Thomas said. "He throws a cheap shot at me -- not at the opponent during a game -- but at me in practice and I reacted. Why on earth would he throw an elbow at his own teammate? Save that for Tyson Chandler or Eddy Curry. Kwame Brown would be more than happy to trade blows with him. I know the difference between an accident and a cheap shot."

He wasn't finished.

"Well," Thomas continued, "whatever the reason, the bottom line is, I'm not putting up with any garbage from Brendan Todd Haywood. Period. I don't like having these altercations with him and really am upset with myself for allowing him to get a reaction out of me, but he needs to know that certain actions are unacceptable."

I guess I've become less surprised that Haywood and Thomas don't get along over the course of the season.  Their personalities clash like no other.  Haywood comes across as the real goofball of the group; the guy who'll needle you and, without knowing it, may even offend you.  Thomas comes across as the ultra serious guy, the guy who'll take anything personally.  So naturally, they don't get along sometimes.

Last time this happened, I put most of the blame on Haywood.  This time, it's all on Thomas.  I know Haywood was upset about the San Antonio game, but do you really think he would throw a cheap shot in practice?  Somehow, I don't think that's what he had in mind.  And besides, can't you just let it go?  Everyone was pissed after the Spurs game, and different people deal with their anger in different ways.  There's no need to throw a fit over another's inadvertent expression of anger.  The good thing to do was to go up to him, resolve it quickly, and move on.  Somehow, I don't think Haywood would have fought with Thomas if Etan didn't throw the first punch.

Last time a fight happened, I put an open thread up for potential Haywood trade possibilities.  Now, I'll do the same for Thomas.  Remember the trade proposal primer, and remember that Thomas' salary is around the same as Haywood's.  I doubt Etan will go anywhere, but let's make this fun.

Update [2007-2-10 22:9:14 by Pradamaster]:: Ivan Carter blogged about the incident today, and will have more later. The biggest news was that Eddie Jordan seems absolutely sick about this feud, but Carter said this about trade possibilities (which I agree with, but it shouldn't stop the fun).

"I don't see Ernie moving either player. Here's why: Brendan is playing some of the best ball of his career, he's 26 and he carries a very agreeable contract. It would be impossible to get equal value. Moving Etan would be difficult because his contract calls fo $6.3 mill next season, $6.8 mill in 2008/2009 and $ 7.3 mill in 2009/2010. I don't see any teams taking on that kind of contract for a guy who has missed a ton of games with various injuries the last three seasons, is averaging 6.0 points and 5.6 rebounds and has been in several scraps with a teammate (I'm not choosing sides here and personally believe that both players are responsible but you have to think that other GMs will consider these incidents when talking trade with Ernie)."

Still, for our intensive purposes, let's keep thinking up possibilities.