Isiah Thomas and the Knicks are the big losers after the latest brawl • Yao Ming, a go-to guy at last • A star's trade doesn't always lead to a ring
Happy Jays are here again in Toronto, thanks to an extension for Vernon Wells • One of the game's most complete first basemen retires
Colston, Ryans, Taylor and Tomlinson top SI's year-end awards • Second-rounders who have hit it big • Dr. Z's forecast: Dallas locks up the NFC East
Former NBA coach Jeff Bzdelik is piloting Air Force to new heights • Alabama star rebounds from tragedy • Ohio State offense adjusts to Oden
Two elite defensemen power Ducks to the top of the league • This Canuck is the ultimate All-Star underdog • Flyers' new coach is team's lone bright spot
THE START OF SOMETHING BIG
The Knicks and the Nuggets face off at the beginning of what turned into a brawl last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden (page 138). New York's Mardy Collins (25) sparked the confrontation by hauling down J.R. Smith (restrained by ref), then Knick Nate Robinson (black arm wrap) and Nugget Carmelo Anthony (to Smith's right) took the fight to the next level. Fines and suspensions were meted out by the NBA on Monday, with Anthony (15-game suspension) getting hit the hardest.
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Photograph by Andrew Gombert