Remembering the Memphis Grizzlies’ brawl with the New York Knicks

Jae Crowder, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jae Crowder, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
Memphis Grizzlies
Jae Crowder, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks do not encounter each other often. Being in separate conferences, they’ll normally play each other once or twice on any given season. In 2020-21, they have not had a chance to compete against one another quite yet.

To find the last matchup between these teams, you’ll have to go back to the 2019-20 season, when the Knicks hosted the Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden before COVID-19 was a factor.

That said, there was other tension on the court during that game. After the Grizzlies had established an 18-point lead with under a minute left, the game was over. The Knicks would likely run down the court, hoist up a meaningless shot, and allow the Grizzlies to run the clock out.

Former Memphis Grizzlies F Jae Crowder competed to the last whistle

But this is where things get tricky. Former Grizzlies forward Jae Crowder didn’t let the Knicks walk the ball down the court. Instead, he snuck behind Elfrid Payton on the inbound and stole the ball. Not his shining moment, but something that the Knicks should have brushed off.

Crowder would run over to the corner to attempt a 3-pointer, only to be decked by Payton in the middle of his jump shot. The conversation as to whether or not Payton should have pushed him creates a slippery slope of a discussion. A reaction was warranted, but nothing violent should have happened.

Thankfully, Crowder would be okay, but he would get up and shove Payton back, beginning a brawl between both teams. Almost every player was involved, but only a few would earn suspensions as a result of the incident.

The entire fight can be seen below in a tweet from ESPN:

Obviously, Payton would be suspended for a game, but the Grizzlies actually got the worse end of this deal. After leaving the bench, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marko Guduric would each be given a single-game suspension.

Crowder would be fined $25,000, which, considering the circumstances, seems like a raw deal for him. Marcus Morris would also receive a fine, his being a total of $35,000.

Morris would also follow up this game with an interesting post-game interview. He said some offensive things about Crowder, including calling his play style “woman-like.” Here’s a clip from the interview tweeted by SportsCenter.

This interview was the cherry on the cake — a really bad tasting cake. Thankfully, both teams were able to move past this incident.

Morris and Crowder are no longer a part of their respective teams, but this game could still get chippy. Elfrid Payton remains on the Knicks, as do Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, both of whom were right in the middle of the action.

Next. Watch Ja Morant's highlight finish (video). dark

Expect this to be an emotionally-driven game, with both sides getting into it all night long.