This was at a Georgetown-China “goodwill” game last night. A Georgetown player scrambles against a Chinese player for a loose ball, and comes up with the ball. After throwing it to a team mate, the Chinese player attacks the Georgetown player, who seeks to get away from the altercation by backing away. At this point 4-5 Chinese players attack the Georgetown player, knock him to the ground and begin beating him. The Georgetown bench clears to protect their guy, resulting in a free for all, with Chinese fans joining in against the Georgetown players. The Chinese Police…
The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team was supposed to be in China on a goodwill tour, and their exhibition against the Bayi Rockets on Thursday night was supposed to be a friendly contest.
Unfortunately, neither of those ideas panned out.
As you can see in the above video clip, things got pretty ugly between the Hoyas and Rockets. It’s clear early on that the two teams were playing a very physical game, but things boiled over. The result was a nasty scene that involved several different confrontations, players brandishing chairs as weapons and spectators throwing bottles at the Hoyas from the stands.
As Gene Wang of the Washington Post tells the tale, things unraveled with a little over nine minutes to go in the game, and it was actually the second time that the benches had emptied during the proceedings. This time, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III pulled his team off the court.
While this video clip alone may make it look like this was just a physical game that went horribly awry, it sounds like there might be a little more to it than that. As Wang noted, the Hoyas were called for more than twice as many fouls as the Rockets, and Dana O’Neill ofESPN pointed out that the Rockets were also granted 57 free throws. The Hoyas took just 15.
If nothing else, that’s lousy officiating. And because the Hoyas were consistently on the short end, it’s easy to deduce that the cards were stacked against them. One can understand if they played the game frustrated.
If you’re wondering why security did nothing to break up the brawl once it started, Wang noted that Chinese police chose to stay out of it: “The Chinese police had been watching the tensions escalate to the point of physical confrontations but made no attempts to break up any of the fights taking place on the court.”
Given the circumstances surrounding this fracas, it’s clear that there’s something just a little off about the whole scene. While it would be a stretch to say that the Hoyas were lured into a fight, it definitely sounds like they soon found themselves in a fight that was fixed. In the end, it’s a miracle nobody was hurt.
Either way, this is just an ugly, ugly turn of events. As a result, don’t be surprised if the Hoyas decide it’s best to cancel the rest of their goodwill tour.