Both Jay Marriotti and Michael Smith were in overdrive on ESPN today (even by the former’s usual low standards), declaring the actions of the Knicks’ Antonio Davis last night in Chicago to be justified, citing the threat of “drunk” fans harrassing family members.

Replied Stat Boy, “sprinkle, ‘allegedly drunk guy’ in there, please, just to make me happy.”

Shame then, that neither Mariotti nor Smith bothered to check out the following from :

(Bulls fan) Michael Axelrod said Kendra Davis tried to scratch him after he protested a call. Axelrod said he never laid a hand on Davis’ wife and said he was not drunk.

Axelrod’s father, David, is a prominent Democratic political consultant in Chicago who has worked with Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley.

“When I go to games, I cheer as hard as I can for the Bulls, and I boo as hard as I can for whoever they’re playing,” Michael Axelrod said. “I don’t feel comfortable if players are allowed to easily jump into the crowd whenever they feel like it’s necessary.”

Axelrod’s attorney, Jay Paul Deratany, said he planned to sue Davis and his wife for more than $1 million. Deratany said he was writing the papers Thursday for a battery suit against Kendra Davis and a slander case against Antonio Davis, and planned to file them Friday.

According to Axelrod, he was sitting in the seventh row and booed an official’s call. Kendra Davis “came out of her seat. I didn’t even pay attention to her. I thought she was just going to the bathroom or something,” he said.

Axelrod, who was sitting a couple of rows behind her, said she yelled at him to be quiet. Axelrod said he did not know she was Davis’ wife until the player ran into the stands.

Axelrod said Kendra Davis put both hands on his face, and that he motioned for security. He said she later went after another fan.

A number of supposed eyewitnesses have been on sports-yack radio today, echoing Axelrod’s version of events. Perhaps a certain Chicago columnist can be added to the slander suit?

A few minutes later, when discussing Allen Iverson’s disappearing act in the closing moments against the Nets last night, Mariotti solemnly intoned “the cardinal rule of competition and professionalism is to not leave the court for any reason until the buzzer sounds.”

Which animal has the shortest memory…and how much eyeliner does it typically go through in one year?

(UPDATE : Antonio Davis has been suspended for 5 games. No word yet on whether or not Kendra will be in uniform tonight against Detroit)