The NBA once again gave the impression it was a league perpetuated by thugs, and yet, the madness did not end there. It shouldn’t be that difficult to separate bravado from responsibility, machismo from reality, but there stood Nate Robinson nearly an hour after the blood had barely dried on one of the game’s worst brawls ever, talking about how it was all about “trying to protect family.”Good Lord, what a way to pile shame on top of the disgrace. Had some masked man just broken through the window and stolen Robinson’s bling? Had his fancy ride been carjacked? At least the culprits involved in the Pistons fight against the Pacers two seasons ago in Detroit had the good sense to shut up.Lisa Olsen, New York Daily News

If any player involved in that mess deserves an ounce of respect it is Jared Jeffries, who went into the fray as a peacemaker, took a sucker punch to the ribs from Smith and then chased down Carmelo after the punch to Collins™ face. Robinson claims he was sticking up for a teammate when he shoved Smith, but he was the instigator there. Jeffries, however, clearly was coming to the defense of Collins when he charged after Carmelo. He had an assistant coach, a security guard and two teammates grabbing at him to hold him back. Otherwise, he would have gotten to Carmelo, who, by then, had retreated toward the Nuggets bench. Alan Hahn, Newsday

Doesn™t it figure Stephon Marbury™s coming out coincided with the brawl? He finally played like somebody with All-Star credentials, finishing with 31 points and eight assists. I just left the door open for all of the haters out there because it was another bad loss.

Mardy Collins needs a lesson on delivering hard fouls. He™s almost strangled an opponent in each of the last two games during garbage time. Who cares if somebody™s rubbing it in?Mike Dougherty, Journal News

Last year Nate Robinson was a decent novelty on a terrible team. Who doesn™t love a short guy with some energy?

This year, he™s a fake tough guy as evidenced by his involvement in Saturday™s annoying brawl. With about a minute left, the Nuggets were headed for another ho-hum rout at the Garden. Another night of discussing how baffled Isiah Thomas is after the Nuggets dropped 67 in the first half.

Instead that™s put aside because the Knicks were ticked that Nuggets left their starters out for too long. Boo hoo, they should worry about their own team and everything they™ve done wrong to create this 9-17 fiasco., Larry, Knickerblogger

Isiah Thomas and others, let’s not pretend that having some starters in the game late deserves the melee of thrown fists that ensued (and how about that Nate Robinson tackle?) . And let’s not pretend that the underlying cause here was a breach of etiquette in leaving starters in. That was a misdemeanor that should have passed without making the news. What went wrong here was a series of really stupid overly aggressive mistakes on the part of players who should have known better.Henry Abbott, True Hoop

Mardy Collins committed a stupid and unnecessary hard foul. Carmello Anthony won himself a permanent spot on the Kermit Washington all-stars. A bunch of players will get to spend Christmas and New Years with their families (and, for a few like Anthony, perhaps much of January). The world will go on. At least the players kept their brawling to the court, so, props to them for that. Oh, and Isiah Thomas’ deer-in-the-headlights postgame presser and quotes makes the whole thing almost worth it., Memphis Bengal, Sports Frog

It was laughable to hear Robinson talk about sportsmanship. Ironically, a few weeks ago, Robinson, after getting in trouble for botching that well-documented bounce-the-ball-off-the-court dunk in Cleveland, said he’d only try it in the future if his team was up 20.

Jeffries, in his fourth game as a Knick, decided he would deliver the retribution for Anthony’s slug, not David Stern. Jeffries raced down the length of the court, looking to spill blood. Credit Knicks assistant Mark Aguirre for holding onto Jeffries for dear life. Jeffries was called by Thomas the “glue” to the Knicks when they signed him, but instead he looked like a lunatic last night.Marc Berman, New York Post

In the unlikely event you’ve not seen what everyone is scribbling about, there’s more than a few clips of the fight on YouTube just waiting for the NBA to take down.