Mike Check: NBA is the dumbest, pettiest, most beautiful sports league in the world

Houston Rockets guard Gerald Green looks on in disbelief after a foul call on Monday night.

There's nothing better than coming home after a night of covering high school basketball to find out that the NBA has turned into Fight Club.

Rule No. 1 of Fight Club is that you do not speak about Fight Club. You can, however, tweet about it and that's exactly what the NBA community did late Monday night after finding out about the end of the game between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers in Chris Paul's return to Los Angeles as a visitor.

Paul was sent to Houston to join two-time league MVP runner-up James Harden in a blockbuster deal that saw Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, a protected first-round pick next year and cash considerations all sent back to the Clippers

Social media was sent into a frenzy after the Rockets were given a nice, old-fashioned beatdown from the Clippers during the Martin Luther King Day doubleheader on TNT. If you haven't heard about these events that transpired, what I'm about to tell you is going to sound illogical and completely insane, but trust me ... these events actually took place.

These are their stories.


Here's what happened: James Harden, Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green, who just showed up to Houston on a 10-day deal and was just recently signed to a contract for the rest of the season, showed up to confront Austin Rivers, the son of Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, to go a couple rounds.

Mind you, Harden is nursing a hamstring injury, has missed the last seven games and Rivers also didn't play on Tuesday night due to a strained Achilles tendon.

The game got really chippy and Rivers was a prime culprit in some bad blood spilling out onto the floor with his chirping from the bench towards Rocket players. Hell, Blake Griffin and Mike D'Antoni got into a bit of skirmish, too.

But wait, there's more. So much more.

After those three were shut down by STAPLES Center security, the president of the NBA's Players Union himself, Christopher Paul, reportedly sent Rockets center Clint Capela to the front door of the Clipper locker room as some sort of diversion, where he was denied entry after knocking a few times.

Then, Paul and a group of Rocket players used a "secret tunnel" in the arena to try and find their way into the Clipper locker room to fight Griffin and others like it was the ending of the 1983 movie Scarface when Tony Montana's empire came crashing down around him.

The Los Angeles Police Department was called to help get a handle on the whole situation.

Simply put, the NBA is the dumbest, most nonsencial, beautiful, wonderful, idiotic, unbelievable sports league in the entire world and I came so close to falling to my knees to pray for a seven-game playoff series between the teams in a couple months.

• One thing the NBA did get right on Monday: The tributes around the NBA on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. helped show why the NBA is the most progressive league in North America. They understand their demographics and player backgrounds. They see what goes on in the world today. The font in the Memphis Grizzlies' uniforms in their game against the Los Angeles Lakers resembled the signs from the sanitation strike and protests from 1968 in Memphis. And, the icing on the cake was the Black History Month sneaker collection from Nike. This group of shoes are amazing and yes, I will be buying at least one pair. The NBA just gets it.

• The Warriors are going to win the NBA title ... again: You may be sick of the Golden State Warriors, but they're the best team in the world and Kevin Durant see a ginormous target on LeBron James when they face one another. He's been the best player on the floor during the last few meetings between the two and KD's Warriors handed LeBron's Cavaliers another humbling on Monday night. When the Warriors are healthy and controlling the action on both ends of the floor, no one in the NBA can beat them, especially in a seven-game series.

•Because I know you (don't) care, here's my NBA All-Star Game ballot: In the Eastern Conference, I voted for Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Joel Embiid. In the West, I voted for Stephen Curry, James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis. Who did I miss? You tell me. These 10 guys have been superb in the first half of the season.

•Also, Happy (belated) birthday, Aaliyah: Aaliyah would've been 39 years old on Tuesday. She passed away in a plane crash at just 22 years old in 2001. One of the most beautiful R&B artists ever, Aaliyah's old MTV Rock N' Jock Brick Layers basketball jersey is one of the best relics around sports memorabilia today.

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