WASHINGTON -- There's the old saying: "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out."
Despite the NHL making a big deal about cleaning up the game, pro hockey players can still drop the gloves and take swings at each other one-on-one to settle disputes. Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat tells ESPN.com he wouldn't mind if they let pro basketball players address differences in the same manner.
As fate would have it, Gortat's roots are in boxing. His father, Janusz Gortat, won the bronze medal for Poland in the light heavyweight division during the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics.
"I would loosen up a little bit the rules about the fighting fines. Because today you go to an ice hockey game, and the one thing they're waiting for it's a fight, you know what I'm saying? So if they could set it up something like that in the NBA. That if there are two guys and they have a problem, if they could just separate everbody. And these two people that have a problem, if they could fight…" Gortat tells ESPN.com's Kyle Weidie.
In the NBA, punching is currently an automatic ejection. The league was haunted for years after Kermit Washington, then-LA Laker and American University grad, punched Houston Rocket Rudy Tomjanovich on Dec. 9, 1977. Tomjanovich suffered life-threatening head injuries and his career was never the same.
Gortat is known for his dry wit and the question is whether his tongue was in his cheek about putting a fist in an opposing player's cheek.
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