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After a rowdy Game 2 in Los Angeles, Ron Artest told reporters that the kind of physicality of the Rockets vs. Lakers did not upset him, because he had been in far more physical games -- for instance one in which a friend was killed with a table leg.
It was one of those claims ... could totally be true. Could totally not be true. But was certainly begging for more explanation.
And perhaps we have found it. TrueHoop reader Dan points to a Black Sports Online blog post, which cites a 1991 Associated Press article from The New York Times archives:
A 19-year-old basketball player from Queens was fatally stabbed with a broken-off table leg today after a fight broke out during a basketball tournament, the police said.
The player, Lloyd Newton, was stabbed in the back with a leg from the scorer's table at the championship game of a Y.M.C.A.-sponsored tournament at the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, the police in Niagara Falls said.
"An argument ensued about the score," Capt. Louis Curcione said, adding that one of the teams "thought they were getting gypped."
"A fight broke out between the players and about 40 fans in the stands," he said. "In the course of the fight, one person was stabbed in the back."