Marquese Chriss is, by the technical definition, a starting forward for the Phoenix Suns. The 2016 lottery pick probably is not playing at the level of a typical NBA starter given that he was considered to be quite raw coming out of college at Washington and is a rookie playing just his 25th professional game on Tuesday evening. However, the 6’10 forward thought it might be wise to go after New York Knicks big man and internet darling Kristaps Porzingis during the game. That might have been an aggressive (and poor) choice.
Chriss tried to score in isolation against Porzingis, and while he may have wanted a foul call, the possession did not end well. On the trip back down the floor, the rookie decided to intentionally invade Porzingis’ space and he forced the 7’3 sophomore into Eric Bledsoe, causing Phoenix’s lead guard to tumble to the ground. From there, Chriss decided to whip Porzingis to the ground in very obvious fashion and, after getting up, New York’s favorite son was ready to scrap.
Porzingis led with a two-handed shove before the two gentlemen were separated by several bodies, and that quick interference probably kept this from escalating into a legitimate altercation. Veterans like Tyson Chandler and Brandon Jennings were in the middle of everything to “keep the peace.” It isn’t often that we’ve seen Porzingis charged up in this fashion, and Marquese Chriss certainly wasn’t shy about expressing himself in this particular spot.