Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hypocrisy for Flagrant Fouls in the NBA...

Watching this playoffs I've realized there is a serious problem right now in the NBA with how the rules treat those who flagrantly foul vs. those who respond to flagrant fouls. Essentially, a player can act with intent to harm during the course of the game to the point where their actions would be potential felonies if they took place 2 feet away in row 1 between two fans instead of on the court between two basketball players. While this is definitely part of the game and I'm not saying that the league should go overboard here, the problem is that the league has started cracking down severely on players who stand up for their teammates on the court or leave the bench during an altercation. The result is that often the team that is the initial offender for the on-court action instigates a much more serious altercation that usually ends up with the team that just got fouled getting in worse trouble than the team that started the trouble in the first place (see Mardy Collins and Carmelo/JR Smith earlier this season).

In reality, the fault for this needs to fall heavier upon the instigating teams otherwise there's actually an incentive for a coach (ie, Popovich) to tell an expendable player (ie Horry, Bowen) to take out the best player on the other team (ie, Nash) and hope that he or some other star (ie Diaw, Amare) steps a foot off the bench or overreacts as anyone is bound to do in situations where one of their teammates gets sent sprawling into the scorer's table. I'm not saying Popovich did this, but I will say that Bowen is a consistent liability to hurt someone on the other team and for a player devoid of any other recognizable basketball skill (aside from the occasional 3-pointer from the baseline) it is definitely irresponsible (bordering on reckless) coaching to have that guy out there guarding other teams' best players. He's an injury waiting to happen (just asks the Knicks' point guards this year...).

That being said I'm actually amazed at how these NBA players control themselves, because I know when I was 21 or 22 and saw a buddy of mine get popped like that on the court I think it would have taken more than a few middle-aged assistant coaches to stop me from getting out there. And how about that Public Relations response time on the Suns? They already had a statement to the TNT broadcasters on the air that Amare was running on the court to check in rather than to get involved in the altercation within 2 minutes! If I were giving my Top 10 plays of the day, that's number 1 right there, for sure. Unbelievable, no wonder the Suns are such an impressive organization... not to mention that that excuse is pure b.s. but you have to love the effort.

What the league needs to do here is slap Horry with a 2-3 game suspension to make a statement that these instigators will not be tolerated. Give Diaw a 1 game suspension to make the point that leaving the bench still is not going to be tolerated and the league won't bow to pressure just to keep a series interesting. Then, buy into the beautifully orchestrated public relations damage control by the Suns organization that Mozart himself would have been proud to have conducted and let Amare slide on this one. He's too important to the Suns and you can't let the instigating teams benefit from this despicable conduct...


UPDATE: Now that the suspensions have been handed out, read our responses here and here.


Anonymous said...

Good suggestion. The Suns' response protecting Amare was pretty much a crock, but who cares? It's not like he hit anyone or did anything to make things worse. The whole suspension for leaving the bench penalty (Auburn Hills, aside) seems excessive to me. Horry's foul was chickenshit and he's the one who deserves the penalty, not Amare.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that would be a real shame for two Phoenix Suns Starters to receive the same punishment for leaving the bench to stand up for their teammate as Horry does for knocking Nash into the scorers table. There needs to be some action against San Antonio and Golden State to let them know that just because you are loosing at home doesn't mean you can commit flagrant fouls and get away with it. It's called "Sportsmanship"... look it up.

Simon Stitch-Up said...

great words dude. I agree with you on every single point. One thing I would disagree with you on is Popovich's role. I think this guy is a piece of shit, and its funny how when good things happen in the Spurs it all comes from "Pop" but when mysteriously bad things happen - like Phoenix's MUST-HAVES being singled out for potentially pretty bad injuries and potential 3-4 game breaks , by EXPENDIBLE CHUMPS like fat-blob-Rob, or Bruce Bowen) , everyone just turns away and puts it down to "player frustration". I just wish Charles would come out on TNT and say exactly that. The Spurs are a desperate team, who know that matching up with the Suns will not result in winning a series, so "Pop" is instructing his goons to take out the Phoenix weapons. And I just don't believe that the League has let SA get away with this. Surely repeated efforts like this tend to show a certain pattern??? David Stern is more concerned about black players wearing necklaces's then he is about some of "his" leagues best players being maliciously targeted by some asshole coach and his team of fat-assasins.

Anonymous said...

i have never heard anything better than popp and the spurs being described as "some asshole coach and his team of fat-assasins." awesome. eat that will smith

Anonymous said...

I'd like to point out that Robert Horry should now be referred to as "Cheap Shot Bob" but I guess "Fat Blob Rob" works too.

But aside from the "Amare was just checking in" argument (pure genius) I think Nash made a better point on the 'letter of the law' in his argument that subs that are cheering on the bench and get on the court at anytime (we've all seen this on a pretty play)could be suspended for that behaviour.

Let's face it, a giant takes a run at the smallest guy on your team and those big teammates need to step up, it is ridiculous to think that the league not only protects psychotic hacks (like Bowen, but Horry did a pretty decent impression last night) but then penalizes the people that try to stand up to them.

Anonymous said...

If NBA is going to suspend Amare&Diaw, may be they should suspend Duncan also. He also stepped into the court earlier in the game when one of the spurs fell hard after dunking the ball.

And NBA can put a big camera on both the benches and punish guys if they celebrate after big plays by stepping into the court.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR THE COMMON SENSE!!! I immediately thought the same thing--that if Amare and Boris are suspended, Robert Horry's cheap shot becomes a legitimage playoff tactic: Sacrifice a minor player in the hopes of injuring a star and riling the other team into leaving the bench. If the league suspends Boris and Amare, it just goes to show that there's no justice in the world.

Anonymous said...

This is a great goddamn point and needs to be Digg-ed.

The relevance to the Carmelo goings-on was also well put.

God, I hate Horry.

Anonymous said...

I think the league helped provoke this as much as Horry by allowing Bowen to get away with so much the whole series, knowing that this was building up resentment and frustration in Phoenix. To let Bowen get away with an after-the-fact flagrant, which doesn't even bring a fine or the up-to-4-point swing it would during a game, is ridiculous. How could the refs believe a knee to the groin is "necessary". That is what they were saying by not issuing a Flagrant 1 during the game for "unnecessary contact". The league has been allowing this to escalate to bolster rating, and now the wrong team will be asked to pay. Stern and Jackson should be suspended. They had to know this was coming.

Anonymous said...

I like Steve Kerr's point that Duncan & Bowen left the bench during the 2nd quarter when there was a possible altercation starting. They should be suspended.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the fact that we clearly see an assistant coach stop Amare and push him back to the bench may be all the league needs to say that it was his intent to get involved in the situation. As for Horry's foul, I have no idea what he was thinking on that. Maybe he watched a replay of Raja Bell taking out Bryant and figured that the Suns are into play like that. Or did you forget that the Suns aren't an innocent team?

Anonymous said...

yeah. come on phoenix nut huggers. they arent all angels either. how soon we forget.

Anonymous said...

good point about Bell's situation on Kobe. The Suns may not be innocent. but this is repeated. Bowen has quite a history of trying to hurt players. he has kicked Wally, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAakQjpFibg
Anthony Parker, Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury to name a few. He likes to kick. also keep in mind that Raja and Kobe had a history of playing against eachother before that series. The Bottom line is if Amare and Diaw are suspended Bowen and Duncan should be absent as well as Horry.

Unknown said...

Where is the call here for Amare and Diaw to show a little intellegence and maturity and stay on the bench during a scuffle. Why is it that it seems like Steve Nash is the only Suns player out there who knows that this is the playoffs. My respect for him has gone up astronomically while my respect for Stodawhiner has gone down into the toilet.

I can't see any way, given David Stern's history, that he can allow Diaw or Stodawhiner to play the next game. The precedent was set when he supsended fellow Sun Jalen Rose back when he was with Indiana for taking one step on the court, realizing his mistake and stepping back.

To be honest, I don't like the rule the way it is. The same goes for the way complaining was being called at the beginning of the year. You do need to take the heat of the heat of the moment and whether the player catches himself and stops. If Stern wants to change it he can, but he has to explain that he is changing the rule before he lets those two play.

But we all know that is not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

If I were a Suns' fan, I think I'd be pissed at my teams MVP. If you watch the replay, sure, Horry "boards" Nash, but I think Nash soooooo over-reacts to the foul he gets more than he bargained for in the response from his bench...to the tune of two "undeserved" game suspensions of players that should (by now) know better.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

As a Spurs fan, I can agree that Horry committed an unnecessarily harsh foul on Nash. Though with it being the playoffs, how often do we see these type of fouls? All the Suns' posts I'm reading are acting like the Spurs are the only team committing these fouls. Were Elson to have struck a Suns player or otherwise physically engaged a Suns player in an altercation, then the fact that Bowen and Duncan stepped onto the floor from the bench would be valid grounds for a suspension. But the NBA's rules are clear and define the circumstances as an "altercation". Absent of that, the argument for Duncan and Bowen to be suspended doesn't hold water and to continue pushing it causes you to lose the moral high ground. The point has been made but it doesn't hold up.

I disagree that there is a problem with the NBA's rules in this or any case similar. There are rules in place to penalize any player from committing a harsh foul to instigate anything. Horry will be missing two games. The point could be made that even he shouldn't get any suspension according to the decision not to suspend Baron Davis for an even harsher and unnecessary foul on Derrick Fisher. The rules are imposed in a manner so as to strongly discourage players from the natural instinct for any competitive man to join in a fight where one of his team mates is fouled hard or possibly injured. We've all witnessed what can happen when athletes, in the heat of battle, act on this impulse and make a bad mistake immeasurably worse (Artest, Stephen Jackson, Carmelo Anthony). To change the rule in a manner that would impose a harsher foul on a player or team that instigates a scuffle is only to encourage the team that was fouled (the Suns in this case) to overreact, possibly creating a brawl so that the team that committed the foul (i.e. Spurs) would incur multigame suspensions or worse. If the tables were turned in this situation, Suns fans would be gloating that you got into the head of Duncan or whoever it would have been. If these rules weren't in place we could be inviting a situation where someone gets sucker punched and suffers a career-ending injury like Rudy Tomjanovich.

The suns have committed similar fouls in this series, sending various Spurs players to the floor or hitting them in the face. But you don't see fans posting it on YouTube and you don't see our players reacting like the Suns. Robert Horry did not commit the first flagrant 2 foul. We take our fouls and go to the line. Our fans have been battle hardened from numerous series with the Lakers that were far worse than any Suns fan could complain about in this series. Our players are veterans and composed enough to keep their head when things get rough. Because that's the playoffs and we know how to act. Look at the pic posted on ESPN of the brawl. Ginobili is calm as a Hindu cow. And he's taken far worse than Nash experienced in that foul. The Houston Rockets had to go through far worse in their runs at back-to-back titles going against the Jazz. This whole series, Amare Stoudamire and the Suns have shown their inexperience and their susceptibility to this kind of mind game. Toughen up and show it on the court like all the rest. If you win, you will have beaten your nemesis the way we did with the Lakers and nothing will be sweeter. If you lose, you always have next year to look forward. GO SPURS GO!!! Spurs in 6

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify. I am neither a Suns or a Spurs fan. But if you think Bowen isn't dirty you need your head examined, and last time I checked Horry didn't play like that when he was with any of his other playoff teams. So what you're telling us is that Horry just felt the need to, all of a sudden after like 20 years in the league, he just felt the need to cross-check Nash. The Spurs have taken repeated shots at Nash with no retaliation. I now have an incredible amount of respect for Nash because: 1.he understands any action from him will hurt his team 2.If you sink to the level of the players/team that is doing this your just as bad as they are 3. He knows teams only resort to these things when they can't beat you 4. And he has taken one heck of a beating from the Spurs. One incident is a mistake, two is a coincidence, three is hostile action. It seems apparent that the Spurs are singling out Nash and it is ridiculous.

Simon Stitch-Up said...

yeah, and I second that again. I am neither a Suns nor Spurs fan, but what is going here is just a fucking stitch-up from the Spurs. Horry knew exactly what he was doing. Bowen knows exactly what he has been doing, and for anyone who doesnt believe that Greg Popovich does know exactly what the fuck is going on - yeah Lance and Floyd are clean too....

The press conference with Popovich after the game was gold. He goes decidedly white and seems to get more than a little agitated when asked about what happened. He even ACTUALLY says the words "I had nothing to do with it" - even though he was never directly or even indirectly asked if he something to do with it. He starts tapping his fingers on the desk and looks in the other direction.

Once again, even though I am not a Spurs fan, I always had respect for the team, and the way they handled themselves. What a let-down. Just another bunch of pro-sport shitheads.

teemo said...

What a travesty! Rewarding the Spurs for thuggery. Thank you Stu Jackson for encouraging hockey tactics in the NBA. Imagine my dismay at having to explain to my grandson that a team that provokes a fight gets less punishment than a team that refuses to join in. Not surprised David Stern let Jackson deliver the bad news. I wouldn't put my name on that ruling either.

Anonymous said...

Gee, David Stern changed his plans and decided not to attend game 5 in Phoenix. I'm sure he has a great excuse - maybe a dental appointment. What a chicken shit!! If you believe so strongly in your B.S. rule at least be man enough to show up and face the heat (no pun intended). What a crock. I'm guessing San Antonio for game 6 sounds a bit more attractive to him now.

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