Unbelievable... NBA's Self-Inflicted Black Eye

I think I'm going to be sick....

The NBA has mistakenly applied 1-game suspensions to both Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw of the Phoenix Suns, for walking on court during last night's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Speaking specifically about the Horry-Nash incident, Suns owner Robert Sarver told reporters in Phoenix on Tuesday night: "The way this worked out for us, it was, I believe, extremely unfair. . . . The team that plays dirty should not be rewarded and the team that plays fair should not be penalized."

Sarver added that the "first thing on my agenda" for next season will be making a push at ownership level to have the leave-the-bench rule re-examined. Sarver also said that NBA commissioner David Stern has canceled a schedule appearance in Phoenix for Wednesday night's Game 5.

Controversy ???
I can't get a full look at the Spurs bench when the altercation took place, but it didn't look like their players even flinched.  From what I could see, the Spurs coaches certainly had hands on players very quickly, as if they knew what was coming. 

Robert Horry was also inserted into the game just before the altercation, leading further to speculation that he may have been instructed to deliver a message to the Suns.  He may not have been told to do it as bad as he did, but I would pay a hefty amount of money to have a microphone in the Spurs huddle right before the incident.

"It was just an end-of-game foul and Steve fell down," Popovich said before the penalties were announced. "I didn't think it was such a big deal."

EXCUSE ME????  Not a big deal... Your 7th man off the bench takes a cheap shot at a 2-time MVP when the game is already out of your team's reach and it's not such a big deal?  This is exactly the kind of cheap, dirty, egotistical attitude that the Spurs players have displayed in the series, no doubt from Popovich's tutoring.

Video

Eye for an Eye ???
Earlier in Game 4, Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen both left the bench and entered the court during an “altercation“ between Elson and James Jones, who btw was just coming back down the court and didn't intentionally cause Elson to crash from the rim.

The Suns countered by saying that Duncan and Bruce Bowen were guilty of a similar leaving-the-bench offense in Game 4's first half when San Antonio's Francisco Elson fell on the Suns' James Jones after a dunk. That play was also reviewed, but Jackson -- while conceding that Duncan "should not have been on the playing court" -- said that the league determined there was "no cause for the suspension rule" to be applied because the Elson-Jones tangle was not deemed to be an altercation.

The NBA ruled that there is no cause to suspend Duncan, but the video show's the proof. If you're going to apply the bench-clearing rule to the Suns, you also have to apply it to the Spurs. 

Suspension for Leaving Bench, but Not for Deliberate Flagrant Fouls ???
Twice in the Suns-Spurs series, the NBA should've suspended a Spurs player for their “deliberate“ actions towards Suns players.

  1. Bruce Bowen intentionally kicks Amare Stoudemire's achilles as he attempts a dunk.  What other motivation could there be other than trying to injure the player?
  2. Bruce Bowen knees Steve Nash in the groin.  NBA later issues a flagrant foul and fine, but no suspension.

The Jazz and Warriors have had a physical series as well, but two specific incidents stand out:

  1. Jason Richardson fouls Mehmet Okur hard on his drive to the basket (after game is out of reach), causing Okur to land on his back.  No suspension.
  2. Baron Davis commits a flagrant on Derek Fisher, again after the game is out of reach, but no suspension is issued.

HOW ON EARTH COULD A RATIONAL PERSON DETERMINE THAT TWO PLAYERS LEAVING THEIR BENCH IN THE AID OF THEIR TOP PLAYER, SHOULD BE SUSPENDED, but the same person won't suspend 3 players (Bowen, Richardson & Davis) for their deliberate actions against the opposition.  File a petition against the league (ok, so it may not get to them) or email the NBA directly.

Nationwide Outcry
This isn't about me being a Suns fan or my opinions of the Spurs... This is about me being a life-long NBA fan who's enraged about the complete lack of common sense regarding this situation.

I'm certainly not the only blogger who's dissappointed with the league's decision.  Many well-known bloggers, TV analysts and others have declared the ruling a travesty.  Here's a few good reads:

Published Tuesday, May 15, 2007 7:21 PM by chowell

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