Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Don't Read This, You Know What It Contains    

I'm sorry.  I can't keep thinking about the suspensions and repeatedly pissing myself off all day long.  I have to stop.  I promise I won't say another word about any of it until after Game 5.

After this.

* If you hadn't figured it out by now, I am officially protesting the NBA playoffs.  It's one thing to pull crap like this, or the Artest fight, in the regular season.  It's another thing to punish players who actually fought.  The suspended players did not fight.

Should the Spurs win, it shall not go in my personal record book.  Should they so much as advance to the Finals, I shall declare the Eastern Conference winner to be NBA champions on this blog.  (Believe me, if I'm offering to sing the praises of the friggin Pistons, you know I mean business.)

* This is the worst job of reacting to in-game violence since the Ron Artest fight.

* What lesson have the Suns, and for that matter basketball fans, learned here?  Cheating is not only OK, but it pays.  Dirty players win.  And it's not just an unwritten rule anymore... it's league-sanctioned.  Bra-vo, NBA.

* TrueHoop is once again a must-read.  While I agree that the logic behind Stu Jackson's recommendation is understandable, and that he did not act beyond his bounds, I strongly disagree that either of those things is so much as relevant to the discussion, let alone a viable thesis.  The issue is larger than a single rule.

* In questioning my rant from yesterday, Kelvin pointed out that gamesmanship and "dirty tricks" are an unavoidable consequence of championship play, citing the Marco Materazzi bullshit from the World Cup final and all that.  He also said that punishing folks after the fact wouldn't change the outcome of the game they affected with said gamesmanship.  One cannot entirely legislate that sort of thing out of sports, and attempting to do so opens up a gigantic can of worms.  Those are fair points.

However, actively rewarding the dirty tricksters... not just merely accepting referee ignorance, but going back, after the fact, and applying further punishment to the victims in cold blood, when alternate courses of action are available... is way over the line.  And obviously over the line, at that... unless you work for the NBA, that is. 

* Along those lines, interesting point at the end of the TrueHoop piece: given the on-court wanderings of Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen in the second quarter, and given Stu Jackson's inevitable (cowardly) decision, James Jones should have clocked Francisco Elson.  Seriously.  If he'd done that, then by rule Jackson would have been required to suspend Duncan and Bowen.  And that, my friends, is why you don't just make up draconian rules and hide behind them.  Your life as a decision-maker becomes easier to manage in the short-term, but you end up with unintended long-term consequences worse than what you were trying to avoid in the first place.

* Despite understanding Jackson's treatment of the Jones/Elson moment, I disagree that it was the correct application of the rule.

The rule is you can't leave the bench during an altercation.  If the rule isn't enforced for all cases regardless, then there's room for discretion.

Duncan and Bowen left the bench in response to a hard foul.  It's on tape.  If you're enforcing the rule in all cases, then they gotta go too.  But Jackson determined that the altercation was not sufficiently violent for the bench rule to kick in.  In other words, he used his what?  His discretion.

If there's room for discretion there, then there is room for discretion concerning the complete lack of justification for suspending Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw.

This result is, therefore, a selective punishment of Stoudemire and Diaw.

* On a brighter note, I have decided, just now, to watch the hell out of Game 5, Pacific Standard Time be damned.  And I'm going to make an embarrassing, embarrassing scene in my apartment, too.  I'm now looking forward to it.  This is gonna be great.

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2 Comments:

  • http://ryanunderdown.com/2007/05/15/bruce-bowen-youtube-greatest-hits/

    By Blogger K1, at 3:59 PM  

  • Yeah!!! See? Bowen totally did it. He slows up, plants his left foot nice and careful, and extends his right leg to reach Amare's heel.

    There is no way on God's green earth that it could have been coincidence. Not for a guy like Bowen.

    That's why I think he should be suspended for 30 games, effective immediately, just for his body of work.

    It's not unheard of in game contexts, you know. It's like how refs are just waiting for a guy like Artest or Rasheed to do something remotely worthy of a tech, just so they can call it. Those guys have a reputation for drawing T's, so they get called for stuff that (say) Chris Bosh wouldn't. Because of the body of work.

    Replace "crazy" with "dirty," "Artest" with "Bowen," and "tech" with "30-game suspension," and there you have it.

    (This may not be clear to everyone else... I told K-bag yesterday that if I were made commissioner, my first act would be to suspend Bowen for 30 games, effective immediately. I'm not playing, either. I think a death-sentence suspension like that should be taken into serious consideration. Heck, even 30 might not be enough. His brand of basketball cannot be tolerated by anyone who wants the NBA to get good again.)

    By Blogger Jeff, at 9:00 PM  

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