Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wednesday 05/16 A.M. Quickie:
Suspensions a GOOD Thing for NBA?

Suns-Spurs Suspension Mania! OK, so I appreciate that it was the Spurs' Robert Horry who was the instigator of the Game 4 game-ending goonery.

And I appreciate that it was the "victimized" Suns who got obliterated by the NBA's Game 5 suspensions for Amare and Boris Diaw.

And I appreciate that the NBA's ruling effectively guts Phoenix's chances to win the always-"pivotal" Game 5 (in Phoenix, no less).

And I appreciate that, consequently, the NBA's decision could cost the Suns the series.

And I appreciate that it could ultimately hurt the NBA itself (if you believe, as I do, that the Suns' style of play represents one of the only things that might slow down the NBA's otherwise inevitable decline from the legacy of its "star system.")

And yet... it's one of the easiest rules to remember (and follow) in the NBA: In the event of an on-court scuffle, don't leave the bench.

It's pretty simple, really. It's not like anyone thinks the rule itself is a dumb one. What I'm hearing is that people think that rules (and punishments) should be applied selectively. That, of course, generally defeats the purpose of rules. (Judging "intent" is a brutal game that the NBA will almost always lose.)

Expediency is a tempting reason to ignore the rule, but it also ultimately undermines the integrity of the game more than ruining the Suns' chances of toppling the Spurs.

If you want to blame someone, don't blame the NBA, which had little choice. Blame the players, who made the wrong choice. I don't care that their leader was brutalized by an opposing player. Be SMART about it: Don't leave the bench; deliver some on-court payback later in the game (or, if that's not possible, the next game). And be sure that it's a bench player doing it, not the team's all-NBA big man or most versatile player.

Besides: I wouldn't write the Suns off for Game 5 just yet. Combined with the home-court hype, being forced to be innovative -- a Mike D'Antoni specialty -- might befuddle the Spurs.

And watch out for the NBA to ensure officiating that "balances" out the negative p.r. from suspending Amare and Diaw. In fact, between tactical novelty, home-court hysterics and sympathetic officiating, I'll take the Suns to win.

P.S.: I want to point you to my friend and fellow blogger Henry Abbott at True Hoop, who develops and delivers the most reasoned (and influential) wisdom on all things NBA. Start with this most recent post. Then this one, which came earlier. UPDATE: Here's a post today, even better.

P.P.S.: Aha...the inevitable hedge. It's not that I don't see the reasoning of those who disagree with the ruling or who point out the NBA's own inconsistencies in its application. It's just that the most direct responsibility can be laid at the feet -- literally -- of the two players who broke the simple rule, despite (I assume) knowing all about it and the potential risks involved.

It's the end for the Warriors and the three weeks of mania they inspired from their die-hard fan base and NBA fans everywhere who craved something... different.

Golden State's first-round upset win over the Mavericks will go down as the greatest in NBA playoff history; their second-round flame-out will be a footnote.

The team's mercurial style was behind its win AND its loss: Those wins against the Mavs were inspired; last night's ugliness was not.

But hopefully, it will inspire other teams to try to be more creative – and raise expectations among fans everywhere that despite roster limitations, innovative coaching can turn freaks into a funhouse ride.

Bulls crush Pistons in Detroit, bringing the series to 3-2 with Game 6 in Chicago and all the momentum. Even if the Bulls got this series to 7 games, which they might, I wasn't sold on their ability to beat the Pistons in Detroit... um, until now.

Lance Berkman says the Home Run Title is "tainted" if Bonds earned it. I wonder how Berkman feels about his boy, Jeff Bagwell and his 449 home runs, many of which helped Berkman's Astros immensely. I'm not accusing, I'm just saying...

MLB Stud, Player: Jesse Litch, who made his MLB debut on his dad's birthday and went 8.2 IP, allowing 1 ER and 4 H. (Thanks to reader RL for the nomination.)

MLB Stud, Team: The Devil Rays, who played their first game at Disneyworld, which was one of the smartest and most innovative marketing decisions of the sports year. (And they won, too!)

MLB Dud: Lastings Milledge (aka "L Millz"), for joining in on a misogynistic rap song titled "Bend Ya Knees."

Clemens Watch: Will the Yankees have Clemens pitch before the end of May, side-stepping a possible Rocket debut at Fenway?

(While I would appreciate avoiding the media hysteria around THAT one, it seems like it would deny us one of the more dramatic moments of the season.)

Indy 500: The Fan-Unfriendly Move of the Year goes to the Colts. The team won't let No. 18 driver Jimmy Kite paint his car Colts blue colors with the words "Go Colts." But they'll let Peyton Manning be the race's official starter. I mean, for gosh sakes: It's the Indianapolis 500! Kite wants to give free boosterism to the Colts! (He's even No. 18!)

Vick Problems: Virginia prosecutors will meet with investigators to discuss the Vick case. Cue ominous legal-thriller music...

Speaking of NFL problems, Tank Johnson meets with Roget Goodell today. Cue ominous horror-thriller music...

In more positive NFL news, Jon Kitna loves Calvin Johnson. But really, though: Who wouldn't? (Oh, perhaps someone who thinks his name is "Charles," not "Calvin.")

NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr was docked 100 points and his crew chief was suspended for cheating. It's a nice reminder that the outrage standard for cheating in, say, auto racing (and – cough – the NFL) is so much higher than in baseball. Imagine the brouhaha if the greatest player in baseball was busted for (or even simply accused of) cheating. Oh, wait...

College hoops: Patrick Patterson, the last remaining uncommitted top prep player, will make his college choice today at a press conference at 3:45. He's down to Florida and Kentucky... naturally...

Video Games: A new version of Tecmo Bowl is being released in 2008. Reminds me of one of my favorite T-shirts of all time, courtesy of No Mas.

-- D.S.

88 comments:

Chris said...

Couldn't agree more on the Suns. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that after a game five win, driven by a fired-up Steve Nash and a crazy crowd, they'll go to San Antonio for game six and win that too, possibly in a blowout. The Spurs will still be missing Horry, while the Suns will have an angry Amare/Boris and all the mo...

Geoff said...

Who is Charles Johnson?

mmmm beefy said...

calvin johnson not charles. Charles caught the hail mary from Kordell Stewart

Todd said...

Studs and Duds from yesterday. Tons of studs from yesterday, but here's what I came up with:

Studs:
1. Jesse Litsch
2. Randy Johnson
3. Carlos Lee
4. Aaron Harang
5. Rafael Furcal

Duds:
1. Adam Wainwright
2. Ramon Ortiz
3. Kelvim Escobar
4. Armando Benitez
5. Tim Wakefield

CMFost said...

wait Dale Jr. gets caught cheating right after he annouces that he is leavin DEI. And one think Theresa was trying to screw with and give him a nice little FU for leaving?

verbal97 said...

Imagine if baseball had the same rule to not leave the bench in the event of a scuffle...there would be forfeits. What a dumb rule? I appreciate that "thuggery image" has been a pest for the NBA, but surely you can distinguish between players leaving the bench area and not doing anything and players leaving the bench area and getting involved in a fight. Also, where's this rule when players on the bench (inadvertently) end up on the court when jumping up and down and waving a towel when a teammate hits a big 3 or something. Reason #4783 for me hating the NBA.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan he is down to Duke, Florida and Kentucky with Duke and Florida being the frontrunners. There is a rumor circulating that Billy D. is interviewing for the Orlando Magic job and that could hurt Florida's chances of landing Patrick.

Geoff said...

It would hurt Theresa just as much as it would hurt Dale. She lost 100 owner points and Dale lost 100 driver points.

hansenm said...

NHL. Wings shocked me (and I'm a Wings fan) by completely dominating Anaheim in Anaheim. Should Pronger be suspended (I say no)? Discuss.

B. Viddy said...

Thank you Dan for finally standing up and saying the facts: the rule is simple...STAY ON THE BENCH! How can anyone place blame on the NBA? Its spelled out, everyone knows the rule.

People are acting like its a biased punishment. If they stay on the bench, the Spares are left a man down. Advantage Suns.

Would anyone be making this big of a deal if it was a player with a bad rep like Artest, or a bench scrub who came off the bench? Of course not. Players need to be accountable for the rules. If not, star players would be able to get away with traveling and getting phantom calls.....oh, wait.

Ftrain said...

I wish they would invoke the same 'bench rule' for the guys that run out of the bullpen during a scuffle at the mound. I can understand teammates from the dug out coming out to the mound (after all it's 1 batter vs 9 field players) but for the bullpen guys to run to the mound. Gimme a break!

Tho for sheer comedic value, it's priceless. Especially when they jog/walk to the mound from the bullpen. I guess they're just happy to be on the field.

Dan Mega said...

MLB Dud- The weather, for canceling the White Sox game yesterday.

Mark said...

Charles Johnson was on the field for The Catch, but Michael Westbrook caught the ball. CJ had a solid but relatively short NFL career.

Trivia: Which future Denver Broncos lineman was on of the three Michigan pass rushers on that play?

Geoff said...

It looked like Pronger got his elbow up and hit Holmstrom in the back in the head, and if that is the case than he should be suspended for a game. But yeah, otherwise just a complete dismantling of Anaheim by Detroit.

ndyanksfan05 said...

NBA is so so so wrong it isn't even funny...Sun's fans need to try and launch some sort of national protest of the game to hit the NBA where it hurts - in the wallet. Try and get people to not watch the game (it'll be a crap game anyway with the suns missing two of their big hitters).

Also, if i am the suns, I take my worst player off the bench and go after duncan like a maniac the entire game. Throw elbows, hard fouls, talk trash, anything to elicit any response...then throw him into the spurs bench and hope people enter the court...its basically the message the NBA is sending to the teams...take a marginal player (Horry) go after a teams star (Nash) and let the instigating team prevail and punish the victim...

Anyone who says a rule is a rule is a rule doesn't understand the logistics of a rationale governing body...rules/laws are put in place as a cover-all. Officials are in place to interpret specific events to determine the intent of an infraction and make a rationale and reasonable judgement based on the facts of the event. For example, a man is shot outside a store...a person runs into the store and "steals" towels to help the dying man...that person is not going to jail for robbery. Obviously this is a little dramatic, but the point is that nothing is black and white and the NBA is apparently run by idiots. Yes they left the bench "area", but they in no way instigated or attempted to engage any opposing players in a fight. They were restained well beforehand. LUDICROUS!

slaskaris said...

The problem with the suspensions is you're now tempting teams (or at least me if I was a coach) to send a bench player in to rough someone up.
I would send a scrub in to go shove Duncan down right in front of the Spurs bench and just tempt any of them to react. And they would because it's a natural reaction to jump up and move two steps!!!
Neither Diaw or Studamire even got close to any opposing players so give me a break with this rule!!!

slaskaris said...

obviously we think alike ndyanksfan

Brian in Oxford said...

Hang on ftrain....I agree that bullpen players shouldn't leave to join a fracas, but you can't give carte blanche to the dugout players since "after all it's 1 batter vs 9 field players". It's the 1 batter who started the shit by going toward the mound.

Have we ever seen the dugout charge the mound if the batter minded his business and simply went to first?

Also, how about an "out of the baseline" penalty and call the hit batter OUT for starting it?

(How often does a pitcher hit the batter and THEN charge the batter?)

Okay, what else....The colts suddenly own the trademark on the colors blue and white? The guy's really not "allowed" to paint his car "colts colors?"

The Red Sox fan in me would like a little longer-lasting ownership to the 0-3 thing, but the Bulls are at least making me almost want to watch. Now if only the Sabres could start climbing up THEIR hill tonight.

And Dan, I'm with you on the Suns tonight. If they win game 5, it'll feel like Hulkamania, baby...Whatcha gonna do?

Dan Mega said...

New Tecmo Bowl eh?

This game will suck if it doesn't have player names like QB Eagles. =)

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey ndyanks....I like your analogy, but does the store owner press charges against the guy who stole the towels in this case?

Ooh, there's a thought....how about the Spurs not "pressing charges" against Stoudamire and Diaw for wandering onto the court? Do they have the ability to tell the NBA, it's okay with us if they play tonight?

verbal97 said...

TecmoBowl was great in it's simplicity.

Also, it's going to suck if you don't have anything like handing the ball off to Bo and watch the linebackers and dbacks fly out of bounds after attempting to tackle him, or LT tackling the holder before FGs and PATs are allowed to be kicked. Releasing a new version is only going to dilute the greatness of the original, much like a shitty sequel movie.

ndyanksfan05 said...

techmo bowl 08 or whatever cannot compete with the original...it will be way too complicated - Madden has the modern football video game monopolized and no one can compete with it. The glory of techmo bowl was its simplicity (as was the glory of all old school nintendo games - it was simple...i didn't need a phd and the motor skills of a master concert pianist to get past level one) and the new one will simply try and be a replication of madden (twenty receiver buttons, plus a tuck the ball button, plus a juke, spin, jump, accelerate, slide step, upper cut, spin kick, and whatever the f*** else button) and fail.

Steve said...

QB Eagles was the best, will this version's QB Eagles have bad graphics vomit if they make the Super Bowl?

ndyanksfan05 said...

Even if he did press charges, a judge would throw it out...because judges are able to interpret law and look at things like intent and circumstance. Something apparently a six figure salary NBA commisioner and his coherts can't do for some reason.

jhawkjjm said...

I've seen the video and Amare should be suspended. He took off running towards where the pushing and shoving was going and it was only the assistant coaches that stopped him. You have to know better and stay in control. He didn't and now the Suns have to pay for it. It's the rule, whether right or wrong, and it has to be followed. Unfortunately it's probably going to impact who wins the series.

Though I do find it funny that Horry got suspended for two games and Baron Davis got nothing for his elbow. I wonder how Kobe feels about that (or was that on his second elbow he get suspended 1 game?).

Chaddogg said...

The Bulls are starting to realize they're good enough to beat the Pistons. Remember, if the Bulls hadn't choked away Game 3, this would be a 3-2 series in favor of the Bulls right now heading to Chicago - and the Bulls were the best team in the East at home. I'm not entirely hopeful about winning the series (4 in a row against Detroit is tough), but I'm thinking the Bulls hold serve at home and force a HUGE game 7, where the Pistons will wear the 2004 Yankees' yoke and have to avoid being the first NBA team in history to lose a playoff series after being up 3-0.

As for the suspensions, while I agree with Dan that the rule is pretty clear, there needed to be some distinction made between Diaw (who turned around and went back on his own) and Amare (who had to be pulled back). I would have thought a fair punishment would have been Horry 1 game, Amare 1 game, Diaw a hefty fine. That would have set the right precedent - restrain yourself from escalating things, or else.

Oh, and Shanoff, you still suck. Another day, and still no mention of Northwestern's (your alma mater's) excellent women's sports teams. I thought you'd be trumpeting the news...being a weak bandwagon fan, I figured you'd naturally switch back to support NCAA's best women's sports school (Northwestern, which is favored to win women's lacrosse, seeded #2 in the softball World Series, and among the favorites in women's tennis) to go along with your "adoption" of fandom for the current best men's sports school (Florida). Alas, you're not that smart....a true sign you've gone all the way over to the Gators.

Ftrain said...

They broke the rules. They deserve the suspension. The majority of players have followed the rule throughout the season. Should we disregard it now? Why? Just b/c it's the Suns and Stoudemire. That's what it feels like to me.

The John Cheney tactic won't work in the NBA. Please the Spur are a veteran team and you don't think they'd see right through that.

Also Horry is not a marginal player. 6 titles and multiple game/series winning shots say he isn't.

jhawkjjm said...

And watch out for the NBA to ensure officiating that "balances" out the negative p.r. from suspending Amare and Diaw.

One of the reasons I lost interest in the NBA, the other being the "superstar" treatment. I'm not a big conspiracy person who looks for conspiracies everywhere, but the NBA sometimes makes me wonder, see Dwayne Wade and the Mavs last year, Knicks as an 8 seed making a run to the finals etc.. Maybe its because the officials have too much power to determine the outcome. If they start calling lots of ticky tack fouls on Duncan and the Spurs to compensate for Amare and Diaw, then the NBA is going to have even more PR problems tomorrow.

codydbusby said...

"And watch out for the NBA to ensure officiating that "balances" out the negative p.r. from suspending Amare and Diaw. In fact, between tactical novelty, home-court hysterics and sympathetic officiating"

This is why I don't like the NBA. the Officials came dictate the outcome of a game. The game tonight should be officiated as if nothing happened and as if it were a regular game. The refs should not make up for Amare being suspended. We all know they will, but they shouldn't.

I thought SA got a raw deal w/the officials in game 4. Phx went to the line 29 times vs. SA 14. I wonder what the ratio will be tonight?

verbal97 said...

@Brian and chaddogg:

The Red Sox weren't the first team in sports to come back from 0-3 down, they were the third. So, the Red Sox and their ridiculous fans are not unique, nor are the Yankees in chokability.

Todd said...

This is from the Tecmo Press event where they announced Tecmo Bowl:

"I can't tell you what platform we're making it for. But I can tell you that it's probably not going to be on the platform that you're expecting... if that makes any sense... That's one thing I can tell you for sure. This is going to be a brand new game for one of the new systems ... We're confident that the new Tecmo Bowl is going to be the talk of the town in 2008."

I have to imagine this means it's going to be a Wii game.

Geoff said...

Robert Horry is a marginal player now. What did he average, 4 points and 4 boards a game this year? If that isn't marginal than I don't know what is.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Everyone saying a rule is a rule - next time you are tailgating, or speeding, or doing anything marginally illegal and you see a cop walk by, I hope you get stopped and instead of being given a warning for speeding, or told to pour your beer out, I hope they fine you and/or arrest you and charge you to the fullest extent of the law regardless of the situation.

Ftrain said...

@ Brian in Oxford
I'm not giving the carte blanche to the dug out. Just saying the rationale for the players in the dug out is more reasonable.


@Geoff
It seems that's Horry's MO through out his whole career. So-so regular season stats and performs in the playoffs.

Geoff said...

It's not the same thing, ndyanks. When a cop pulls me over for rolling through a stop sign it isn't on national television and the integrity of all law enforcement isn't going to come into question if he lets me off with a warning.

Todd said...

Along with what NDYanks is saying, just because something is a rule, and is known, doesn't mean it automatically envokes common sense.

Think about this, a 16 year old kid in California got 30 years in prison because he was driving a car in which one of his passengers fired a bullet at another car, and no one was injured. Because the person who fired the bullet was part of a gang, the driver automatically suffers the same penalty, because in California there's anti-gang legislation that enforces guilt by affiliation with known gang members. Yet this kid now has to sit 30 years in prison without parole for a bullet his passenger fired that didn't hurt anyone? But it was because there was a black and white law that didn't allow for any exceptions, or allow the judge to consider any of the circumstances.

This is why black and white laws like the NBA fascismo operates with are dumb. Thank god I don't ever give a dime to that league.

Ralph_Wiggum said...

I was hoping Dan would comment on the Elston/Jones scuffle too. Replays clearly showed Duncan walking out onto the court before being pulled back by Bowen. If the NBA is going to stick to the letter of the rule, then Duncan clearly left the immediate bench area and should be suspended as well. But they didn't consider that play an "altercation" so the rule doesn't apply. Seems incredibly subjective to me.

verbal97 said...

ralph_wiggum:

awesome screen name

Chaddogg said...

Verbal97-

I never said the Red Sox were the first...only the most recent.

Plus, any chance to remind Yankees fans of choking like that - priceless.

Brian in Oxford said...

verbal, you can hold off the lectures on the 1942 Maple Leafs and 1975 Islanders.

Let's face it, when teams go down 0-3, the general public can only think of one particular scenario. Maybe it's because the other 2 were hockey, or maybe because it's "instant history", but the 2004 ALCS has become the "de facto" example of this.

verbal97 said...

Sorry chaddogg, I guess it was just Brian that was claiming to be unique.

"The Red Sox fan in me would like a little longer-lasting ownership to the 0-3 thing"

Liz said...

To go along with the "no exceptions to any rule" how about the kid in Georgia who is in jail for 10 years without parole for rape, even though both parties said that the sex was consensual, and the jury didn't want to convict him but they had no choice? The fact that the NBA or anyone else cites the fact that the rule was broken so they had to be suspended, just need to look at cases such as these where having an "iron-clad" rule does not work. The only person who should have been suspended was Horry. It's unbelieveable how the Spurs continue to get away with such dirty basketball.

verbal97 said...

sure, but the 42 Leafs was the Stanley Cup Finals! The Red Sox still had to beat the Cardinals or else it would have been meaningless.

It sucks that 2 of my 4 favorite sports teams are the 2 of the 3 that have dropped 3-0 leads (Yanks and Pens). But May 25 of two years ago more than made up for it.

Erik said...

Ok I live in Indy and it is NOT the Colts who are putting the stops on a driver painting his car with the Colts colors, it is the NFL with their archaic and monopolistic rules..

http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/news/story?seriesId=1&id=2871494

As to the Wings game last night.. Pronger should absolutely be suspended for a game. He was completely head hunting and there is no argument he or anyone else can say to refute that. The replays were clear that he came in with an elbow to the back of the head. It seems the Ducks have resorted to thuggery quite a bit in this series. In game 1 there were at least 2 cases were a Ducks player took a run at Hasek, one even punching him in the helmet while laying on top of him in the net. Predictions for the next game.. Ducks come out hard for the first 10 minutes, the Wings weather the storm and the Ducks are deflated after the initial surge. Wings win 3-1 and close this series out in Detroit.

Todd said...

Also, as per Tecmo Bowl. I can't imagine that it will have any real player/team names, since EA holds the exclusive NFL/NFLPA license. That's why 2K sports is doing a game with older, retired players.

Also in the videogame world, it got announced that Halo 3 is coming out on September 25.

Ftrain said...

For those against the ruling:

Remember the Roberto Alomar spitting at the umpire while with the O's. He was suspended for 5 games but he had to serve it during the next season and not the playoffs. What a joke that was.

Is that what the NBA should do? Destory their integrity and be like MLB

Boomhauertjs said...

Tecmo Bowl won't be as great because of EA's exclusive deal with the NFL. It won't have real names or teams and that was a big part of the appeal of the original.

B. Viddy said...

@ndyanksfan

Do you think traveling should be conditional too? I mean, if the dunk was cool, why call traveling? Or maybe if someone's foot is on the three-point line, but Areanas is the shooter. Should he get credit for the three anyways? After all, he knows what he is doing, I mean, he only was like an inch on the line, might as well count it. Or are the current rules too black and white?

Eric said...

Ralph_Wiggum said...
I was hoping Dan would comment on the Elston/Jones scuffle too. Replays clearly showed Duncan walking out onto the court before being pulled back by Bowen. If the NBA is going to stick to the letter of the rule, then Duncan clearly left the immediate bench area and should be suspended as well. But they didn't consider that play an "altercation" so the rule doesn't apply.


I agree. That's the real issue. If someone on the Suns through a punch would that make it an altercation thus Tim Duncan would be suspended. Should the Suns keep an eye when someone crosses the line dur a discussion and then throw a punch, therefore it's an altercation therefore a suspension?

I'm curious of the definition of an "altercation" because it's not like punches were thrown in either scrum

Todd said...

Ftrain, did you just say that the NBA has integrity?

Ftrain said...

@Todd

More so than baseball

Todd said...

@b. viddy, are you trying to be serious, or funny? Since obviously traveling in the NBA is the most laughably subjective "superstar" call in all of sports.

@Ftrain, for suspensions, I think baseball has more integrity than basketball. For steroids... not so much. I see it more as Bud Selig just being a bumbling idiot and David Stern being a power-obsessed despot.

Erik said...

I have very little faith in a new Tecmo Bowl being good. Almost all updates of classic franchises turn out badly in the players mind. The problem, we all have these fond memories of the game from our childhood that get built up over the years and a new game cannot compete with that. Anything will be a letdown.

On the Spurs/Suns series.. if the Spurs win tonight and close out the series at home in game 6.. is Big Shot Bob the series MVP? Could we say he just buried another dagger in a playoff game? lol.. sorry but this whole situation amuses me. Some of you people equating rules in a game to laws in the real world are just amusing.

Brian in Oxford said...

I only meant "own" as in "wear the crown" for the latest 0-3 team. Like when John Valentin was the last guy to do an unassisted triple play, and eventually Randy Velarde took over the mantle.

Anyways, what happened on 5-25-05? I tried searching for something obvious...game 2 between Heat-Pistons? a 12-11 San Diego-Arizona NL game? Ted Lilly beat Bronson Arroyo?

On the NBA thing....the rule isn't subjective in terms of leaving the bench, but I do agree with the fact that there's SOME subjectivity into what defines an "altercation".

In baseball, players get suspended, and then appeal for 3 weeks until they're playing a crap team, or they drop their appeal to time it not to miss a start. Blech.

B. Viddy said...

Trying to be funny, dude.

What I'm saying is that everyone laughs at traveling and complains that they dont call it, now you get a rule that is spelled out and people complain.

And PLEASE stop comparing this to breaking the law. ITS A RULE INFRACTION, NOT A LAW. Those people you allude to ARE IN PRISON because of what happened, not sitting on the bench in Armani suites getting ready to go to the strip club after with their buds the game. Breaking the law can ruin your life, breaking a rule gets you a night off, possibly with pay. Understand this and stop being ridiculous. If Amare and pal had been Artest and Jackson, we would all be thanking the NBA for being preventative.

Ftrain said...

@ b.viddy

Thanks for pointing out how ridiculous people have been comparing rules of a sport(!) to real life laws.

Mills said...

"Lance Berkman says the Home Run Title is "tainted" if Bonds earned it. I wonder how Berkman feels about his boy, Jeff Bagwell and his 449 home runs, many of which helped Berkman's Astros immensely. I'm not accusing, I'm just saying..."

This is reckless journalism at its best. I have NEVER heard Bagwell's name mentioned in steriod rumors. Why lump him into it now? Apples to Oranges.

Johnathan said...

Ok I don't normally post something; but somebody has to call you out on this Dan. Seriously how can you say you're not accusing Bagwell of steroid use when you distinctly implied that. I'm far from an Astros fan or a Bagwell fan but I never heard his name come up with any of that stuff. If anything Bagwell's home runs were much more earned than Jerkface's (I refuse to speak his name and he was a jerk personally to me when I was a kid and he played in Pittsburgh)

Todd said...

Okay good B Viddy...

As far as the law/rule thing, it's not to say that this was a travesty or an injustice compared to the penal system, just more (at least for me) an example of how ironclad rules can be dangerous in any circumstance. You're both right in pointing out that this is obviously trivial compared to real injustices that might occur elsewhere. All I was trying to use those examples for was to show that having inflexible rules, or those that don't take into account circumstance are potentially dangerous.

ndyanksfan05 said...

Your comparison is ridiculous - a three point basket is defined in detail because there needs to be a three point line, just a home run needs to hit a threshold to count as a homerun, or a ball must pass a certain threshold to count as TD. This rule is ridiculous and the enforcement of it is ludicrous because you are stating that in the emotion of a game, players must be confined to a very tiny area and if they even step foot out of that area, they are suspended...there is no logic to it. To say a rule is a rule is a cop out...and to say that enforcing this rule is to protect players is even stupider because they are condoning attacking a valuable player by an average player to atagonize a bench in an attempt to draw people out and get them suspended.

Players should be suspended constantly and coaches should be fined and T-d up throughout the game for "leaving the coaches box/bench". If you want to get into strict enforcement of all rules surrounding the bench then you have to punish every coach in the league and probably every bench player for stepping foot on the court while cheering during the game right? For consistencies sake...

I go back to my previous statements that the Suns should follow the "rules" of basketball and cheap shot Duncan to death tonight...hack the crap out of him, hit him in the face/knees while shooting to disrupt his shooting and hard foul him to the ground all night with crap bench players to try and evoke a response. Take a suspension to a mediocre bench player to hurt/evoke a suspension out of a star...

ndyanksfan05 said...

Basically - it is a rule. The NBA is hiding behind it and not showing any common sense on the issue. They refuse to show any backbone and it is going to end up blowing up in their face when the suns need to take matters into their own hands and fight back.

Ftrain said...

@ Todd & ndyanks

From True Hoops

I guess the one [argument] that has all of us motivated is: because it means so much and because what they did was so harmless. All true, but that's an impossible standard to maintain consistently in the future. Who wants to decide who's harmless and who isn't? Who wants to say which games are really important next time?"

This is why the suspensions need to be carried out

Eric said...
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ndyanksfan05 said...

Well then suspend Duncan for coming out on the court earlier in the game - he left the bench after two players collided...he should be gone.

Ftrain said...

@ NDyanks

It wasn't deemed an altercation by Stu Jackson.

from WWL:

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.


I didn't see the video so i can't give my own opinion.

chipp said...

No wonder US Basketball has gone in the crapper: 5 of the last 7 NBA MVPs have not been from the US.

chipp said...

Apologies: 5 of 6.

Geoff said...

Tim Duncan video:

http://warriors.aolsportsblog.com/2007/05/15/tim-duncan-left-the-bench-too-will-he-be-suspended/3#comments

No altercation.

Ftrain said...

@ chipp

US Virgin Islands (Tim Duncan) is an US terrority and its populous are US citizens.

Just sayin'

CycleDan said...

"It's a nice reminder that the outrage standard for cheating in, say, auto racing (and – cough – the NFL) is so much higher than in baseball. Imagine the brouhaha if the greatest player in baseball was busted for (or even simply accused of) cheating. Oh, wait..."

What? If they seriously wanted to stop people from cheating they would exclude the cheater from the next race. They suspend the crew chief and impose some nominal fine - big deal.

Also the NFL does so little testing and doesn't hold the team accountable at all. I consider the NFL drug policy little more than hand waving. Any NFL player should dope and shoot up as much as possible until they get caught at least once.

WedgeMcWedgy said...

From the Indy 500/ Colts article:

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts have no problem with Peyton Manning starting the Indianapolis 500. They just don't want a Colts car running in the May 27 race.

Paul Diatlovich, the primary owner of PDM Racing, said he had asked permission to paint Jimmy Kite's No. 18 car in the Colts team colors -- dark blue and white -- with a message on the car's sidepod that read simply "Go Colts."

Indianapolis officials nixed it because of sponsorship concerns.

"I'm extremely upset with the narrow-minded, pinheaded leadership of the Colts team and the NFL," said Diatlovich, who lives in the city. "It's inexcusable. All we're trying to do is say thank you."

WedgeMcWedgy said...

Sorry meant to include this line:

"Tom Zupancic, the Colts vice president for sales and marketing, said the team was adhering to a policy issued by the league last year. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league prohibits cross-promotion between sports."


looks like its the NFL, not the Colts who is stopping it.

chipp said...

Ftrain: good point. Although I'm still left with the last 3 MVPs not being US. However, none of those won the Title that year (as Duncan did '03, Shaq '00).

CycleDan said...

jhawkjim,
I agree with you assessment of the NBA and officiating. I truly believe the game of basketball the way it is played in the NBA is truly flawed. There is no legitimate way of playing defense. Unless a defensive player can anticipate where the offensive player will be and establish his position, there is no way the charge gets called. Players like Wade and Bryant will drive right into the defense, head down, knock a guy over while throwing the ball in the air and it will always be called a block. That is just stupid. The rules simply need to be changed to allow people to play defense.

The calls are so frequent and so subjective that the entire flow of almost any game is determined by the refs. Many people think the NBA refs are by far the worst of any sport. I think it is less about competence and more about changing and clarifying the rules. Watching people shoot foul shots is boring.

Ftrain said...

@Chipp

Does this mean foreign players don't have the mettle to win a NBA championship in the nba?

hmm i wonder...

chipp said...

Wow, as of today, Travis Hafner has 34H, 34BB, and 34K.

CycleDan said...

Let's face facts. The US was the only basketball power for years. Based upon international play such as the World Championship and Olympics and looking at foreign players in the NBA and college, the rest of the world has caught up and passed us in many ways. There is far more to basketball than being athletic and jumping high in the air and doing a reverse slam. At all teh basic skills, i.e., passing and shooting, US players are inferior to the top foreign players.

It is interesting that as Americans succeed more in Soccer and Cycling which are traditional European sports, we get worse in our traditional sports.

Brendan said...

For everyone boo-hooing about this travesty, quit whining. The whole situation is a mess.
First, the league obviously wanted to get rid of its fighting image and instituted the rule. DON'T LEAVE THE BENCH. The whole Duncan and Bowen thing is a joke. So they stepped on the court. It was not a fight. It was not an altercation.
Second, as I said before, the NBA has become a bunch of finesse playing babies. Basketball is a contact sport. Look at the last three MVPs, no championships. I love Nash and Dirk, but they are not tough physical basketball players. Horry had a flagrant foul that deserved an ejection and a fine. He did not at the point of tht foul hit Nash that hard. Nash is 6'3" and 195 lbs. Horry is 6'10" and 240 lbs. That is a huge size difference. Nash was flying down the court and they hit. Have you ever seen a side impact crash of a car? The cars don't need to be going that fast to have one hell of a collision and have it look terrible.
Third, Nash easily could have been ejected of fined as well if you look at his action after the collision. He jumped up and started off towards Horry. Nash is a classy player and I am sure he was pissed as hell, but it is still moving towards fighting.
The whole thing is a PR nightmare, but it is blown out of proportion. According to the rule which has been quoted over and over, Diaw and Amare had to be suspended. Horry did as well. Is it fair? Hell no, but it is the rule. If the NBA wants to change the rule go for it, but it hasn't as of yet.

The game of basketball is physical and the Suns are finding that out as are the Spurs. Contact is inevitable, but other than Horry's elbow, the rest is hard playing, tough luck, and things taken out of context.

chipp said...

ftrain: yep. Look at the last few champs, zero foreign players. Well, except for guys like Parker and Ginobili, but I'm sure they are the ONLY ones.

verbal97 said...
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Joey said...

Why do they constantly refer to it as "The Bench" still? There hasn't been a bench in years. They have comfortable cushioned seats that don't actually need warmed? I think the rule needs updated.

CMFost said...

Did anyone else just hear Dan patrick and David Stern going at it over the radio? They both sounded like they were getting pissed at each other. It was pretty interesting Radio.

B. Viddy said...

@ndyanksfan

The rule was put in place for one reason: What good can come from anyone coming off the bench? You say they need to defend their player. How? They can yell all they want, but the only way to retaliate is to hit him and that is a suspension. What could Amare done that would have made the situation better? There's nothing! He can't help that situation at all. No good comes from a player coming off the bench to get involoved in a fight. Don't you remember why the rule was put in place after all the Knicks/Heat series a few years ago? It was because players were coming off the bench instigating and escalating fights. The fewer people involved in this stuff, the quicker it becomes defused.

Everyone in the NBA knows this and in the end its the Suns who are idiots for coming off the bench.

hansenm said...

From TSN: "Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger has been suspended for one game by the National Hockey League."

Brendan said...

Hey Dan, looks like Patterson passed on your alma mater, I mean the school you have not connection to other than your wife, and chose Kentucky.

Kurt said...

Dan, you should put your jealousy of Bill Simmons aside for a second and read his article on the Suns/Spurs debacle. I think it's one of his best pieces in years.

rafael said...

Well, as everything is beaten to death..
One addition:
Bagwell AND Biggio were (for a brief time) also mentioned as "suspicious" characters that might have used 'roids. This was likely due more to the Caminiti thing. Guilt by association (well, suspicion by association) but it faded away very quickly.
Just so folk know Dan isn't making it up...it is a bit outdated (years), far as I know, though.

S said...

Ok, Ok. For those that say we need to follow to the letter of the rule. Go ahead and suspend the entire Sun team. Give the series to Spurs. I think we are missing the point - at the end of the day we now know that Spurs is a lesser team. They know they cannot win unless they resolve to this. Ok. Ok. The Sun players are stupid for they took the bait. But Spurs will remain forever the DIRTY team! They are not good enough!