The NBA, Where Inconsistency Happens

, Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 10:54 PM Comments (3)

I control outcomes of games before they are played.

I control outcomes of games before they are played.

Upon seeing the mass amounts of extra-curricular activities in these 2009 NBA playoffs and the inconsistent rulings on suspensions, fouls, etc. it is hard not to question the judgment of the NBA’s front office.  When the Phoenix Suns were trying to upend the San Antonio Spurs a few years ago, Robert Horry took it into his own hands to knock down the Sun’s leader.  A natural reaction of running toward your fallen and hurt teammate would be acceptable to most, but not the NBA.

Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw were both suspended for a crucial game 5, and the Spurs went on to win the Series.  Why was this ruling upheld? It was in the NBA’s best interest not to look at intent, but at the letter of the law.  You leave your bench area, you are suspended.  Rules are rules, this is plain black and white.  You want to know what is completely absurd?  The following rulings by the NBA:

You have to be a robot not to react to this intentional hit.

You have to be a robot not to react to this intentional hit.

  • Rajon “triple double” Rondo had back to back nights where he fouled the bejesus out of 2 Bulls players (one to the face)- no suspension
  • Kobe “no one can effing guard me” Mamba’s bow to the jugular of Ron Artest – no suspension

Both of those plays were BY FAR much worse than what Amare and Boris participated in, but the NBA is being firm in upholding the letter of the law. So then, why did I find this in the NBA rules book?

“Rule 12A–Section V–l(5)
l. A player, coach or trainer must be ejected for:
(1) A punching foul
(2) A fighting foul
(3) An elbow foul which makes contact above shoulder level. Violent acts of any nature on the court will not be tolerated. Players involved in altercations will be ejected, fined and/or suspended.

Officials have been instructed to eject a player who throws a punch, whether or not it connects, or an elbow which makes contact above shoulder level. If elbow contact is shoulder level or below, it shall be left to the discretion of the official as to whether the player is ejected. Even if a punch or an elbow goes undetected by the officials during the game, but is detected during a review of a videotape, that player will be penalized.

Interesting that neither Rondo and especially Kobe were suspended given that rule is stated clearly in the NBA rule book.  A precedent was set in the Suns Spurs fiasco, where the NBA stuck to the plain text of the rule and they should adhere to that rule, but they did not.  Lucky for the Celtics and Lakers, the NBA enjoys those 2 markets succeeding.  Unlucky for Derek Fisher that he becomes Mamba’s fall guy, and takes the suspension for Kobe.

I'd rather have Helen Keller ref'ing, than Violet.

I'd rather have Helen Keller ref'ing, than Violet.

Now, i would rather not have the NBA determine the outcome of games by suspending players for altercations on the court.  I understand if there is a fist fight, but we want players to be passionate.  We want Rafer “this aint Rucker Park” Alston to get emotional when his team is getting worked.  Do i agree with his biatch slap on Eddie House? No, but a suspension? Come on, just toss him from the game to begin with (how no Ref saw that is unbelievable, until you realize the NBA has the worse ref’s in the world).  I want players to take the game serious, and to leave everything on the floor.  I do not want the NBA to decide who wins series based on inconsistent rulings.  But i guess that is what we get for a company that has quietly swept a gambling scandal under the rug, claiming it a “rogue” official.

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