UPDATE: Found the clip of Nash tripping Felton.
Remember all that whining the Suns did last playoffs? Well, most of it revolved around Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw getting suspended. But….
*Side Rant* The rules for leaving the bench were implemented for a reason, a good reason. No exceptions should be made. Period.
And good for Commissioner Stern for not putting the rule up for discussion on the agenda for NBA owner meetings. For one, officials can’t always determine intentions when a player leaves the bench. But more importantly, neither can other players already involved in a potential situation. Plain and simple, fisticuffs in NBA basketball games have the ability to be defused easier and more quickly when you limit the possible number of players involved. And if the boundaries are broken, punishment should be handed down, no question.
But back to the Canadian.
I really don’t believe Bruce Bowen’s step-in on Nash last year…where there was incidental contact between Bowen’s left leg and Nash’s crotch…was that bad. Used to be, if someone was up in your sh*t on defense, you took the ball through their nose. Bruce Bowen has displayed many dirty defensive “tricks” in the past….but his reputation doesn’t always have to precede itself and translate to assumptions about every one of his questionable plays. So yea, call an offensive foul on Bruce in this instance…but otherwise, chill out.
And Robert Horry’s hip check. Bad foul, shouldn’t have happened. Call a technical, flagrant…whatever. But the reactions? Save that for TNT’s non-NBA programming. They know it.
Well…I wasn’t watching the Charlotte Bobcats – Phoenix Suns game last night when it happened, but I did catch the highlights and a brief discussion on ESPN’s NBA Nation. Of course, the Suns were up 30+ when this happened…
….but Ray Felton drove the lane, easily getting past with a spin move Nash as most do; Steve Nash was knocked off balance, but clearly stuck out his leg tripping Felton, who went down very hard, in the process. Ray was able to shoot the FTs, but got taken to the training room after that. Thankfully today, MRI reports say that Felton’s knee should be okay.
Unfortunately, I can’t find a link to the clip yet….and I’d really like to see the play a couple more times for an in depth breakdown. But I know what I saw, and what I saw looked much more intentional that Bowen’s knee to the crotch. (and I know that you’re asking yourself, why were either of these guys in the game anyway?….irrelevant)
UPDATE: Found the clip of Nash tripping Felton, I think the evidence is conclusive.
Now, I really respect Steve Nash’s ability. And I’m fairly confident that he deserved those MVP awards. But he’s not the innocent white cream pie that people perceive him to be. He’s a warrior, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be dirty too. He’s just a little more deceptive and smart about it than others. Think John Stockton.
Verdict: 1 game suspension….and yes, “hypocrite” maaay be a little harsh, then again, maybe not.
If anyone disagrees, I’d like to know why his foot was that high in the air and reaching back…..and if I’m totally off-base and wrong on this one, I will apologize.
BTW…interesting discussion on Yahoo! Answers….someone posed the question on whether Nash’s trip on Felton was intentional or not.