Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Suspensions Punish the Wrong Team

I understand that it is what it is and that Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw should have known better but any system that rewards the team that starts an altercation the way the Spurs did Monday night is a messed up system. In case you’ve been under a rock Robert Horry (AKA Cheap Shot Bob) sent Steve Nash soaring out of bounds in an overly excessive frustration foul in the final minute of Monday night’s game four of their series.

As a result of the foul, and the ensuing altercation, Horry received a two game suspension. The only other players suspended Stoudemire and Diaw and they weren’t involved in the incident at all. There crime was stepping out onto the floor and leaving the bench area. They were never involved in the incident but they were suspended anyway. As a result the Suns now have lost their leading scorer and his backup for game five while the Spurs lose a guy who averages below five points a game. I’m sure Gregg Popovich has already put his thank you card in the mail to the league office for upholding the rule that suspends players for leaving the bench.

Here’s how messed up that rule is. Immediately after Nash was floored by Horry his teammate Raja Bell rushed in and got involved in the altercation. He received a technical foul for his involvement but not a suspension. Steve Nash jumped up from the floor and even grabbed Horry. He received no foul and no suspension even though he involved himself in the altercation. So there were three guys involved, if you want to look at it that way, and the league rules are going to punish two guys who were nothing more than spectators while the other two guys who were actually involved receive nothing in the way of punishment.

Meanwhile Robert Horry goes from being chastised for an overzealous act of thuggery to becoming a hero in the state of Texas for getting two of the main offensive weapons removed from a team they have to play on the road.