Normally, my stance on players with long hair in professional sports goes something like this: It’s a free country and all that, but just know what you’re doing might make you a target.
In the NFL, for example, it’s especially tantalizing for defenders when they see the long flowing locks of their opponent dangling out of the back of the helmet, and sometimes, if it’s the only option to make a play, they’ll grab the guy by his hair and drag him to the ground.
But in the NBA, it’s different because physical contact isn’t really encouraged. There isn’t a place in the game where grabbing a player — by his hair or anything else — is even legal, much less tolerated.
That’s especially true when a play is over, and has been whistled dead by the officials. But in the video clip above, you can see Tony Allen grab Kenneth Faried’s hair in frustration before he heads to the other end of the floor.
The Grizzlies like to use the words “grit” and “grind” as a motto to describe the way their team plays. That’s apparently just code for “dirty,” and something they’ll resort to when getting beaten by a lesser opponent at home, as they were by the Nuggets on Monday.
Delon Wright (right shoulder) visited specialist Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Wednesday in New York. After consultation with Williams, it was decided no surgery is required at this time, the team announced… pic.twitter.com/Xct0iAakaF
Health was always the major question with this team, and it won’t soften as Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari age through lucrative contracts.
The final year of Beverley’s contract is guaranteed for just $5,027,028 next season, and the 29-year-old will spend most of the summer recovering from this injury. That salary is probably low enough that the Clippers will keep him without hesitation.
Until then, down a couple point guards, the Clippers have no choice but to continue leaning more on Austin Rivers. That also means greater roles for second-round rookies Jawun Evans and Sindarius Thornwell. That’s just too many players facing outsized responsibility.
The Pelicans, Grizzlies, Jazz and any other team competing for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference ought to feel better about their chances. They’re still competing with each other, and it’s doubtful all three make it. But Beverley’s injury helps clear the way.
The Clippers, who didn’t want to take a major step back after Chris Paul‘s departure, must confront an even more uneasy reality.
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