James Harden and LeBron James put on a show worthy of two guys battling for the MVP award on Sunday. Harden had 33 points, LeBron 37 but missed seven of his last eight free throws, and that cost the Cavaliers the win.
But this is the play everyone will be talking about.
James was trying to pressure the ball out high, and when Harden picked up his dribble LeBron leaned in to try to get a jump ball. Harden fell and as he did kicked LeBron in the, um, family jewels. It was intentional, and Harden got a technical for it.
Harden said after the game it was just a reaction. Sure it was. LeBron said that the league will look at it, and that is true. Whether the league fines Harden remains to be seen, but as this is clearly intentional I would not be surprised.
Harden and the Rockets got the win, which is all he cared about.
If you grab a player by the throat, you’re going to get a suspension.
That’s what Warriors’ big man Festus Ezeli did in his first game back from injury Friday night against the Raptors. Late in the third quarter Ezeli and Tyler Hansbrough battled for rebound position, they started to head back up the court and, likely after some words were exchanged, Ezeli turned and grabbed Hansbrough by the throat. The two squared off, but people got in the way before any punches were thrown, as is the NBA way.
The league came out Saturday and announced Ezeli was suspended one game. He will sit out Sunday vs. the Celtics.