Tag: flagrant fouls

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four

NBA Playoffs: You can’t tarnish the Lakers’ franchise legacy, but their team sure tried


So this is how it ends. What felt like an inevitable run to the second three-peat for Kobe Bryant, the fourth three-peat for Phil Jackson, and yet another championship for the Los Angeles Lakers, ended in nothing but misery and classlessness in Dallas, Texas. A Hall of Fame coach most known for his motivational tactics witnesses his team outright quit, then conduct themselves in a reprehensible manner, down 30.

Observe, first Lamar Odom, after getting words from Dirk Nowitzki after missing front iron on free throws. Yes, free throws.

This from a veteran, the guy who when plugged in is the difference between a Lakers win and a loss more often than not. It wasn’t the worst foul, it was just so blatantly intentional. Odom was ineffective, along with the entirety of the Lakers. But to respond with such a petty approach as he is being swept out? It’s not even outrageous. It’s just sad.

Not as sad as Andrew Bynum, though.

Classless? Check. Unnecessary? Check. Predictable? You betcha. This is Andrew Bynum, who put Gerald Wallace in the hospital, and cracked Michael Beasley on a similar play this season. He was excused for it being an accident both times, but this just reaffirms the fact that Bynum’s still emotionally volatile to the point of recklessness. It’s a shame because if there was one Laker who actually played with intensity and execution, it’s Andrew Bynum. But Bynum won’t be displaying those skills for several games next season as he’ll be serving a very well-deserved suspension.

So what was more disgusting? A champion going down in such an effortless failure or the players responding to said adversity by committing petty fouls and drawing ejections? The winner is no one.

But the lack of effort should be noted as well. Instead of fighting to the bitter end and making a simple adjustment: defending the three and forcing the Mavericks to beat them inside, the Lakers stood by and watched as Jason Terry nailed three after three after three. Derek Fisher occasionally strolled by to try and “run him off” but on several possessions, no one was there.

This is the franchise of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, of Robert Horry, the .04 shot, the Shaq alley-oop, and the past two championships. And instead the Zen Master watched as his troops failed to commit, then committed an epic display of petulance to send him off. Nothing can tarnish the legacy of the Lakers, arguably the greatest franchise in the NBA, in all of sports.

But man, did they try hard in Game 4.

Blake Griffin shows Al Horford he could start for Steelers Sunday, loses game

Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks

In a development that’s certain not to spark useless debates between people regarding the words “excessive,” “soft,” and “good hard fouls,” Blake Griffin fouled the ever loving mercy out of Al Horford on a last second game-winning drive attempt. Griffin went straight up, kind of, rose both arms to block the shot, made a play on the ball, then made contact, demolished Horford into pieces, then followed through with his arms all the way to the floor.

The sickening “whump” of Horford’s back hitting the floor pretty much put the cap on the whole horrific scene which was less of a standard foul and more of the fouling equivalent of one of Griffin’s dunks. Griffin was charged with a flagrant foul. Horford finally, somehow, someway, shook off what was obviously intense pain and hit both free throws. The Hawks inbounded. Game over.

The video, sirs and madams:

So yeah, that’s a basketball snuff film.

The debate will obviously center around whether Griffin deserved the flagrant foul, as he clearly made a play on the ball. The debate will again turn to the definition of “excessive” and everyone will focus more on Griffin’s angle of trajectory rather than anything he does with his arms and hands before or after the shot attempt, and will equally ignore his follow through (check out the :47 second mark, specifically.

But the flagrant was within reason, considering the recklessness, which Griffin is both reknown and terrified because of, and the chance of injury for the opposing player. The other side will naturally draw comparisons to Chris Bosh talking about not diving for a loose ball. The fact that this is irrelevant will be lost on them, and instead we’ll turn to arguing the definition of “tough.”

Ah, Blake Griffin. Ushering in a new era of the same arbitrary debates.

In an unrelated note, foul or no foul, flagrant or not flagrant, can you believe Horford hit those free throws after that hit? Are you watching Dwight Howard?

LeBron James: Still not making friends

New Jersey Nets v Miami Heat

LeBron James is already a polarizing figure. He was becoming one prior to “The Decision,” and then his little TV special pushed things to a different stratosphere. But it’s not just those big events, or his Game 5 meltdown, or not shaking hands with the Magic after the Cavs’ 2009 elimination, or Kobe Bryant fans’ inability to let go of the claim of “best player in the league” that has him such a salty subject these days.

Kevin Garnett is a perfect example of someone who acts like a jerk to people who he doesn’t like or respect (sometimes to too far of a degree), but who his friends love passionately. He’s considered an institution around the league, and greeted warmly by many. James, on the other hand, seems to make more enemies wherever he goes, and he’s picking them up with his words and actions.

And last night he fanned the flames once again.

One person who isn’t a an of LeBron James? Terrence Williams. The Nets hung with the Heat for a half Saturday night, with Anthony Morrow filling it up. But in the third quarter, the Heat absolutely took over, and blew the Nets out. In the midst of their dunking and high flying antics, Terrence Williams got a little sick of it and decided to send a message.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/QLUe9EEjXQQ?fs=1&hl=en_US” height=”240″ width=”320″ /]

Just a little something to put a foot down and tell James he didn’t appreciate it. James told the New York Post that it wasn’t a dirty play. The Nets certainly didn’t feel it required the flagrant foul it received.

Not only did Williams level the foul, but he told the Post that James was being a, forgive me, drama queen about it to a degree.

“Falling all into the stands was a little much, I think,” Williams said.

James, not so much with the agreeing:

“For me, exaggerate a fall, never. I’ve never been a flop guy. I love contact. I didn’t exaggerate anything,” James said. “It didn’t send much of a message because we went on an 8-0 run after it.”

BURN. James did in fact score on consecutive possessions following the foul. But dang, King. Was that really necessary? Just another example of James not really giving a crap about who he offends these days, since he’s managed to anger just about 90% of the United States and parts of Canada.

But James wasn’t done! No, no!

Okay, so that could be pointed at any number of players, from Derrick Rose to Rajon Rondo. Probably Rondo. But was it really necessary? We all know CP3 and James are close, but that seems like a pretty pointed declaration at folks who would be considered int he conversation.

King James may be trying too hard to be a villain, but at least he’s selling it whole-heartedly.