22 April 2012
It has been a tough week in pro basketball... and we're not just talkiing about the Phoenix Suns damaging their hopes for a play-off berth by giving up a crucial late season game to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Yes that was ugly - but were you surprised?
After all the Nuggets are known for getting some play-off action only to blow it when crunch time comes and their 118 - 107 win over Phoenix punched their ticket to another post season appearance. (Not that it will do them much good - 'cause this looks like it is shaping-up to be another 'If Only' play-off extravaganza for the denizens of the Mile High City.)
No - dear readers - by a tough week in the NBA we mean there were several unnecessarily physical displays of nastiness as the Suns Robin Lopez and - the man we still call - Ron Artest let their meanness out on the court. In the case of Lopez - by far the Suns least capable player - it was in the fourth quarter of the April 19th game against the LA Clippers that he tried what looked like a mid-air choke hold on star frontcourt ace Blake Griffin and found himself bounced from the game for a flagrant two. Sad to say it but - we have to side with Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro in calling for Lopez to have received more than a partial game ejection.
Let's face it - even the most partisan Suns fan knows that - RoLo has the temperment of an angry 12-year old in need of pysch meds and his locker smashing, and attempted referee stare down antics need to be curbed. It would be one thing if he simply sought to stop Griffin from scoring in that close, hardfought game - but to reach around a player's neck while they are in mid-air is beyond the pale.
And then there is Ron Artest - a man who should be forced to sit out more than a few games. Just check the video - which was (pulled from YouTube earlier today) - in which he successfully manages to elbow an opposing player named James Harden in the head while they are in open court. This is inexcusable trash that wouldn't even be acceptable in a hockey game. Sure the offending player is claiming his actions were a result of being "emotional" after having dunked a key shot.
Kind of like saying we can beat our neighbors after winning the lottery. But what else can we expect from Ron - the NBA has tolerated his ignorant actions for years.
Well - enough is enough. If we can get nothing else from this abbreviated NBA season let's at least bench Lopez and Artest permanently.