What’s that old saying about leopards and spots?
Doesn’t matter if it’s Ron Artest or Metta World Peace or whatever, the guy who hammered James Harden with an elbow to the head on Sunday afternoon is a serial offender, always has been, always will be and if David Stern doesn’t hit him with at least a five-game suspension – and I can see it going as far as 10 – well, then David Stern has turned into Brendan Shanahan and is simply spinning the wheel of discipline and totally guessing.
Look, we all heard World Peace’s lame explanation that it was just some over-exuberant emotional outburst after making a nice play and there was some idiotic comparison to a hit he may or may not have got from Marc Gasol a year or so ago but the facts are simple:
He took his elbow, drew it back and smacked an unsuspecting opponent in the side of the head, taking Harden out of the game and, once again, showing that he cannot be trusted.
This is no isolated incident from some usually calm player doing something out of character.
World Peace did it when he played in Chicago, he did it when he played in Indiana, he did it last year as a Laker with a cheap clothesline shot to the head of Dallas’s J.J. Barea in a playoff game.
He has been suspended for more than 110 games over the course of his career and he’s a punk who cannot control his emotions.
Pure and simple.
And I don’t want to hear what a gentle guy he is away from the court, I know he does wonderful work with teenage emotional issues and can perhaps be admired for that at some level.
But you cannot deliver that kind of blow to an opponent’s neck no matter the circumstances. It looked entirely intentional to me, and I would imagine it looked entirely intentional to the NBA officials who are going to have to mete out punishment today.
World Peace is a serial offender, he has not shown the ability to control his emotions for the duration of his career and, yes, that has to come into play when Stern decides who long he’ll have to sit down for.
What happened Sunday was violent and dangerous and looked pre-mediated and so far removed from basketball it’s not even funny.
We’ve been inundated lately about players and coaches taking exceptions to “hard fouls” and this is so far beyond that it’s hardly worth mentioning in the same breath.
Forget my original five-game idea; I’ve talked myself into it having to be 10.
So, Super Dog’s got a cone on her head, stitches in her back two knees, she can’t do stairs while living in a back split, has to have “range of motion” therapy a half dozen times a day and will only eat her Doggie Morphine if the pills are delicately hidden in tiny bits of raw hot dog.
And I’m on the road until Tuesday night.
Oh, yeah, my time as Man Of The Year in Casa Doug is over.
Right, the game.
No big deal, really
Yes, DeMar DeRozan did not play in the fourth quarter and only played 28 minutes on the night – and played pretty well when he was out there – but, please, don’t read anything into it.
As Dwane said post-game, he just wanted to see what the other guys could give him in strange situations for them and if you can’t do that in Game 64 of a 66-game season against another going-nowhere team playing out the string, when can you do it?
Don’t be surprised if DeMar’s at about the same minutes tonight in Milwaukee or Thursday night at home; it’s nothing personal, it’s just that time of year.
Okay, so Ben Uzoh had four turnovers and Gary Forbes had five and point guard play was an issue.
If they are, as they have said all along, trying to find out some things about different guys, some night they aren’t going to like what they get.
And neither is ready, or capable, of being a regular part of any team with any kind of aspirations at all.
Sorry. Good guys and Forbes can make shots but as point guards, they don’t have it.
Making the point
Linas Kleiza had an interesting quote post-game and it had nothing to do with the great open look he had to tie the game.
Look, the players know better than we do that the season is winding down, that they won’t have really achieved much as a team when it’s over and these last few games are terribly hard to get up for.
They do, once the game’s underway and the adrenaline is flowing but before that? It’s hard, he said, in a rather candid, and correct, assessment of things:
“Maybe it’s tougher before the games. When you’re actually playing, it’s just like any other game but everything leading up to the game, it’s kind of hard to stay focused. Still, it’s our job and it’s what we love to do.”
Yes, I’ve seen MC Hammer, if only for about a song and a half but, trust me, I’m not about to run out and grab all his CDs or whatever they have these days.
Seems the San Diego Padres have been doing it longer and watching some highlights Sunday when they trotted them out again wasn’t too bad. Maybe it’s the fact there aren’t a whole bunch of them running around at one time but they didn’t look too bad.
Still have some issues about their very existence but they do fit the diamond better than the court.
One of the best lines of the weekend?
We’re out Saturday night having a bite to eat in an establishment with a lot of TVs and off in the corner is one showing the Mavs-Bulls.
We look up at one time, see a Dallas player writhing around the court in pain and can't really tell who it is; one guy looks at the other and says:
“Has to be Vince, right?”
One of the other best lines of the weekend?
We’re standing before the Sunday game, the conversation gets around to Saturday games and someone says, “hey, did you see where Wade dislocated a finger?”
Without missing a beat, guy who shall remain nameless says:
“Did they have to take him off in a wheelchair?”
Oh yeah, we are a laugh-a-minute bunch.
Okay, this is up stupid early because it’s a 45-minute drive to the Detroit airport from the hotel and it’s an early flight to Milwaukee so have fun reading, I’ll get to the much-anticipated comments once I’m settled in the Land O’ Cheese.
And see you hear about 8 p.m. for the penultimate IGBT of the regular season.