When bit players spoil the big moments
And to think it was all started by a total afterthought named Lance Stephenson.
In case you missed it, the Heat-Pacers game turned into first-round pucks last night with gratuitous elbows and cheap shots and, surely to all that is good in the world, a couple of suspensions from the NBA’s Lords of Discipline today.
Dexter Pittman, who is to afterthoughts almost what Stephenson is in the grand scheme of professional basketball today, delivered the most blatant and one that has to get him suspended for, oh, I dunno, five games?
Check it out, see if I’m not right?
If that’s Metta World Peace, he’s done forever; it’s a guy with no real history so five games makes sense to me because you cannot throw an elbow to the head and neck of an airborne opponent without paying a steep price.
So, thanks, Lance, for helping tarnish at least a little bit what could have been a compelling series that’s turned into all sorts of ugly.
It was Stephenson, you recall, who got up from his perch at the end of the Indy bench earlier this series and flashed the choke sign at LeBron James after James had missed a free throw.
Classy move, indeed.
James, in what might have been his best media answer ever, gave it one of the old “Who? What is Lance Stephenson?” when asked about it and he went on with dominating the series.
Of course, no one could leave well enough alone, which led to an escalation of verbal shots on the off-day, a Tyler Hansbrough cheap shot on Dwyane Wade, a Udonis Haslem flagrant on Hansbrough and then Pittman’s elbow to Stephenson’s neck late in Game 5.
Now, we all like our playoff basketball to be rough and tumble and it always is as series progress, teams develop a healthy dislike for each other that gives an edge to the games.
But what we don’t like, and don’t need, are bit players doing stupid things, trying to somehow make a name for themselves when what they should be doing is watching the good players play and learning from them.
The Pittman-Stephenson incident was not about basketball at any level – you could make a so-so case that the first two flagrant fouls of the night were borne of over-exuberance and at least a little bit explainable – and that’s just wrong.
I’m hoping the league comes down hard and that Game 6 is tough, but clean. Or what basketball’s supposed to be about.
Let’s get started, the weekend approacheth.
Hey, an afternoon TOD game today!
What a great idea.
They should keep it up.
Oh, they made it official the other day that DeMar’s on the USA Select team and that Jay Triano is the co-head coach (old news in these parts) but other than that?
They’re out looking at kids, as they have been for a while.
End of update, hope everyone’s happy.
Now, I don’t know Danny Kouvermans from Adam and I haven’t written more than two or three TFC stories in my life but, man, I like the guy.
First, the TFCs get drilled on the weekend and he says they’re “the worst team in the world” which is truly a money quote.
Then, as Our Man Dan scribbles today, Kouvermans doesn’t backtrack at all; suggesting:
“There’s not one (other) team in the world who lost nine times in a row. I don’t think what I was saying is not true.”
I tell ya, if you can’t win on the pitch, you better be entertaining off it and this guy’s been gold this week.
So, too, has his teammate Jeremy Hall, who said going into tonight’s big tilt with the Vancouvers:
“We have a chance to win the Canadian Cup, be the best 0-9 team in Canada.”
That’s the marketing slogan right there, isn’t it?
I tell ya, as hoofers, athletes aren’t too bad, are they?
I didn’t see it but I’m saddened that he didn’t do a Lambeau Leap into Carrie Ann, Bruno and Len; that would have been classic.
Hey, I heard the medical drama House is done now?
Where’s it rank?
Used to see it a few times here and there and it wasn’t bad; it was kind of like House was the MacGyver of doctors, always finding some odd way to solve a mystery.
Of course, the drug addiction backstory was rather unique but, frankly, the show got a bit old in a big hurry, didn’t it?
Will it be missed?
Speaking of Heat-Pacers, the one and only Mike Wells gets the money quote there with Larry Bird saying:
"I can't believe my team went soft. S-O-F-T. I'm disappointed. I never thought it would happen."
Coming from as tough and as tough-minded a player as there has ever been, that’s a huge indictment and it’ll be interesting to see how Indy reacts.