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Off topic a bit, but yesterday David Stern called into Dan Patrick's show on ESPN. The discussion centered around the Suns/Spurs game....

Patrick "This series is going to be decided by Robert Horry's Hip Check on Steve Nash."

Stern "No.. this series is going to be decided by two Phoenix Suns who broke the rules."

Today on Mike and Mike, Dan Patrick brought up a good point...Why is there regular season basketball and Playoff basketball? Why is there a difference in the interpretation and enforcement of the rules during Playoff basketball?

Were the suspensions just?

I thought the same thing after hearing Lebron on sportscenter. WHen a family member is sick and you have to miss a game like Derrick Fisher, that's when you say "this is just a game, family is more important."

You don't say it when you're trying to act like a loss doesn't matter to you. For the money he's being paid, and for the fans that came out to see that game... it damn well better bother you that you lost.

The suspensions were by the rules, but the rule is ridiculous.

The Spurs got rewarded for Horry's dirty play, and the Suns players didn't even retaliate. A lot of times in sports, it's the second guy that gets caught. In baseball, it's the second pitcher to bean someone who gets suspended, in football it's the second guy to take a swing at someone that gets the flag.

In this case, Stoudemire and Diaw got up off the bench, but they didn't even get over to Horry, they didn't throw a punch, they didn't shove anyone. What if they jumped up to go see if Nash was OK? Would they be suspended for that? I guess David Stern's answer is yes.

To answer Dan Patrick's question, NBA playoff games are played differently (a greater percentage of the players actually care, so the games are more physical) so they have to be officiated differently. We can't have Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli fouling out, now can we?

Bleed Green,

You hit the nail on the head. Things like this drive me crazy coming from athletes, especially "superstars" another example is Tiki Barber announcing his retirement at the beginning of the year, then using the entire Giants season as PR campaign to land a broadcasting job.

Do these guys even realize that there are fans out there who REALLY CARE if they win or lose? Fans who spend hundreds of dollars, sometimes thousands just to see them play? I guess they realize it, they just don't care.

I think LeBron is more likely to become the next Vince Carter than the next Michael Jordan.

What bothered me is that the rules are loosely interpreted for everything else BUT the leaving the bench rule. Like you said...what if Stoudemire left the bench to check on Nash? Did he deserved to be thrown out? Meanwhile Bowen knees Nash in the nuts and trips him, yet that's overlooked!

Charles Barkley had the right attitude... he said on Mike and Mike that if he were a Sun, he's set an illegal pick and foul Tony Parker into the second row. Players policing themselves... it happens in every sport. Refs shouldn't determine the game with calls, plain and simple.

As for LeBron, remember he's still 22. While it was a boneheaded and careless comment and he should care more of the outcome, he may be tentative at his age in stepping forward and being a leader. Let's see if he steps it up a notch and earns his pay with his play the next game.

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Mix Master Mu on May 17 at 12:54
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Yeah i was big on Lebron when he came into the league because it looked like he wanted to dominate everyone. Now that he has all this money and wants to be the richest athlete in the world it seems as if he doesn't care about the sport anymore. He rarely takes it to the hole and relies on his pull up 3 pointer which he shoots at a crappy clip. I don't even know who to root for in the nba playoffs. Either the Suns or Jazz I guess. Luckily on Tuesday the 22nd the NBA will pull the sixers card and they will have the number one pick. Here is my new sixers lineup after draft. Nothing to do with free agency.

PG-Andre Miller, L. Williams
SG-Marco Belinelli or Rudy Fernandez/Green (but hopefully not Green)
SF-Iggy, Korver
PF-Dalembert,Hunter
C-Oden,Dalembert

"When a family member is sick and you have to miss a game like Derrick Fisher, that's when you say "this is just a game, family is more important."

Well, for those who didn't know, LeBron's pregnant girlfriend was taking out of the game in the 3rd quarter in a stretcher. So maybe James was putting this game in the proper context, okay? I'm not James fan, but he's right - it is just basketball. Sorry if he doesn't use metaphors like "war", "battle" and the such, to make it seem like it's much bigger than it is. Then, of course, you can shoot him down for not appreciating what real war is about....

But I agree with Brian that LBJ is likely to become the next Vince Carter than Jordan.

As for the suspensions: obviously they were just, except for Horry's (which was tacked on to appease the angry Suns' fan base). The rule is pretty clear, and has always been black and white in enforcement; if you are dumb enough to get off that bench, you know the outcome is an automatic suspension. Ask Pat Ewing.

As for the rule itself: yeah, it could be more flexible, but I don't see how. Making it a judgment call instead of a black and white thing opens it up to second guessing. The point of the rule is to prevent incidents from getting out of hand... and it works. That "altercation" the other day was pretty tame, right? But if Amare wonders over, and someone cracks him in the face, well... you got a real black eye on the league there. People need to stop whiny about this rule. Amare and Diaw know better, and they f*cked up....

I hadn't heard about his girlfriend being taken out on a stretcher, although it kinda makes me wonder (a) why he was upbeat after losing the playoff game AND having his pregnant girlfriend in some kind of distress and (b) what the hell was he doing there and not at the hospital? I doubt David Stern would've levied a fine for skipping the interviews if there was a medical emergency, but you never know, that rule may be black and white too.

As for the rule, it's debatable whether Amare and Diaw knew it, but the coaches definitely did. It just happened too quickly, and too close for anyone to stop them. By the letter of the law, yes they should've been suspended. It's just such a shame that a dirty play (and poor decisions, I'll give you that) decided this series.

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Mix Master Mu on May 17 at 14:27
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The league still makes it a judgement call. Bowen and Duncan go on the court after a tangle up which could have lead to an altercation. To say it wasn't an altercation and you can't suspend someone for that is dumb. Also what constitutes the bench? Where does the bench end? I saw like one of Amare's legs even touch the court and will have to watch it again to see if Diaw's foot hits the playing court. Also why only two games for throwing an elbow/forearm. After watching UFC i'd rather get hit with a fist then an elbow.

I really didn't care who won this series. Now i'm pulling for the Suns and hopefully the league will smarten up because every year the talent and the fan base drops off. This from a kid who loves hoops.

Mix Masta

WOW... the more that comes out about LeBron, the bigger a jerk he now seems. If hearing about his pregnant GF isn't enough, here's another one...

Little used Cavs PF Ira Newbie drafted a letter to the Chinese government protesting the killings in Darfur. China is hosting the 2008 Olympics, and the letter calls on NBA players to boycott the US team until the Chinese government stops the killings. Ten of the Cavs signed it, but LeBron and Damon Jones both refused given their ties to Nike.

I was wrong to defend LeBron for his age. At 22, you know right from wrong, and when your mere signature would make a difference and you won't bother to help, that makes you, LBJ, a first-class ASS. It's all about the money, and you'll never be the next Jordan, just the highest paid mercenary.

Hold it right there. I don't believe for a second that Damon Jones has ties to Nike. That guy is horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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