Antonio Davis, of the New York Knicks, got suspended by the NBA for 5 games this past week. His crime was running into the stands during a game which is a definite no no and a very worrying sight for NBA officials especially after the whole Ron Artest debacle at the Palace of Auburn Hills last year.
But lets look at why Mr Davis ran into the stands. Apparently Davis was running to the aid of his wife Kendra who was up there watching the game. She was in an argument with another fan and from where Antonio was standing on the sidelines of the game it appeared as if a physical altercation was about to take place or his wife was being threatened. Davis ran to his wife's assistance and things de-escalated as security arrived and removed the offending fan. I'm guessing they also de-escalated because no average size fan is ready to scrap with anyone who can call a 6'10" 200+ big black dude to support them in a battle.
Anyway the fan says he wasn't threatening Mrs Davis and she was the one who hit him so he is demanding an apology and is actually suing the couple as well.
Ok its probably going to get more news coverage than it deserves and who knows what the actual truth is. Maybe its somewhere in between Davis' claim and the dude's claim. Davis however has been suspended for five games without pay which is actually a pretty lenient sentence in the NBA for his "crime".
Ok as an aside let me just say I'm not a big Antonio Davis fan. He got big cash in Toronto a few years back, then made a jackass of himself with comments saying he doesn't want to play here because amongst other things he doesn't like his family being in Canada because our schools teach his kids strange things like the metric system. Comments like that showed me homeboy was kinda dumb.
So he was traded away from the Raptors as all spoilt pouting petulant child-like players are eventually (that means you Vince) but I just found his attitude and effort, after his silly comments, really fell off and he put in a half assed effort at best for the Toronto team his last year here.
Anyway this is not about my liking him or not. I understand him being suspended as the NBA rules leave no grey areas for interpretation. He broke the rules, he was punished. However the question is are the rules right?
I just think the NBA rules don't follow a lot of common sense. Why? 9 Times out of 10 any man seeing his wife or another family member in that situation will respond by running to their assistance. Your brother staring down two bullies, you got his back, some jerk messing with your parents you are in there ready to scrap. That's not true?
Is only if the person involved is somebody like Aunt Gertrude second boy that still owe ya money, Cousin Steve that tief all ya matchbox cars from ya when ya was a lil boy or ya inlaws or somebody so that ya might decide I aint getting involved in that but otherwise the average guy is looking to go and support whoever in his family he perceives to be in need of assistance.
Another similarly silly NBA rule is the no tolerance one that says if your teammate gets into a scrap on the floor you cant get off the bench and get involved. In fact if a player takes one step onto the court he is automatically suspended at least one game so anytime some altercation occurs and players on the bench stand up you normally see one or two of the assistant coaches trying to push them back to their seats so they wont violate this rule.
Ok these are your teammates involved in a battle on the court. I'm not arguing for the right for a player in such a situation to run out there and start a full out fist of fury, throwing bows, melee but these are the dudes you spend 7-8 months a year playing with, traveling with, hanging out with becoming a team sometimes even a family. These are your boys! And you are not allowed to even take one step onto the floor when they are in potential trouble? Come on now! Instinct alone will get you up off the bench and taking that step to where the incident is occurring so it seems silly to me to punish someone for that. Zero tolerance gone wrong in my opinion. I mean the players are men not robots, instinct will move them to respond.
Ok so the argument is that the folks getting up from the bench will escalate the altercation which is possible but maybe some of them might be going to intervene to try to pull the combatants apart and cool things down. You could argue that too.
Oh well, NBA commish David Stern knows best. I'm just saying humans have certain instincts to respond .... react to certain situations. Yes human instinct can be wrong but what does it say when right is considered sitting back passively and watching as your family or friends are involved in a situation while wrong is considered going to their assistance.
And no I'm not crying boo hoo for Mr Davis and his 5 game suspension which costs him 700Gs in lost salary (thats 140,000 per game, or 2916 dollars per minute damn!!) which shows you how ridiculously paid he is. I just think the principle behind the rules may be slightly flawed.