So on the sporting front one of the bigger stories this week was Robert Horry's hard foul of Steve Nash in game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Semi-finals Spurs vs Suns game.
Horry for his part received a 2 game suspension for the hit while Sun's players Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw received automatic one game suspensions for leaving the Sun's bench during the incident.
Now I actually happen to like Robert 'Big Shot Bob' Horry. Been a fan since he was in Houston winning championships in the early 90s. In fact I like him so much that I even supported him when he was a Laker and anyone who knows me well knows I've been hating on the Lakers since back in the Kareem and Magic days. But having said that it was a cheap foul on his part. He got caught up in the game and it was unnecessary. I'm a still support him after he comes back from the suspension though.
Anyway the aftermath of the incident highlights what for a long time has been in my opinion one of the dumbest rules anywhere. I mentioned it in passing early last year in another post regarding another silly NBA rule but this one is worse. Its the rule which caused Amare and Boris Diaw to be suspended for a game just for getting up from the bench. It states something like if there is an incident and you're not on the court you cant leave the bench or step so much as one foot on the court or you get an automatic suspension. Its been pretty much enforced rigorously by the league since its inception (which may or may not have been following the Heat, Knicks incident back in the 90s when Van Gundy was hanging on to Alonzo Morning's leg for dear life during an altercation).
This rule is just plain stupid and neglects to take into account any sort of normal human behavior. The NBA wants its players to play with passion but just as quickly turn off that joie de vivre when they step off the court.
Instinct says that if you see your fellow player pushed or shoved to the floor on court at the very least your first move will be to stand up and take a step towards the incident. This doesn't mean you're going out there to bust heads or escalate the issue it just means you're human and your concern for another individual, that you know, has made you want to go help them. We wouldn't be human without that instinct.
So for the league to have no tolerance and enforce this rule with such an iron fist tells me that they don't really think of their players as human beings. They are just product.
The NBA has tonnes of rules regarding players, their behaviour and appearance etc. Some I agree with, others I think are too strict since we are dealing with grown men here not children but this one is the worse.
Mr Stern I know you don't want to have melees on your hand like what occurred in Detroit in 2005 but at the same time you need to acknowledge that just getting up off the bench and moving towards an incident in a highly charged basketball game should not be a punishable offense or at the very least you need to be subjective and not follow this rule to the letter of the law in every single case.
This ruling in this specific game could have some serious ramifications for the outcome of the series as you left Phoenix short handed last night and they lost. It just wasn't fair.
That said I'm still backing King Tim and the Spurs over the Sun.