Monday, May 14, 2007

How Is This OK?

In a postseason marred by inconsistent and, at times, embarrassingly one-sided officiating, Greg Willard, Eddie F. Rush and Tim Donaghy took bad officiating to whole new level with their performance in Game 3 of the Phoenix Suns-San Antonio Spurs series. On the heels of the Suns calling out the Spurs' Bruce Bowen as a dirty player, not the first such allegation, for his Game 2 kick to Amare Stoudemire's Achilles, it was Bowen and the Spurs (again!) getting every questionable call while Stoudemire couldn't take two steps without getting whistled for a foul. If this wasn't bad enough, just one minute into the 3rd quarter, Bowen's knee somehow managed to find Steve Nash's groin, sending the two-time MVP to the floor in pain. Foul on Bowen, right? Of course not!

How is it that a player who has been accused of dirty play on several occasions, under scrutiny for yet another allegedly dirty play, can run his knee into another player's midsection, NOT while running or jumping, but while standing relatively still, without picking up a foul? Good question. While Bowen has removed virtually all doubt as to whether or not he's a dirty player, he's not entirely to blame. Where are the officials??? If the league is going to insist on banning anything even resembling a hard foul, it's the officials' responsibility to project the players' well-being.

Late in the 4th quarter, once the game had already been decided, Bruce Bowen was called for a cheap foul on Nash. It was the kind of foul that could be called on Bowen on EVERY play. He wouldn't last 5 minutes in any game if this was called consistently. It was as though the officials were telling Phoenix "see, we call fouls on Bowen!" This was a blatant act of disrespect, not just toward the Suns and their fans, but toward all NBA fans. This kind of horrendous officiating is calling the integrity of the league into question.

Looks like Joey Crawford was the only chance the Spurs' opponent had of getting a fair shake.

No comments: