Friday, May 11, 2007

The NBA Must Protect Its Stars

How long is the NBA going to allow Bruce Bowen to put the livelihood of its top players at risk? The NBA is a star-driven league and Bowen is a threat to the quality of the league's product. After being kicked in the Achilles by Bowen, Amare Stoudemire, the NBA's best young big man, has joined Ray Allen and Vince Carter, among others, on the list of NBA players that have accused Bruce Bowen of being a dirty player. Not one of these three has a reputation for mindlessly shooting his mouth off, which is an indication that perhaps the league should monitor Bruce Bowen's actions more closely. He is an hard-nosed player with average (at best!) skill who has learned what today's referees will allow him to get away with and is taking advantage of it. Had he been playing in the 1980s, Bowen's opponents would have taken it upon themselves to discipline him with some well-placed elbows and forearms. However, the NBA's increasing efforts to eliminate violent play with the advent of the flagrant foul and the referees' itchy trigger fingers with technical fouls and ejections, someone needs to step in before a superstar is seriously injured.

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