Well for those of you who didn’t see it, Rudy Fernandez got fouled by Trevor Ariza pretty hard as he went up for a breakaway layup/ maybe dunk. Ariza got a LOT of ball, but he got hit for the flagrant 2 for the fact that he swung really hard at the ball and that he followed through and hit arm. However, after reviewing it 84 times (with the coverage from the Portland announcers which was the most biased announcing I’ve ever heard), I’m convinced that the days of coverage surrounding the suspension talk will be largely unwarranted.
The flagrant 2 was the correct call, but there are factors that are going to go into this, which will likely lead to a suspension.
- At the time, the Lakers were down 25, so it looks a lot like frustration/ retaliation (likely was).
- Fernandez is a soccer flopper and went up sideways, while American NBA players would have anticipated the foul and gone up under control, but he didn’t and therefore fell very awkwardly
- As they should have, the Blazers took precautions and brought Fernandez off on a stretcher, so it really looked awful.
On an unrelated note, the Blazers fans all have “Beat L.A. t-shirts,” which brings to mind other “rivalries” that only one team perceives*: Maryland to Duke; Tampa Bay to the Yankees; others?
* – Hats off to the Blazers though who absolutely SMOKED the Lakers tonight, and have beaten the Lakers for four years without losing a game against the Lakers in the Rose Garden. They are definitely a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.
UPDATE: The NBA office decided not to suspend Ariza (justified), but are now looking at whether or not Lamar Odom should be suspended. Interesting grey area because Odom never went on the floor, but clearly took steps away from the bench (the fracas was below the baseline). I’m betting on a suspension, but there’s leeway here to say he didn’t really go on to the floor.
UPDATE 2: Now the NBA has suspended Odom for one game for “leaving the bench”. Mitch Kupchak is not pleased.