Could Serge Ibaka be suspended by the NBA for his low blow on Los Angeles’ Blake Griffin? We’ll probably find out tomorrow.
If you’re not familiar with what happened, with 1:52 left in Sunday’s game with the Los Angeles Clippers, Ibaka dropped a fist to the groin of Griffin. Here’s the video:
[youtube id=”quUZ0P9pJ2Y” width=”620″ height=”360″]
Ibaka was issued a flagrant 1 and was able to stay in the game, much to the dismay of the Clipper fans. Ibaka was a key component in the Thunder being able to withstand the Los Angeles come back.
Ibaka said after the game:
“He hit my hands away,” Ibaka told reporters afterward. “He’s strong, so when he grabs you, your jersey or whatever, and you try to defend yourself and rebound. So maybe you can do some move, not to hurt, [but] just to get good position, but then something happens where you get hurt in the paint. It’s not anything where I want to try to hurt him. I’m not that kind of person. I just try to play hard, and that’s it.
“I just tried to play hard. I really don’t care if someone is dirty or not, that’s not my problem. His game was intense. We all were complaining to the referees [about] some dirty stuff. It’s basketball. We just played. If you can see the replay, you can see he grabbed my jersey first so I wanted to try to defend myself, [but] not to hurt him.”
I get it, Ibaka was in a way, defending himself against the positioning of Griffin. As you see here:
(sorry for the random ABC logo in the middle of the screen).
Griffin blatantly had a hold of Ibaka’s jersey. So, it’s not like what Ibaka said is a lie. However, the action that Ibaka took, whether incident on purpose is the issue at hand. It’s rough and tough under neath the basketball. Players get hit, kicked and I guess racked at times under the rim? I guess so. I definitely feel that this was in retaliation of the Griffin jersey pull. The swipe at Griffin’s arm was the retaliation and ended in a dirty play. Sorry Thunder fans.
Darnell Mayberry of the Daily Oklahoman said that Ibaka may not receive a suspension, due to the fact that the NBA takes into account past incidents. Mayberry does also mention that Ibaka may receive a fine though. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000.
However, there have been precedent already on groin contact this season. DeMarcus Cousins hit OJ Mayo in the ground. Also, Dwyane Wade drop kicked Charlotte Bobcat’s Raymond Felton in the nether region earlier this season. Unlike those two, Ibaka’s seems the less intented, and by far the least harmful. It also was nothing like Nicolas Batum’s drop shot in the 2012 Olympics. So, things are pointing toward a suspension.
I’d be okay with the suspension. How frustrated do you have to be to drop a fellow player in the groin? Despite what Ibaka said about his incident with Griffin, it was wrong.
One question brought up on twitter is, will the NBA suspend Ibaka and basically admit their officials messed up the call? Maybe. The officials made the call, allowing Ibaka to stay in the game. He had three key points, and two big blocks in the final two minutes of the game. Including a huge block with seven seconds left. Probably, Stern is very unpredictable at times.
We’ll probably find out tomorrow afternoon if Ibaka is suspended. I wouldn’t be surprised anyway. The NBA needs do the right thing, they need to suspend Ibaka. Doesn’t matter if you were defending yourself, this outcome happened and you must face the consequences.
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