You might have missed it because it coincided with the Glee and American Idol finales, but the Miami Cavs and the Indiana Pacers competed in a professional basketball game last night. A big game, too. Now, if you know me, you know that I think the NBA Playoffs are the single best sporting tournament there is (World Series of Beer Pong not counting as a sport). I think that NBA players are the best athletes in the world and when the playoffs start, we are the ones who benefit most. If you're a fan of phenomenal athletes competing at an incredibly high level of intensity, which I assume you are because you're a human, then it doesn't get much better than the NBA playoffs.
Everyone hoots and hollers about how great the purity of the NCAA Tournament is because the players give 100% all season, for free, and an upset could happen at any given time. That's all fine and dandy, but let's remember why these guys aren't getting paid-- they aren't as good. Say all you want about NBA players sandbagging during the regular season compared to college guys playing their hearts out every night. Those guys play twice a week, and never eclipse 40 games. NBA players can play over 100 games in a season. Longer, more physical games. You try doing that and you'll end up like Manu Ginobili or Greg Oden. The NBA playoffs also features the best referees in the world. I'm not saying they're perfect- they're humans, afterall- but NCAA refs are horrible on occasion. Just ask UNC-Asheville about getting THIS close to history, but being robbed by the NCAA refs. Overall, the quality of the games in the NBA playoffs is superior.
Now that I've finished that rant, we can talk about what's really grinding my gears this evening. As I said, the NBA playoffs are intense, and this can lead to some chippyness. My favorite group of pro basketballers, the Pacers, seem to take this to a whole new level in the playoffs. They aint takin no shit from nobody. Just ask the Bulls last year. Last night's game took it to another level. Despite it being a blowout, my boys weren't backing down from a fight. There were 3 flagrant fouls, and some injuries caused by possible anger-fueled retaliations. This all resulted in 2 suspensions for the dirtbags..errr the Cavs...errr the Heat. Tyler Hansbrough, after a clean block on Dwyane Wade, scraped the superstar's face, drew some blood, and received a flagrant. Udonis Haslem got one game for a hit that would have gotten him a suspension in the NFL. There's literally no professional sport in which a 2 handed blow to someone's dome is within the rules. Poor Tyler Hansbrough was just trying to take an awful shot. He would have missed anyway. Dexter Pittbitch got a 3 game suspension for his attempted decapitation of Mr. Lance Stephenson, which was punctuated by a little wink to a teammate. What goes through someone's mind when celebrating a blatant cheap shot like that? "Hey, the cameraman probably forgot I'm in the NBA, he won't see me wink." Moron.
Now, not to brag, but I predicted both of these suspensions. After the game, I told my viewing partners (a cute little Asian girl, and a busty blonde) exactly who would get what. They looked at me like I was speaking Tengwar (Elvish, like in Lord of the Rings, duh). Anyway, when the suspensions were announced, I immediately went to the Miami Herald's website to start some interweb fights. Yes, I'm a troller. I like to argue, sue me (really, do, you'll lose). I wanted to see what the Miami fans had to say about this ordeal. Obviously, there were a bunch of people arguing that nobody should be suspended, or that Tyler should get the same as Haslem. There are arguments to be made there, but I will NEVER buy into them. GO PACERS!!
The thing that struck a chord with me, is that the Heat fans were claiming that Hansbrough didn't get a suspension because he's white. Wait wait what?!?! Are you SERIOUS!\?!?!?!1/1/1???!? Excuse me while I pick up the pieces of my exploded head. Here's some of the comments by Miami's super duper smart fanbase:
Buxster07-- "Tyler gets a pass because he is white. His foul intention was to hit and gouge the eyes of Wade.
Intent is "tricky" to evaluate and "meaning of colors" always has psychological symbolic impact."
Myster_Z-- "So the black guys get the suspensions and the white guy gets nothing? I should of seen this coming. Guess if you're white you're right and if you're black you' re wrong. Unbelievable. SMH"
There were many more ignorant statements in the comment section here and on ESPN.com. Now, to end this argument, I did a little research to see if the man who handed down the suspensions had other "racist" tendencies. Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, Stu Jackson, was responsible for reviewing the plays and handing down suspensions. Here's a picture of him:
Welp, I rest my case. Miami Heat fans are dumb, the NBA Playoffs are better than Christmas, the Pacers ARE going to win in 7 games, and I'm tired of writing, so I'm going to bed.