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As GCB was so kind as to point out in the comment section of the Robert Horry post below, the NBA has handed down suspensions from last night's game.  Robert Horry is gone for two games, Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for one each.  I don't like it.  This is exactly what I mean about the dangers of becoming embroiled in legal bureaucracy.  At most Horry should be gone for a game and that should be the extent of the suspensions.  (As I said before were it up to me nobody would have been suspended and it would have been settled--or not--on the floor.)  But you can almost hear the wheels turning.  "We have to suspend Amare and Boris because we have a rule and technically they violated the letter of it even though nothing really happened."  OK, so they're gone a game.  Obviously then Horry merits a game too.  But wait!  If you suspend Horry just one game--the same penalty that TWO of the Suns got--when his act precipitated this whole deal and they did relatively little that's obviously a miscarriage of justice.  People will scream to the highest heavens.  So now his marginal one game becomes a definite two.  Four games are missed in an incident that should have seen maybe one.  And the series is imbalanced because of it as the Spurs will trade Horry for Stoudemire and Diaw every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

This is the new NBA.  Did the harsh penalities stop the incident from happening?  No, they did not.  Nor did they stop the Denver/New York brawl earlier this year.  Did the leaving the bench rule stop the Suns from jumping up in the heat of the moment?  No, it did not...despite assistant coaches flailing to get in the way of advancing players from their bench.  (At this rate every playoff team will adopt Dallas' "dozen assistant coaches" system.  Ten of them will be responsible for tackling any player who stands during a fracas.)  All this has done is make the consequences of a semi-foolish (or legitimately tough, depending on your perspective) act more far reaching than was warranted.  As Jim implied in his diary to the right, how long before we start seeing the goon system take over the NBA as 12th men rack up opposing teams' skill players while trying to bait two-point-five steps out of pine-riding superstars?

Call me silly...I liked the old way better.

--Dave (