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Shaq attacks Kings Vlade Divac and basket - NBA NBA photo - Rocky Widner

 

Sports Notes - BAP, BAM BOOM - Lakers ELBOW Their Way To Seventh Game

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

The NBA must wake up and have the game played on a fair and equal basis. The focus should not be on the marketing major market teams and selling Kobe and Shaq bobble-head dolls. The focus should be the quality of the game and its fairness. What kind of lesson is the NBA sending out to the fans that watch the game on television around the world?

 

Saturday June 1, 2002

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to receive favoritism from NBA referees as they elbowed their way to a seventh ganme showdown after their 106-102 game six victory over the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles. The favoritism for the Lakers couldn't be more obvious than in the last minutes of the game.

With 12 seconds left the Lakers Kobe Bryant smashed Sacramento's Mike Bibby in the nose with a flagrant elbow on an inbounds play from the Lakers end line.

As Bibby fell backward he reached out and grabbed the onrushing Bryant who was trying to receive the inbounds pass. Bibby appeared to be trying to keep from falling on the back of his head and cracking his skull open, when he reached out and grabbed Bryant.

The result was Bibby was called for FOULING BRYANT. BIBBY GOT A BLOODY NOSE. The ESPN replay showed over and over the referee was looking right at the play during the entire time and IGNORED Bryant's fouling Bibby. The play should have been whistled dead at the time that Bryant smashed Bibby in the nose with his elbow. . It was as if Bibby's nose infringed Bryant's elbow.

"The official was looking right at it," ESPN analyst Eric Clemons exclaimed in disbelief regarding the officials non-call.

After the play Bibby was wiping the blood pouring from his nose with a towel. The referees seemed annoyed that he would take time to do this. In boxing when a boxer has a bloody nose he can't breathe properly. Is it any different in basketball or the NBA?

To compound the inequities Lakers coach Phil Jackson wanted a blood control rule called.

But that's not all. Shaquille O'Neal continues to be allowed to back his giant body into a defensive man who is stationary and in defensive position. Its as though O'Neal portrays himself as a giant bowling ball that is knocking over little bowling (King) pins (pun intended). Conversely, when someone just touches O'Neal on the back they are called for a foul.

The smashing the opponent with an elbow mentality permeates down through the Lakers ranks. In the second quarter the Lakers reserve Devon George smashed a forearm to Vlade Divac's jaw after the Kings center made a basket and was running back up court.

With 3:07 left in the fourth quarter the Kings Chris Webber was called for a foul after he made a basket. That prompted Clemons to comment on the official's inept calling of fouls; "I can't get a read on it."

At the beginning of the fourth quarter Scott Pollard fouled out of the game after Shaq BACKED INTO HIM.

"That's about as cheap as they come with this physical play," commented Clemons regarding that foul being called on Pollard.

In game three Sacramento coach Rick Adelman complained to referee Steve Javy that O'Neal should NOT be permitted to back into defenders and get away with it.

"You can't let him do that," Adelman said. Television replay's clearly showed Javy replying, "I agree."

Clemons said at the time, "Shaq has done that much of his career and been able to get away with it."

O'Neal and Bryant are notorious for throwing elbows. It seems this is one lesson Bryant has learned from O'Neal. As great as they are as players it makes you wonder why they are given so much leeway to abuse their opponents unfairly.

BAP, BAM, BOOM is O'Neal's method of clearing his way to the basket for a dunk or a two-foot lay-up.

Here's the drill. BAP: With his back to an opponent O'Neal quickly turns into the defender, raises up and smashes the opponent with a left elbow to the nose or jaw. BAM: O'Neal then turns back the other way with a right elbow to the other side of the opponents face. BOOM: O'Neal then lowers his body and charges into the opponent burying his giant shoulder into the opponents chest, knocking him backward thus giving himself a clear way to the basket. ALL OF THIS HAPPENS AND O'NEAL IS NOT CALLED FOR A FOUL.

In last years NBA finals the Lakers were permitted to bludgeon the Philadelphia 76ers with physical play. It prompted 76ers star Alan Iverson to remark about the Lakers success, what can you do when the referees permit them to do what they do.

"How many times have we seen that," exclaimed ESPN/STAR sports broadcaster Mark Brown during the International telecast of game three of last years NBA finals. "He has taken more shots (blows/hits to the face and body) than in a boxing match."

Brown was referring to the excessive amount of elbows to the face and chest the Sixers Dikembe Mutombo was subject to take from the Lakers 7-1, 330 lb. O'Neal. Apparently the referees were busy looking at something else as replays time and again showed O'Neal being permitted to foul Mutombo after backing his big butt into Mutombo's body, which should also be a foul.

On one play during game three O'Neal could have been called for four fouls. He first backed into Mutombo, slammed him with a left elbow to the belly, then a right elbow to the same belly, spin around with a right elbow to Mutombo's jaw, then spun back the other way with a left elbow to the jaw while taking a five foot shot. It was too brutal to watch.

Kobe Bryant - NBA photo

 

 

"That's not basketball when a player is permitted to just push his big body into a person," exclaimed Englishman Peter Habgood a former owner of a ber in Phuket, Thailand. Habgood lived in the US state of Minnesota for six months and had an insight to the NBA game. "That's bull$#!t," he added.

Habgood is about the same height as retired NBA star Charles Barkley. His huge bulk would make Barkley look like a midget. He then entheusticaly demonstrated what he saw in O'Neal's performance by leaning forward and then backing into an imaginary opponent.

"That shouldn't be allowed," he proclaimed. "That's just not basketball. Michael Jordan was a genius the way he played the game. (Allen) Iverson is genius. He's small and look at what he can do. Kobe Bryant is half genius. O'Neal is not genius."

When opposing teams apply the same tactics they are called for a foul. The Lakers appear to be given a special dispensation by the NBA as to insure large television ratings.

Far be it for a team from a small television market like Sacramento for it to win the Western Division Championship and be in the finals with the New Jersey Nets. I mean after all would the NBA marketing of selling cowbells (used by Sacramento Kings fans in cheering their team) flourish in appeal to the International marketplace of the MTV generation that the NBA is trying to appeal to?

The sacrifice is this…. The NBA is cheapening its product. Declining NBA attendance evidences that. People around the world are more intelligent than it appears the NBA gives them credit for. Every fan of basketball is NOT A LAKERS FAN. The truth can be seen on television replays that the Lakers are given an unfair advantage.

Time and again basketball fans from around the world express their displeasure with how O'Neal is permitted to elbow opponents and back into them.

The NBA must wake up and have the game played on a fair and equal basis. The focus should not be on the marketing major market teams and selling Kobe and Shaq bobble-head dolls. The focus should be the quality of the game and its fairness. What kind of lesson is the NBA sending out to the fans that watch the game on television around the world? Its like the saying goes….You can fool some of the people some of the time BUT…. You can't fool all of the people… all of the time.

As the NBA brass tightly circle their wagons….THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Coming: What a Mess The LA Press [See: Racist Radio]

 


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