Basketball is a competitive sport and the NBA is a competitive league. With that being said Kevin Love was out of line Saturday when he stepped on Luis Scola’s face after a steal on Saturday.
I am sometimes skeptical about the passion the players play with on a game to game basis in the NBA, but there was no lack of it between Love and Scola the other night. They had been playing chippy all game long battling down low for rebounds and points. It all started during their previous meeting last Monday when Scola tried to save a ball and threw it into Love’s groin, and then there was a physical play resulting in a Love basket that got him heated on Saturday.
The very next play after Love scored, Scola backed him down in the paint and Love made a wild hack to steal the ball. No foul was called and as Love was running down the court he forcefully stepped on the fallen Scola. Leading to a two game suspension by the league.
I’ve played basketball all my life so I understand emotions can run high, but you have to remain poised and not allow yourself to do something like this. Especially months after everyone made such a big deal about Ndamukong Suh and his stomping incident. Love is a great young talent, and before this incident had never really showed any sign of being a dirty player which is why I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
There’s no question this is an unnecessary play, but I’m not ready to call him a dirty player. Love, by all accounts, is a nice guy off the court just like Suh. Suh, however, has a reputation for being a dirty player and has had multiple offenses on the field. This is Love’s first incident so only time will tell if it was an anomaly, or the start of a bad reputation.
The best thing Love did was confess and apologize after the game. He stated that he never mean to hurt anyone and said he was sorry to Scola, the Timberwolves organization, and the fans. Suh did not do this he made up a story about how God will judge him and will see that he never stomped on anyone, which just made people think he was dirty and a liar. With Love coming clean after the game it will allow people to realize he knows he made a mistake and get on with judging him as a player and not that one act of violence.
I believe Suh is a good person and a good player, and his incident will dissolve over time; on the other hand Love’s play is still fresh so people are talking about it, but I don’t think it will be an issue for very long.