Word came down from the league office today that there would be no suspension for Dwyane Wade's elbow to the head of Lance Stephenson in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Reggie Miller at the time tried to say that it was inadvertent and that it wasn't malicious. Maybe if it was any other player in the league, I'd go along with him. But this is Dwyane Wade, who has gained the reputation of being one of the dirtiest players in the league. Remember when Rondo was suspended for bumping Rodney Mott in a Hawks game after Danny Ferry sent a DVD to the league office. Even though both Rondo and Mott said that they were joking at the time and there was no malicious intent on Rondo's part, and video showed both of them laughing, the league cited Rondo's past history of previous incidents to justify their decision to suspend him for it after the fact.
Earlier in these playoffs, JR Smith was suspended for throwing an elbow that hit Jason Terry in the chin. He was ejected from the game and then suspended for game 4 after the fact. One of the reasons given by the league for the suspension was a past pattern of behavior. In the past the league has also suspended players just because the hit was to the head. I guess if it isn't Dwyane Wade, hits to the head are more serious.
Now we come to Wade's elbow to the back of the head of Lance Stephenson in game 2. Maybe if Wade had a clean record and never was involved in a cheap shot or dirty play we could say it was inadvertent. It was a cheap shot and a dirty play by a dirty player. All the league would have to do is go to UTube and search for Wade dirty plays and he would find plenty of evidence that there is a past pattern of behavior to make a case for a suspension. See for yourself in the two videos below.
I'm not the only one seeing a double standard by the league. Here are some reactions from Twitter:
@TheNoLookPass: Oh, so if it's a JUMPING elbow, it's only a flagrant one. Got it.
@w_maxey: wondering if NBA would have handed down same verdict if stephenson had delivered shot to wade?
@GotEm_Coach: He'd be suspended one game, and wouldve been tossed from the last. What's crazy is Wade has a history of this.
@iggypop120: wade is untouchable. Will never get suspended in playoffs
@fuertecorazon: It seemed as bad & as intentional as JR's except that Wade has a stellar reputation and the NBA doesn't want him suspended now
@RedsArmy_John: BA's decision gives a whole lotta ammo to the "nba will do what it can to prevent a Pacers-Spurs Finals" conspiracy theory
@TermineRadio: NBA already established Wade dirty based on Sessions. By admitting flagrant, but not giving suspension they admit MIA plays by diff rules.
@nykid84: Wade been dirty since he deliberately broke Rondo's arm in 2011.
@BarmanMick: the nba is setting a dangerous precedent with this decision
@TheNBAonNOTSC: BREAKING: Dwyane Wade will not be suspended for game 3. The league took a hard look at the play and noticed he was wearing a #Heat jersey.
I agree that the league allows the Heat to play by a different set of rules and it's ruining the game. We can only hope that when Adam Silver takes over he loves the game enough to stop the trend that David Stern has started.
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