So I'm watching Blazers - Magic on TNT, in the long awaited return to action of Andre "The Human Projectile" Miller. Early in the fourth quarter, the TNT crew is discussing Miller's suspension, and how he was upset at the inconsistency of the league on this matter. (Hey, there's something that Dre and I agree about.) Before the game he was making his case to Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Mike Fratello. Exhibit A in Andre's defense - when Derek Fisher of the Lakers leveled Luis Scola in Game 2 of their 2009 playoff series, Fisher wasn't suspended, so why should Miller have been?
Derek Fisher hard foul on Luis Scola in game 2, Rockets Vs Lakers. new issue watch HQ (via ijazgujjar)
Wow, that's a great point, Andre. I wish I'd thought of that. After all, that is the closest precedent for a completely uncalled for, violent and non-basketball play by a point guard whose kind of a jerk. Marv did make the point that Miller ran full speed from halfcourt and blindsided Griffin off the ball, while Fisher at least delivered his shot in the context of the game as Scola was setting a screen. In other words, at least Scola saw it coming. I agree with Miller that Fisher's play is the most analagous - and I agree with Albert that Miller's was far worse.
But here's the punchline - I did think of that play, and Fisher was of course suspended. For one game. One PLAYOFF game, by the way. Here's the box score from game 3 where Fisher was serving his suspension, complete with 33 minutes for starting point guard Jordan Farmar and a big ol' "DNP SUSPENDED" for Fisher.
I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that when you go to great lengths to cite a precedent in a contentious situation, you really want to first make sure that the precedent actually supports your position, as opposed to just pretending or perhaps hoping it supports your position.
Oh, and a big thumbs down to the crack team at TNT for simply airing Miller's version of the story on National TV without checking the facts. I was pretty sure it was wrong form the start, and it took me all of 30 seconds to look up the box score.