The NBA’s Double Standard

Carmelo Anthony has been suspended one game for almost (I stress almost) coming to blows with Kevin Garnett the other night after a hard fought battle between the Knicks and Celtics at the Garden. While Carmelo’s actions were not the most gracious, the fact is that nothing came of it– no punches thrown, no physical contact, nothing. And yet he has been suspended. Meanwhile let’s take a look at Kevin Garnett’s track record:

Christmas Day 2011:

Kevin Garnett misses the game winning buzzer beater on opening day of lockout-shortened season. Does he shake hands and walk off the court? Of course not, he instead grabs Bill Walker (Bill Walker?) by the throat and shoves him, simply because he is a sore loser. That seems at least fine worthy, right? According to the league offices Garnett deserved neither a fine nor a suspension for an unprovoked assault on a below average player.

January 2011:

The Phoenix Suns are cruising to victory over the Boston Celtics, Channing Frye goes up for a three pointer and Kevin Garnett flicks his fist towards Frye’s man region, scoring a direct hit. A literal low blow. Garnett gets ejected from the game for the most cowardly move a man can make when hitting another man, but does he get suspended or fined by the league? Nope.

November 2012:

Kevin Garnett goes up for a routine lay-up and ex-Mr. Kardashian aka Kris Humphries fouls him to prevent the easy bucket. Not only does Garnett completely flop by falling to the floor from a light foul (seriously, I got hit harder than that playing middle school tennis) his punk partner in crime Rajon Rondo takes a break from bumping referees to try and start a brawl with Humphries over absolutely nothing. And where was Garnett during all of this you may ask? He can be seen clearly tripping Humphries (who is already outmatched several Celtics to one Net mind you) to make sure he falls to the floor. Does Garnett face penalty? If you’re reading this I think you get the point: No. The worst part? Garnett has the audacity to claim that Humphries is the one who has “always been out of control” and who has “always tried to play the tough guy”.  Is Kevin Garnett sure who he’s even talking about? Kris Humphries, a tough guy? You’re kidding KG, right?

These are only three of many instances of Kevin Garrett, who has said he is not “thuggish or anything like that,” being . . .”thuggish.” While being an enforcer is certainly a role on any NBA team, there has to be consequences for repeated physical altercations with other players. Carmelo Anthony was out of line for trying –not succeeding–to get into a fight with Garnett after the game, however, the fact remains that suspending Melo is a complete double standard when it comes to punishment handed down from the league offices. They love suspending Rajon Rondo, but how much can Kevin Garnett away with before he gets suspended? Does he have to punch a player square in the face during the game, or would that not be enough? Carmelo Anthony will miss Thursday nights Nationally Televised game against the Indiana Pacers, David Stern seems more likely to fine himself $250,000 (as he did to Gregg Popovich) for making that game less meaningful than he is to suspend Garnett. I guess anything is possible.

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