Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Suspension of Belief - Kobe

Kobe Bryant was given a 1 game suspension by the NBA, and will be forced to sit out Tuesday night's contest against the Knicks for what the league considers an intentional shot that Kobe gave Manu Ginobli of the Spurs during their game this past weekend. The blow knocked Ginobli to the court but no foul of any sort was called and there was no ejection from the game. Kobe and Ginobli both played the rest of the overtime game, which the Spurs won.

According to ESPN.com:

"Bryant said before his appeal was denied. "I unintentionally caught Manu Ginobili. What do you say, it's a basketball game. You unintentionally catch people with elbows every once in a while."

The suspension, for elbowing Ginobili while Bryant was attempting a jump shot late in the Lakers' game against the Spurs on Sunday, caught Bryant completely off-guard.

"I haven't seen a precedence for this. There's unintentional elbows that take place in a game all the time," Bryant told reporters at Madison Square Garden following the Lakers' shootaround. "I'm blown away by it. It makes no sense."

The NBA news release announcing the suspension said Bryant was being penalized for "striking" Ginobili. Jackson elaborated on Tuesday."

This is a very interesting situation in that no foul was called on the play, and that it was reviewed later to determine that Kobe struck Ginobli. As an NBA fan, I can't recall seeing the league do this sort of thing on a non-foul/non-ejection situation. Very interesting call by Mr Stern and the NBA offices. Kobe attempted to appeal the suspension immediately in New York prior to the Knicks game, but his request was denied due to league policies. Expect further review by the Lakers, and further comments by Kobe and Coach Jackson.

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