Take a look at Andrew Bynum’s clothes-lining of JJ Barea again.
With his team down 30 points, a player who has had a history with flagrant fouls strikes a key member of an opposing team. Afterwards, he walks off the court and proudly takes off his shirt to prove… something.
Without question, it’s a dirty foul and a disgusting act of classlessness. A suspension was clearly in order, but what was this foul worth?
To NBA commissioner David Stern, it’s worth five games and $25K.
This is absolutely ridiculous. Look back at Bynum’s most recent suspension. In order to help him learn his lesson about flagrant fouls, the NBA suspended him for two games after a March flagrant 2 foul on Minnesota’s Michael Beasley. As game four of the Western Conference semi-finals proved, Bynum has failed to learn his lesson.
There have been people calling for large suspensions. 20-game suspensions, even. I have to agree with them on this one. For a player who will get months off, the first five games of the season will not do anything to make him change his mind.
There are arguments that since Bynum will miss five games, and will not be paid for those games, he will lose out on a grand total of $702,272, including his fine. However, take a look at his salary for the next few years. Between today and the end of the 2013 season, Bynum will have made $45.47 million. This doesn’t count the millions he’s already made in the pros. While $702,272 is a lot of money to the common man, this is almost no skin off of Bynum’s nose. In fact, it’s a mere 1.5% of his expected income.
Without a large suspension, or an effective fine, commissioner David Stern is showing a message that he is soft. Barea was the victim of abuse against the Lakers, getting hit repeatedly. Ron Artest, a man very familiar with violent play, and Bynum showed no mercy against the Dallas point guard. Lamar Kardashian (I still refuse to fix that) also got in on the action when he hit Dirk Nowitzki.
For a team, let alone a player, to largely get away with such fouls is pathetic. Bynum will probably view this entire ordeal as a blip on his career and move on. No message is sent to players who are willing to be dirty. The NBA has handled this situation poorly and should have come down with a harder sentence.
What do you think?