Update: Monday, Jan. 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Kevin Love issued an apology to Scola, his teammates and almost everyone else, according to Inside Hoops.
”I want to publicly apologize to Luis Scola and the Houston Rockets,” Love said. “My intention is to never hurt another player on the basketball court. I’ve always had the utmost respect for the game of basketball and all of my opponents. I also apologize to my coaches, teammates and our fans for the consequences of my actions.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves star stomped on the chest and face of the Houston Rockets power forward. Scola was attempting to back Love down and flopped to the floor when Love reached for the ball to stop the play.
The referees did not blow the whistle and Love made some intentional contact with Scola’s face while he was down on the floor.
Love deserved to be suspended and should learn a lesson at this stage in his career. He has no track record of malicious play, but this was clearly out of line and certainly out of character for the UCLA product.
Stu Jackson, the NBA’s vice president of basketball operations, announced the decision this morning. It should show the young power forward that losing your temper and attacking a defenseless player is completely unacceptable at any level of organized basketball.
Love made a halfhearted attempt to explain himself after the game, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
I mean, he fell down after the play. He just kind of laid there and I’ve got size 19 feet so… I just happened to be there. I had nowhere to go. I got kind of tripped up and I just had nowhere to step, he was right there. It was a heat of the moment type of play and he was right there and it happened to be his face, just like in Houston like it happened to be my groin. I’ve always had a large amount of respect for Luis (sic) so … I’m sure he didn’t take it personal; it was nothing personal towards their team. They have a lot of great players, they’re well coached. Like I said, it’s nothing personal.
The NBA did not buy that excuse, nor should it have.
Anyone who watches the video can tell Love seemed peeved that Scola was on the floor and made sure that his opponent took a little extra damage while he was down there.
It was a stupid decision and one we hopefully won’t see again from Kevin Love.