At the end of the third quarter, Rudy Fernandez was on a breakaway and well ahead of any opponent. Trevor Ariza came from behind and threw down Portland’s beloved shooting guard.
Rudy hit the ground. Hard.
Some may argue that what Ariza did on Monday night was not meant to intentionally injure Rudy. If I am going to be completely honest, I have to say I agree.
You can see that Ariza is going for the basketball and trying to make a play. One thing that riled up viewers was the 2.2 seconds left on the clock and the score of 83-55, with Portland on top.
This was not the time for such a play.
Even if Ariza had every intention of making a play without hurting the beloved Spaniard, the bottom line is that is in fact what transpired. Rudy was on the floor for 10 minutes before being placed on a stretcher and relocated to a nearby hospital.
Anytime a player goes down in that manner, a wave of shock and fear attacks all those who witnessed it.
Do you think a flagrant two is too harsh of a punishment for such an action?
Let’s think about this in terms everyone can understand. Imagine Kobe Bryant, the greatest basketball player in the game, was carried off the court on a stretcher in the Staples Center. Flagrant two would not satisfy any person in that building and riots would surely ensue.
The call of flagrant two is necessary in the game of basketball. Whether or not the person who committed the foul had the intention of it escalating to that degree, the fact remains that one of their peers could have been seriously injured.
A play like the one we saw on Monday night's Blazers vs. Lakers matchup is dangerous and needs to be prevented. Athletes have one thing they must always keep in the best condition as possible: their bodies. Any injury could end their career.
There is a reason why contracts are made for these people that include restrictions on extracurricular activities. No one wants to see LeBron permanently benched because he decided to give skateboarding a try, realized his 6'8", 250-pound body does not belong on four wheels smaller than his thumb too late, and never recovered from his injury.
It is important to keep these men safe so we can continue to have the benefit of watching the displays of their talents.
After further review, Ariza will not be suspended for any future games.
Lamar Odom, who got off the bench and had words with Brandon Roy, is still awaiting word on his fate.
After the scramble of players coming to their teammates' aid, there is one person who definitely deserves some sort of repercussion for his actions.
If you look closely to the left side of your screen when watching replays, you will see a coach from the Lakers grab the shirt of a Portland towel boy and throw him to the ground.
Who knew handing towels to a player could put you in the heat of battle?