This afternoon, the NBA announced that Darius Songaila would be suspended for a flagrant foul he gave LeBron James in Game 5. When I think about it, it makes me mad. At first, I thought I was mad at the suspension decision by Stu Jackson. Then, I thought to myself. Nah – I’m mad at those refs for not having the discernment to see an acting job. But then, it dawned on me. The NBA’s hands are tied on this one. In order to comply with David Stern’s efforts to clean up the game, when you think about it, there is no other choice. My frustration really should be directed at LeBron James for pulling off that Academy Award Winning Performance (golf clap). The refs can’t be expected to be omniscient and know the real intentions of players’ actions. They have to give the benefit of the doubt that the player that is faking the injury (presuming it’s a convincing enough act) is in fact injured; not the other way around. And, likewise – when they issued the Flagrant (granted they must’ve issued it today because it was a technical during the game) on Songaila – the presumption upon review is that this is real authentic footage of NBA basketball play, not some long lost video clip of amateurs imitating an old three-stooges stunt.
But, lets not dwell on that… Thank goodness the NBA saw the error in their ways and even if the Wizards don’t get the free throws that they should’ve gotten for LeBron raising his elbow on Andre Blatche in Game 1, at least he got a retroactive flagrant foul too (still would’ve been nice simply because every point counts – especially in this series). I know LeBron’s going to be thinking about being issued a flagrant (after the fact) tonight in Game 6 (not).
People like myself who get angered over these little things, need to take a step back. Take a deep breath. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking these playoffs are handled with some double standard. That’s silly. I mean money talks (and LeBron is marketable AND hip), but hey this is a game managed by professional and objective refs (like Donaghy) who don’t have human preferences or emotions (or greed like Donaghy). For example, lets go back to the elbow to Andre Blatche in Game 1. See, that’s not really an elbow. It was a slide across the cheek by Lebron’s elbow because there just wasn’t any space. When asked about it as reported by the News-Herald, LeBron simply stated, "It wasn't intentional. Me being one of the best drivers and creators and and-one play-makers in the game, I was definitely trying to get the and-one and I just got him on the chin. I know he felt it, but it wasn't anything intentional." Wait, did he just say he was one of the best drivers and creators and and-one play-makers in the game??? Never mind, Andre can act too you know. Anyways, it serves Andre right because he did it to LeBron earlier in that game. And, we KNOW LeBron can act.
So what can we expect in Game 6 which will be happening in the next 5-10 minutes? We know now that the NBA has indicated that any hits to LeBron’s noggin will lead to an automatic suspension.
Top Ten Things That Will Happen In Game 6 of the Wizards-Cavs Series
10) There will be no headbands on the court floor for the first three quarters.
9) There will be subtle pushes by Z on Andre Blatche to force contact on Lebron when he goes for the shot.
8) Gibson’s infectious smile will be followed by the loud crack of a white towel.
7) LeBron will completely miss the rim on at least 3 different shots.
6) Haywood is going to tell LeBron in the final quarter, “This one is for Songaila…” before giving him a love tap.
5) Delonte West will explain in his heavy drawl something no one will understand.
4) There will be no Darius Songaila to get your chicken wing caught up in and manipulate for a fake-me-out old-English back slap.
3) Gilbert will be in street clothes outside the MCI Center passing out free copies of “God Save the Fan”.
2) Jay-Z will be there to “Blow the whistle” on Soulja Boy.
And the number one thing that will likely happen in Game 6 of the Wizards-Cavs playoff series?
1) Someone in the sea of Cavalier fans watching the game on TV will ultimately shout, “DC Sit down!”