Feb 6, 2012, 2:21 PM EDT
UPDATE 2:20 pm: Kevin Love issued this statement on Monday:
“I want to publicly apologize to Luis Scola and the Houston Rockets. 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.”
12:41 pm: Kevin Love has been suspended two games for “driving his foot into the upper body” of the Rockets Luis Scola (who Love helped to the floor in the first place) by the league, VP and enforcer Stu Jackson announced.
Love will sit out Tuesday night when the Timberwolves host the Kings and Wednesday night when they travel to Memphis.
Love is not a guy with the reputation of a dirty player, but he and Scola had been going at it for a couple games (Scola had even thrown a ball at Love’s “privates” trying to save the ball from going out of bounds the last game). The battle between the two had been escalating in physicality.
But this was over the top, however, and the suspension was warranted. There was no foul called at the time but the league has given him a flagrant foul for it, now.
While Love’s defenders will say he was trying to step over Scola, that’s rationalization. Everyone else sees Love look down and make an intentional step on to Scola. The league did the right thing here.
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