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Kevin Love suspended two games for stepping on Scola’s face

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.

  1. danielcp0303 - Feb 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    I love how they tried to cover it up on the transcript of the interview after the game. They didn’t have any quotes about the foot stomp, just “a certain play”. I think everyone saw it guys, no need to try and hide it.

  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - Feb 6, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    B.S. ’nuff said

    • gooterbaby - Feb 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      I like how Scola tries grabbing him when he tries running away…I would have kicked him in his face too for being a little girl.

  3. philtration - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Yet Dwayne Wade takes a swing at Joakim Noah on national T.V. and nothing happens.

  4. skids003 - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Guess he shouldn’t have fired that ball at his balls.

    • bubbleboy74 - Feb 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      I’m a high school basketball official and I could never understand how intentionally throwing a ball at an opponent is allowed, even if it’s to cause it to go out of bounds. It should be an unsportsmanlike act and an automatic technical. As the rule is right now, he can throw it at his balls or his head if he’s falling out of bounds. That’s just not right.

  5. cosmicatomic - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Of course Love is suspended. It could effect New Orleans pick. Conflict of interest, anybody???

  6. fmlizard - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I’m a Wolves and Love fan, and I consider him my favorite active player in the league. That said, his stomp was over the line and seemed pretty dirty. I know he was provoked and it was heat of the moment, but the suspension feels right.

  7. thekingdave - Feb 6, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Sounds right. Round 3 next Friday at the Toyota Center.

  8. bearsstillsuck - Feb 6, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Suh will defend him.

  9. Justin - Feb 6, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    He should have forearm shivered him Bynum style. He could have injured him for a few games and avoided a suspension completely!

  10. rohlo - Feb 6, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    when you throw a ball at someone going out of bounds if you happen to hit them in the jewels its not intentional.. you are trying to make a play as you fall out of bounds.ive done it many times over my lifetime playing try to throw it off ny part of another players body to retain possesion and sometimes the gnads get struck..that doesnt warrant getting stomped on the face!! they were both playiong hard against one another which is what you want from your players!

    • redbullenergydrink - Feb 6, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Who cares. All that matters is:
      Wolves beat Rockets
      Love > Scola

  11. cullenand99 - Feb 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    While Love is one of my favorite players, he deserved this one. He is very lucky that it wasn’t more than two games.

  12. d2thejr - Feb 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Love got what he deserves. Love is a very good player and I still enjoy watching his game but he just got caught up in the moment…a moment to inflict pain on another competitor your competing with…it happens to the best of us especially people that really want to win! That said he still deserves a penalty. But the real issue hear isnt Scola and Love..its the horrible officiating that goes on in the league that everyone in the industry turns a blind eye to and thats the fouls that are called on star players as opposed to players like Scola. Players know that you can play on 2nd and 3rd tier players rougher than a star in the league. Thats the NBA they’ve tried their best to separate the stars and the role players as much as possible. A more score happy league! Overseas the leagues are way more physical and theirs no bias. Thats why you see a Darren Williams go over there and look below average

  13. granadafan - Feb 6, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    A hundred bucks says the Timberwolves PR staff wrote that “apology” statement. Why does the team feel the need to “issue” a statement instead of having Love get in front of the cameras to apologize? That would be more sincere than a statement written by spin doctors.

  14. toasale - Feb 6, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    It’s a dark alley for Love. Take something (ability to breathe out of his nose normally, teeth, etc.) away from him, much more than a two game slap on the wrist. It’s how we handle it in my ‘clan’.

  15. toosano - Feb 6, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    What a bunch of idiots on here. It’s not like they didn’t have 5 different angles of the stomp. Guilty.

  16. ragingmouse - Feb 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I hope he didn’t fracture his sculla…

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 6, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      You meant scola!

  17. jroll01971 - Feb 6, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    I have been sick how blatant was it?

  18. savvybynature - Feb 6, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    I would be fine with the suspension except there is no consistency here. Bynum elbows Barea in the ribs, a blatant and much more dangerous offense and it was the third time he has done so to try to injure an opponent, and he gets 5 games. Love steps on a guy, disrespectful and uncalled for but nothing that would hurt anybody, and has never done anything like this, and he gets a 2 game suspension? We see players throw punches and elbows and get nothing, since when did the league get so touchy? I was a little shocked he got anything more than a fine considering past handling of similar infractions. The policy needs to be clear and consistently enforced.

  19. sellahh - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I still like Love much more than Griffin.

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