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Hornets’ Jason Smith suspended two games for hit on Griffin

Mar 23, 2012, 4:40 PM EDT

We all knew a suspension was coming for that hit, the question was for how long?

Jason Smith will be suspended for two games by the league for his hockey check of Blake Griffin during the Hornets victory over the Clippers Thursday night, the league has announced. He will miss a game Sunday against the Spurs then a Monday rematch with the Clippers (that the Clippers was the second game almost ensured at least a two-game suspension as the league tries to avoid any retaliation).

The question of hard fouls on Griffin is a complex one that our own Matt Moore discussed in great detail. The book on Griffin is to be physical with him, but this was beyond any reasonable likes. It was a takedown with no play on the ball. Smith is lucky it is only two games.

  1. dmcannon99 - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Should have been way more than two games, especially with his reaction AFTER the foul…pointing at the stands and high-fiving fans shows what a punk he is. You can hate on Griffin all you want, but there is NO place in sports for this junk.

    Odd that it is another New Orleans team – problems down there?

  2. jimeejohnson - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    More like a football hit, because if Smith is on skates and runs into Griffin on skates like THAT it would be a charging penalty, but because of their size one or both of them gets seriously injured. Once in awhile you witness “defense” like that but it is never tolerated in the NBA; if the league doesn’t take Smith out the Clippers do. Have to assume the suspension is without pay, meaning a hefty loss of income for Smith.

  3. savvybynature - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Lucky it was only two games? Kurt you are such an LA homer.
    You defended the 4-game suspension on Bynum for throwing an elbow into Berea’s exposed ribs while he was mid air going for the score. THAT is how you injure someone, not to mention it was his third time throwing elbows to try to hurt someone.
    KG grabs a guy by the throat and that’s OK? No fine or suspension.
    This was a hard, unnecessary foul, yes. It was a flagrant, no question. But this was not an attempt to injure someone. This is the double standard of the league trying to protect one of its Golden Calves imo. If this was some no name guy it wouldn’t even be talked about.

    • Justin - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      I agree. I was one who vehemently disagreed with Kurt’s take on the Bynum suspension all the way back to when he elbowed Michael Beasley (who had to leave the game). Bynum was suspended for 2 games for that on what was his second infraction. Gerald Wallace being the first (who missed 7 games from an injury because of it) and Barea being the 3rd.

      Clearly, subjectivity has died here.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      So he’s an LA homer and defended Boston and KG? Hell of a trick.

      • savvybynature - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:08 PM

        That comment was in regards to the league’s response (or lack of response) to KG grabbing some dudes throat, not Kurt’s.
        I think it’s pretty clear that Bynum repeatedly throwing elbows into people while they are in the air is more a concern for player safety than Jason Smith though don’t you?
        The suspension was a result of the perception that guys target Griffin more than it was this one foul imo. League doesn’t want that obviously, but this one foul didn’t warrant a suspension considering what else the league has let fly (KG grabbing dude’s throat, Bynum throwing ‘bows sending a guy to the hospital, etc.)

      • deadeyedesign23 - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM

        Ah my bad. Also don’t get me wrong I totally have your back on the Bynum stuff. Despite me constantly defending the Lakers on here I’m not an LA guy. No…sadly I’m a Nets guy.

    • davidly - Mar 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Kurt didn’t say that he thought it should be more than two games, only that Smith is lucky is wasn’t.

      I with you on the Bynum thing, but you lose me with this one.

      I think all flagrant twos oughta be five games minimum. You really think it’s so unlikely that Griffin couldn’t’ve been hurt on that play?

      Elbos, shoulders, head, whatever, if you aren’t playin’ the ball, you’re a punk and should have to sit a while and think about the next time you wanna be a punk.

      • savvybynature - Mar 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        That would be a great way to put some objectivity back into the process. Flagrant 2, automatic 5 game suspension. I like it. Players know the consequences going in that way too.

  4. sweetnlow44 - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Totally worth it.

  5. Justin - Mar 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    “With that being said, this one, I think, was just a frustration foul from Bynum that went a little too far, and the consequence at the time — an ejection with about six minutes left in a one-point game — was punishment enough.

    It’s not exactly accurate to say that Bynum has a history with these types of plays, but one that does come to mind was the fairly severe result of a similar play involving Bynum and Gerald Wallace back in January of 2009. That flagrant foul from Bynum sent Wallace to the hospital, for injuries that included a partially collapsed lung and a broken rib.

    Bynum wasn’t suspended back then for the play on Wallace, and he shouldn’t receive a suspension now.”

    Here is the quote from Kurt on the Beasley hit and suspension. I guess putting a guy in the hospital once and then knocking a guy out of a game warrant missing 6 minutes of a game. I am not saying that I disagree with suspending Jason Smith. That was the right thing to do. At least he knocked him down before he jumped so nothing was broken.

    • savvybynature - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      Ha! Thanks for digging that up. So no suspension for Bynum for blatantly elbowing a guy after pulling the same crap before, knocking one player out of the game and sending the other to the hospital.
      But Smith’s foul is “ridiculous” and deserving of suspension? C’mon man whatever.
      I would be OK w suspending Smith for this if it was at all consistent w past rulings but it to me seems like a double standard.
      Smith’s foul was stupid, unnecessary and flagrant, but not malicious compared to Bynum’s actions that Kurt repeatedly and adamantly downplayed.

  6. bearsstillsuck - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I think two games is the right call, although I’m shocked it wasn’t more.

    • sellahh - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      So you think two games suspension is okay although you think it’s not? Sounds legit.

  7. danondarun - Mar 23, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Stern protecting his stars

  8. iamhoraceknight - Mar 23, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    The NBA USED to be contact Sport. Jason Smith Gave him a hard foul. Call a Flagrant, shoot the free throws and play ball. NO need for an ejection or suspension. David Stern and The NBA and their Coddling and Cuddling of their “Star” Players is why the NBA is a inferior Product as we Speak. Jason Smith Didn’t allow Blake to have a great Dunk for SportsCenter to show 100 Straight times. I call Bull $#*!

  9. savvybynature - Mar 23, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    For reference, everyone please watch this 11 second clip of Bynum going elbow first into Beasley mid air:

    I would love to hear Kurt’s explanation of why he thinks this is not as bad as Jason Smith’s foul. Seriously. Keep in mind this was the second time he had done this, and the first time he sent a guy to the hospital.
    I would be for stiff penalties if they applied to everyone, but that’s not been the case.

  10. glink123 - Mar 24, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Strange play. Clearly ran into him, but almost looks like he’s afraid at the very end, like a deer-in-the-headlight look. Makes you wonder if he was ordered to take down BG, but had second thoughts at the very end. Kinda like a pitcher who begrudgingly has to retaliate a knockdown with a knockdown.

  11. ezmagic - Mar 24, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    It was a shoulder block. Flagrant yes but shouldn’t got 2 games for it.

  12. losangelasbasketball - Mar 24, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    The Clippers got revenge later by losing the game so everything is good now…

  13. crosberries - Mar 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Since when did they start letting them touch the soccer ball with their hands???

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