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Matt Barnes says there’s a double standard on NBA fines/suspensions

Mar 5, 2013, 10:42 PM EDT

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Is Matt Barnes saying anything we weren’t all thinking?

When the word came down that Serge Ibaka was not getting suspended for his foul hitting Blake Griffin in the crotch the NBA twitterverse did a collective, “Really?” I don’t think Ibaka intentionally hit Griffin in a place no man wants to be hit, he was trying to shake Griffin’s grip on his jersey — but you are still responsible for your body and actions. What matters is the result, not the intent. Ibaka should have been suspended a game.

Shockingly, the Clippers agreed he should have sat  (as did LeBron and Wade).

And Griffin’s Clipper teammate Barnes said if it was anyone else it was would have been a suspension. This tweet went on to TMI:

Let me or @mettaworldpeace do that & I guarantee its a 5 game suspension.. I luv *how* there are different rules, for different people!

Then there was this:

Anyone think Barnes is wrong?

  1. boston444 - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    While Matt Barnes is right, he’s still an idiot

    • sellahh - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      And you’re a net hooligan.

    • tk41 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      There are two issues here: prior history and intent. Matt Barnes has a well-known history of flagrant fouls/dirty play/suspensions etc… He is a tenacious defender, who crosses the line sometimes. Its what has allowed him to be so effective. However, Ibaka has a relatively clean history. For right or wrong, when Barnes does something, it looks like another link in a long chain of misconduct; Ibaka’s looks like an isolated incident.

      Second, when Matt Barnes does something you darn well know its intentional (like the forearm into Stiemsma’s throat). Ibaka is still responsible for his body, but there wasn’t an intent to hit Griffin in the cajones. The poor result is what got him the fine, the lack of intent or history is what kept him from getting suspended.

      While Barnes has a point, he has put himself in this position due to his prior conduct.

  2. mendenhallfumblemachine - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Completely right, not well said, but the point is right.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      they would not suspend him for Lakers vs OKC

  3. dgforreal - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    What’s Ibaka’s history like? Don’t they take that into account when handing out punishments?

    • mckaymatt - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      Yes, but I feel that is the difference between 1 game suspensions and 5 game suspensions…as in he should have been suspended at least a game, considering he didn’t get the boot in the game it happened in.

  4. shzastl - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Intent definitely matters. If someone accidentally swings there are back and nails an opponent, they probably don’t get suspended. Yet, if someone intentionally throws a punch, even if it completely misses, they will probably be suspended. Stern being a lawyer definitely considers intent in handing out punishment (think 1st degree murder – – intentional, premeditated, most serious penalty; manslaughter, unintentional, lesser penalty)

  5. BigBeachBall - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    ibaka sucks…

  6. brotherlove2012 - Mar 5, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Constructive criticism, that’s nice … Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’.

  7. monkeyhateclean - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    New rules:

    1st time any NBA player uses any form of social media as a platform to disparage the NBA = 20 grand fine. No appeals.

    2nd or more time NBA player uses social media to as a platform to disparage an NBA game/refs/league/calls/other NBA players = 100 grand fine, 10 game suspension. No appeal.

    This is the only way to hit the “star” system that would otherwise not matter to James or Bryant. Watch how they complain when they are prohibited from playing for 10 games.

    More importantly, watch how their show sponsors freak out when they learn that Bryant and James will not be advertising their sweat-shop shoes for a tenth of their marketing season.

    Any watch how James and Bryant pretend to be outraged by the living conditions of the workers of the shoe manufacturers who actually make the $200 shoes sold under the name Bryant and Durant and James. It would be better for the world if they just killed themselves, then killed all those associated with their “brand”.

    But they won’t. Because capitalism.

    That will shut these guys up, immediately. The NBA should adopt a zero-tolerance. ANY paid representative (ref, player, owner. etc) from hurting the NBA brand IN ANY WAY.

  8. djred34 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    He right u saw what happen to Barea.

  9. eventhorizon04 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    It’s also weird given the NBA’s long-standing “Superstar bias.”

    Serge Ibaka hit a Superstar player like Blake Griffin who is an All-Star, Slam Dunk Champion, all-over commercials, etc., in the groin, and Ibaka got a small fine but no suspension.

    Meanwhile, Superstar Dwyane Wade hit Ramon Sessions in the groin, and Wade was given a (deserved) suspension and the loss of a $200k gamecheck as punishment.

    I’m not saying the bias in favor of Superstars is a good thing.

    I’m just pointing out that it’s weird how the ONE time everybody agrees the Superstar was the victim, the NBA sides against the star player and refuses to suspend the other player.

    • gostlcards5 - Mar 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      I’m not even sure you can say that they levee the “superstar bias” evenly. Take the same player you mention — DWade.
      – Basically tackles Darren Colleson in Pacers-Heat playoff series last year – should have been a 1-game suspension, received nothing
      – Hits Session in the groin, 1 game + $200k fine

      Hhhmmm…maybe the superstar bias only applies during a playoff series?

  10. davidly - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:37 AM

    Spot on. So what if he botches the subjunctive in the If Clause, at least he got the case right– with the more complex choice of “would have been” + infinitive + participle, no less. Respect.

  11. anbesanegus - Mar 6, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    Or how James, wade and Blake have never been fined for flopping. Yup double standard!

  12. jobotjones - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    If you back handed Ibaka you wouldn’t be alive to tell the story Matt…

  13. mat9844 - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    I think Matt Barnes has been a great addition to the Clips this year, and he’s right for speaking out on behalf of one of his teammates.

  14. loungefly74 - Mar 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    yeah…scratching my head why Ibaka was not suspended…

  15. thestudiokida - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    “What matters is the result, not the intent.”

    Really, Kurt? The country seems to disagree with you. That’s why we have 12 types of murder charges. Otherwise a DUI accident resulting in death would be the same as assassinating a political figure.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Intent can play a role in the degree of a sentence, and could have hear, but if you kill someone with a DUI you do jail time. Ibaka got a fine.

  16. bjerkrulez - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    He’s got a point, but the dictators want a full line up for the LA game…money money money!

    Remember the time when players complained when Michael Jordan rarely got a Technical – because, well, he is Michael Jordan?

    I wonder if it was Lebron that “unintentionally” hammered Griffins b@lls, you guys think he’ll be fined?
    I doubt that.

  17. jimsjam33 - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Isn’t it funny . I used to dis-like Matt Barnes a whole lot when he played for Orlando and the Lakers . Now he’s with the Clippers and Vinny Del Negro has given him reign to terrorize the league . I can’t begin to tell you about the new found respect I’ve found for him . He’s in every game 100 % Barnes can flat out ball and his defense is like dealing with the OK Corral . It’s a shootout every night . I now realize this is one guy you love to hate until he’s on your team . Then your team gets a little respect because he’s an enforcer and you become a believer . You’ll only understand this if you’re a Clipper fan because to everybody else he’s a rogue dirty player . No way !

  18. bjerkrulez - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    That suspension would be an insult to Rodman’s antics lmao

  19. daubs17 - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    hahahah hey matt barnes whining on twitter with his whoa is me crap? Dude twitter?? Really? Haha grow up and shut up no one cares what you have to say ya punk

  20. Very Real News - Mar 6, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    “What matters is the result, not the intent.”

    Um, what? WTF are you talking about? So, if a construction worker accidentally drops a piece of equipment that falls six stories and kills someone, it should be tried as a homicide? After all, it’s only the result that counts and not the intent. Never take anything on a case by case basis. Right.

    Everybody’s so sensitive about their balls.

    Is this still the U.S.?

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