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Thunder’s Ibaka fined $25K, not suspended, for blow to Griffin

Mar 5, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT

When you see the play above most people who are not Thunder faithful thought Serge Ibaka punched Blake Griffin in the groin and should have been ejected. But he wasn’t, it was ruled a flagrant 1 foul, and Ibaka went on to make key plays down the stretch (including drawing Griffin’s sixth foul) that helped lift the Thunder over the Clippers Sunday.

So is the league going to step in and up the penalty and suspend Ibaka? Nope.

The league announced that it has upgraded the foul from a Flagrant 1 to a Flagrant 2, but Ibaka will only be fined $25,000 and not suspended for a game (Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported this was how it would go down). If the referees had called a flagrant 2 in the game Ibaka would have been ejected and maybe the end of the game plays out differently. The Clippers are shaking their heads at this one, and they should be.

My two cents: It was a bad call then and is a bad call now. It looks like what the league wanted was to make sure Ibaka was in uniform Tuesday night when the Thunder face the Lakers on national televisio.

Ibaka’s supporters say that he wasn’t throwing a punch, he was trying to dislodge Blake’s hand as he had a fistful of Ibaka’s jersey? My response is that fistfuls of jerseys are grabbed on better than half the rebound battles in the NBA, but you don’t get to take a swing to dislodge the guy’s hand.

That’s not how the league sees it.

We also are still awaiting word on if J.J. Barea will get a fine or suspension for his body check of Ray Allen on Monday night.

  1. lew24 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    If that was Metta who did that he would have been suspended for 3 games!

    • pcsurfer - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Metta was suspended two games just for watching the ESPN replay of this.

      • zerole00 - Mar 5, 2013 at 5:26 PM

        They didn’t want him to get ideas, the 2 days were to let him cool off.

    • churchillone - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      World Peace woulda been suspended for the rest of the season.

  2. coasttocoast12 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Wow.. really? Wade did something similiar to Sessions and got a 1 match ban.. Ibaka should’ve gotten at least 1 amtch..

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      you can say that again………………..

    • pglive21 - Mar 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      They take into account the player’s history too. Wade’s history warranted it. Ibaka hasn’t done anything like that in an NBA game previously.

  3. coasttocoast12 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Wow.. really? Wade did something similiar to Sessions and got a 1 match ban.. Ibaka should’ve gotten at least 1 match

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      you can say that again…………

  4. coasttocoast12 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Wow.. really? Wade did something similiar to Sessions and got a 1 match ban.. Ibaka should’ve gotten at least 1 match

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      all right already, please don’t say that again.

  5. shaner329 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    So will this set the precedent that you can blatantly punch a guy in his groin and only get fined?

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      I think the reasoning is they didn’t call a flagrant during the game.

  6. savvybynature - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    The Barea “body check” as you call it wasn’t much more than a run-of-the-mill blocking foul imo.

    If a blatant shot to the groin only gets a fine, then I can’t see a justification for JJ getting anything outside of some hate mail from Heat faithful.

  7. mahhelo - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    MWP was suspended after a flagrant 1 call against Detroit was deemed worse than such by the league.

  8. aventador12 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Baloney. Inconsistency of the league at it’s finest.

  9. slumdog66 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    What a joke.

  10. gmsingh - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    It’s a shame that the NBA is this corrupt. You can tell which team is supposed to win by how many times the announcers say “I can’t believe they didn’t call that!” during a game. My hope is that some day Congress will investigate this the way they did steroids in baseball.

    • cosanostra71 - Mar 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Yes, this is exactly what I hope Congress spends their time on. Investigating whether or not Serge Ibaka should get a suspension for hitting someone in the nuts. I can’t think of anything better they could be doing.

      • gmsingh - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        They did it with baseball–how is this confusing for you?

      • cosanostra71 - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM

        Oh yeah, investigating steroids in baseball. Another excellent use of Congress’ time.

    • zerole00 - Mar 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      Who better to judge the legality of a sport than a bunch of old white men, half of which who probably couldn’t run a mile?

      • gmsingh - Mar 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        Anonymous weasels on the internet would be better suited?

  11. HotHotHeat - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    OKC by 20 tonight. Lakers back to below .500

    • katra2logic - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      It is possible that OKC wins by 20 but the race for the final 3 playoff spots in the West will be more fun for the fans if the Lakers could pull out a victory tonight. Cheers :-)

  12. aboogy123456 - Mar 5, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Ibaka is just a fake tough guy who always instigates stuff on the court because he’s immature.

  13. fruitcovejag - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    IMO Ibaka has no history like MWP or some of the other aforementioned players. If it happens again, he sits. LOL MWP sits 2 games for watching the replay!

  14. mrpowers88 - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    If they were worrying about Ibaka being in uniform vs the Lakers, they could’ve still suspended him and drawn out the appeal process. Ibaka plays against LA, but still misses a game when his “appeal” was in the process of being denied- everyone wins

    • zacksdad - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      I think basketball does not allow you play while waiting out the appeal process. That is very common in baseball though and I believe in football also.

  15. zacksdad - Mar 5, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    All playoff bound teams and teams fighting to get in complained this would give an unfair advantage to the Lakers. So Stern listened to the other owners and a made a decision hinder the Lakers.

    MWP does the same thing with an open fist by pushing the arm away and happens to hit a guys chin then gets suspended. Ibaka does a similar move pushing an arm away hits the player in a worse place and gets only a fine.

    Kobe got suspended once for flailing his elbows in a non-basketball move into someone face. I guess Stern felt this natural basketball move was him trying to dribble Blake’s balls.

  16. mcsuave - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    the league upgraded the foul to a flagrant 2. If they did it when they should have (during the game) the outcome may have been different. Ibaka was huge in the final minutes when he shouldn’t have been there. How does the league allow a player to pot shot the nuts without suspension?

  17. drewzducks - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Really Kurt ? ” Blow to Griffin”? You couldn’t have come up with something better than that?

  18. churchillone - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    WORLD PEACE watch the replay the next day and said, ‘DAMN, that dude hits HARD”.

  19. churchillone - Mar 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    WORLD PEACE, after retirement, will go into the WWE and become a Fake Wrester, make a million bucks a year, and TEN MILLION for a match on the WWE WRESTLEMANIA

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