Ndamukong Suh’s 2011 season came to be defined by his Thanksgiving Day stomp of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. It was certainly uncalled for and while it isn’t worth debating differences of severity of ugly acts, Suh’s stomp was topped last night.
After a loss of possession by the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love makes foot to face contact with Rockets forward Luis Scola, causing Scola’s head to hit the floor.
Take a look:
Love denied any intent when talking about the incident after the game:
I fell down. He was kind of right there. I got Size-19 feet. He just happened to be there. I had nowhere to go. I got tripped up. I had nowhere to step. It is just heat of the moment-type play.
It wasn’t as if Love had already started running to the other side of the court and happened to find Scola in his way. He was standing next to Scola and appears to have chosen to step on/over Scola rather than running beside him. Scola was only on the ground because Love had put him there after a hard hack. There is no way Love didn’t know exactly where Scola was as the play turned to go the other way; a far cry from Love saying Scola “just happened to be there”.
The referees had apparently already turned their attention up the court because Love was not whistled for a foul, regular or technical. However, the Rockets bench, who were understandably upset over the incident, was whistled for a technical foul, as was Scola about a minute later.
The NBA will surely review the play and it will be interesting to see what comes of it. We all have a pretty good idea how the NFL would handle it if it was Suh or another Lions involved in such a play.
[update: Kevin Love was suspended two game. Yes, the same number Ndamukong Suh received. However, Suh lost 12.5% of his season while Love will lose about 3% of his.]