By now, the NBA’s disciplinary actions are custom and nothing is puzzling whenever suspensions are handed out to a player for egregious behavior. Warning signs have being issued by players in the previous years for their despicable and unnecessary actions exposed in playoff games. It’s unacceptable and inexcusable in the viewpoint of NBA’s obstinate commissioner David Stern, a stern man who slapped harsh fines and suspensions in recent years. The last name fits him well as it is stern as his personality, and business wised it’s the best approach to minimized havoc.

Most recent, Dwight Howard, the defensive player of the year, was placed among Stern’s list and was banished for a pivotal Game 6 in the best-of-seven series against Philadelphia. Minus his presence could cost the Orlando Magic a critical win, and violating the warning signs leaves Howard helpless. Emotions provoked an agitated Howard to take personal annoyance excessively over the top, intentionally throwing his elbow to the head of Samuel Dalembert in Game 5. Immediately following, it was clear evidence of him intentionally unleashing his irritable psyche, and it was indications of an abhorrent consequence in the aftermath of his mindless incident. The league warranted Howard a one-game suspension without pay and the league wasted no time reviewing, later announcing his suspension.

In fairness, the league had to follow the rules of disciplinary actions to keep players intact of infamous incidents and outrageous brawls that transpired in the past. Most recently, at the end of the regular-season, Boston’s Ray Allen was suspended one game without pay of a similar incident for elbowing Cleveland’s forward Anderson Varejao in the groin. The league punished the Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom in the regular season for leaving the bench during an altercation. And a few years’ ago in a tense playoff series between the Lakers and Suns, Raja Bell was suspended for one-game, damn near taken off the head of Kobe Bryant with his careless clothesline. Or the Detroit-Indiana infamous brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills that will always leave a stain on the league, ignited by an angry Ron Artest charging the stands when an intoxicated fan throw beer in his face.

Since the league has banished misbehavior, it’s only fair to banish Howard of privileges to play. By sitting out one game, gives him a chance to think before violating the rules. The league is doing the right thing to keep their vows of equality, and keeping things under control. Otherwise it will become another version of UFC and Wrestlemania without the ring and Octagon, but a basketball court with blood stains shrouding the court, would be another violation as there isn’t supposed to be any blood visual on the court of any NBA game.

By suspending Orlando’s superstar was the correct punishment, absolutely fair discipline. It’s a way to send messages to players that any unnecessary conduct isn’t bearable and it could teach Howard a valuable lesson of the importance maintaining poise, or else fines and suspensions could cost in the long run. Not at all, was a one game suspension harsh. It gives him enough time to think about his foolish actions.

Officials should have tossed him from the game and he should’ve been ejected, if they'd ruled it as a Flagrant 2, immediately following the episode. But the officals called a techincal foul on Howard, and he remained in the game for three more quarters to pick up a double-double on 24 points and 24 rebounds. Even better, is a suspension to discipline him. Meanwhile, a similar issue occurred in the Bulls-Celtics series when Boston’s prolific guard Rajon Rondo popped Chicago’s Brad Millar in the month to engender a bloody situation, his tooth cut into his lip, requiring stitches as he stood around dazed.

On the other hand, Dalembert’s head didn’t require any medical care, but Howard sustains punishment and Rondo doesn’t have to serve any timeout after a bloody scene. His shot to the month was accidental, levitating to make a block on the play, but instead struck Miller in the face. At the postgame conference Rondo was sincere, saying it wasn’t intentional or a dirty play. Well, maybe he should've been whistled for a flagrant, but it wasn't intentional. And if anybody is guilty of taking off someone's head, Howard's hit was premeditated as Rondo's was accidental. It happened to where Rondo hit Miller in the face, which caused nothing but a controversy.

Even the officials and NBA’s vice president of operations, Stu Jackson doesn’t recognize it as a flagrant foul and agree with Rondo’s intent that it was an attempt of a defensive assignment that failed. But in Howard’s situation, it was obviously intentional contact which results in a suspension that might have cost his team an important victory in Philadelphia. The Magic have to play small without their 6-foot-11 Superman, without the superhero most have admired.

Certainly, the NBA banned the right player. After all, the NBA does care.


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