What a Difference a Year Makes
AFTER THE scuffle that broke out in Game 4 of the Hawks-Celtics series, the NBA decided not to suspend Kevin Garnett (above) for putting his hands on an official (who had grabbed Garnett first) and also did not suspend Boston's Kendrick Perkins and Atlanta's Marvin Williams for stepping onto the court. I agree with those decisions. Yet I can't help but think of last year's playoffs, when Boris Diaw and Amar� Stoudemire ran onto the court to help Suns teammate Steve Nash after he was rammed to the ground by San Antonio's Robert Horry. Those players didn't go after anyone, but David Stern's logic was this: The players left the bench, they violated a rule, so they were suspended. Intentions didn't matter. Those Suns suspensions loomed especially large last week with the news that Phoenix may part ways with coach Mike D'Antoni. Consider: If Stoudemire and Diaw aren't suspended, maybe the Suns win that series and even the title, and then they don't make a desperation trade for Shaq or think of saying goodbye to a very good coach. The league should consider intent, because this is how much suspensions can matter.
Fun Fact of the Week
MICHAEL JORDAN has a nickname for Larry Brown, his new Bobcats coach: Seabiscuit. Brown and Jordan were playing golf with Roy Williams and Jerry West, and Jordan saw Brown's peculiar gait as he walked down the fairway—Brown, 67, has had multiple hip surgeries—and rechristened him after the famed horse. (Though maybe now he'll change the nickname to Big Brown.)
Feeling the Pulse of a Nation
I JUST LOVE the decisions that came out of the BCS meetings last week. The lords of college football said no to a four-team championship playoff, but yes to adding two new bowl games. Those BCS commissioners, they sure respond to what the fans are crying out for—bowl games in Washington, D.C., and St. Petersburg! (This in a week in which 90% of listeners voted in favor of a playoff on DanPatrick.com.) The new math: The number of bowls is now up to 34, which means more teams will go to bowls than to March Madness.
THE FINE PRINT: More bad news in a disastrous season for Barry Zito: The gun had him at just 2 mph walking to the bullpen.
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