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James Harden Receives 1-Game Suspension for Kick on James

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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James Harden Receives 1-Game Suspension for Kick on James

To say Sunday’s match between the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers was chippy is an understatement. To bring it down solely to James Harden as being the one player who will have to miss a game without pay is absurd.

To that end, the NBA has reviewed the kick by James Harden to LeBron James groin area and as James’ basically called for post game the play was reviewed by the League Office who handed Harden a one game suspension without pay.

True, he never should have reacted to the hard defense and hits he was getting repeatedly throughout the game, but I wonder why no one looked at James hard shove to Patrick Beverley‘s chest to push him back down on the ground.

Or the fact Timofey Mozgov joined in to make sure Beverley remained there. Further, watching how James purposely walked by Beverley after the altercation and rubbed against Beverley was nothing short of taunting, pure gamesmanship. As if to say “I can do what I want”.

Looking back at yesterday’s game LeBron James repeatedly would yell at the zebra’s to make a call which had me and many wondering why is James allowed to speak (or rather yell at) to the referees like that without repercussion?

Each time James got into it with a player whether via being physical, holding a players jersey, bumping or yapping at them he seldom received a foul for it. In the initial melee between him and Patrick Beverley it was questionable whether it should have been called a charge in the first place. Then the fact the referee crew reviewed the tape and also sent it to Secaucus New Jersey and it still didn’t warrant James receiving an additional foul was head shaking.

So he shoved Beverley back to the ground, held him down and then the subsequent walk by brush wasn’t deemed as warranting additional punishment. This to me pinpoints what is wrong with today’s game. Super stars like LeBron James expect to always get those calls and they also expect their teams to get those calls. I get it you bring in a ton of money for the league LeBron, but why should you have a different set of rules than every other player or team?

While we shouldn’t condone kicking is the league saying it’s okay to push a player to the ground, pin him down and then taunt him afterward? Remember earlier this year Russell Westbrook was thrown out of a game for celebrating a dunk but LeBron James can walk by Patrick Beverley immediately after he held him down brush against him and get away with it?

During the game at times it felt like James was telling the refs what to do and immediately after the game his comments suggested he expected the suspension as if he was the one determining it.

So, you’ll have to forgive me, but it does feel like split milk given Beverley wasn’t calling for a suspension from James or further review of James’ taunting he simply said it was a chippy game.

Obviously the Harden kick  was more of a graze or we would have seen James’ writhing on the ground so the fact he felt compelled to request for the play to be reviewed and action taken really did feel like he was whining about the loss.  In other words take the shots I (and my team) deliver, but don’t you dare try to reciprocate.

"That's gotta be something! That's gotta be something!" – Mike Tirico pic.twitter.com/Kq43iTWznQ

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 1, 2015

It used to be Blake Griffin that got all those calls and I doubt there is a more maligned player in the NBA by other players than Griffin who repeatedly harps at the refs during play.

“Obviously that’s not a basketball play. Obviously the league will probably take a look at it. I have no idea why he would do that – James

In a game versus Toronto Griffin elbowed players or held their jerseys and the minute the ref turned would yell out that the opposition was holding him and 95% of the time get the calls.

I’ve saw him break Patrick Patterson’s nose and some how end up at the line throwing free throws for doing it. It made me wonder, how exactly does he get free throws when the blood dripping down Patterson’s face is a testament to who actually got fouled: LITERALLY!

The bottom line is teams who face the Cavaliers are well aware they operate by a different set of rules specifically LeBron James who apparently can push you back down, hold you there, and then taunt you after the fact and simply get a technical.

Then he can grab and clutch at you throughout the game without getting called for a foul while he uses his famous move to shoulder you off straight arm you with a push off  to clear space for his shot also without ever getting called for a foul.

@SportsCenter: THIS JUST IN: James Harden suspended one game by NBA after kicking out at LeBron James Sunday. pic.twitter.com/VzPCZpEFNR” bias

— Coach Smooth ⚾️ (@Smooth1Forever) March 2, 2015

Just don’t expect to get the same leeway if you try to do it back to James because you’ll get called. I know some people will disagree with me, but I’m really tired of games being decided by referees and I would literally rather see the Sixers, Wolves and Lakers win repeatedly (if they bring the effort) then know a team doesn’t have to show up because the zebra’s will bail them out.

If James Harden "kicked" Kendrick Perkins instead of LeBron the NBA would've fined Perkins for instigation. I hate star bias.

— Richard J Kowalski (@R_Walski) March 2, 2015

And now James apparently not only decides how long All-Star breaks will be, but also whether a player will be reviewed and suspended. It begs the question is Adam Silver the Commissioner of the NBA or is LeBron James? Just saying!

Next: Who has the toughest final schedule?

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