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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

LeBron James, Matt Barnes complain about lack of suspension for Serge Ibaka

Serge Ibaka Blake GriffinSerge Ibaka avoided suspension for his chop to Blake Griffin’s groin region during Sunday’s Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Clippers game, and his seemingly light penalty has left players like LeBron James and Matt Barnes complaining about what they believe is inconsistency from the league office.

Ibaka’s foul was upgraded from a flagrant one to a Flagrant-2 foul, which means he should have been automatically ejected from the game. He also was fined $25,000. LeBron James felt Ibaka’s punishment was light and expressed his thoughts over Twitter Tuesday:

James was referring to teammate Dwyane Wade, who was suspended a game for kicking Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions in the groin.

Wade later chimed in as well:

Clippers player Matt Barnes, whose teammate was on the receiving end of the chop, feels there is a double-standard for the NBA depending on who commits the infraction:

“Let me or @mettaworldpeace do that & I guarantee its a 5game suspension.. I luv *how* there are different rules, for different people!” he tweeted.

Barnes is no stranger to suspensions from the league. He was suspended one game for his pushing Greg Stiemsma in the neck last month; he was suspended for his fight with Jason Terry in April 2011; he was suspended a game for a fight in the summer league in 2011; and he was suspended two games for a 2008 fight with the Houston Rockets. Barnes isn’t being unfairly targeted by the league; he has deserved every suspension he has received.

I’m not sure what the league saw with Ibaka that kept them from suspending him. Maybe it has to do with a player’s history. Wade and Barnes certainly have histories of sketchy play, which could explain the extra penalties.

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