Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke stands up for Metta World Peace.
I have a message for NBA overlord David Stern: Free Metta World Peace. The seven-game suspension against the player formerly known as Ron Artest was excessive. It proves there are only three real manly sports left: boxing, MMA, and hockey. Professional basketball has gotten softer than a Dairy Queen Blizzard. I want to see the league go back to the good old days, when physical defense was always tolerated. Instead, we get selective enforcement from the NBA because the league goes out of its way to protect the superstars but is quick to drop the hammer on throwback players like World Peace.
These days, all the players are into a buddy-buddy system. Everybody wants to be friends. After the season is done, they all go play in each others' celebrity charity games. The NBA was better when we had the bad boys of the Detroit Pistons, whose hard style of play was mirrored by the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat — when Pat Riley was coaching those teams. I long for the days when Jeff Van Gundy held onto Alonzo Mourning's leg to stop him from brawling with Knicks players during an intense playoff series. The NBA needs more drama.
Stern is also a big hypocrite when it comes to cracking down on physical play. Why hasn't he done anything to address the Oklahoma City Thunder playing the role of league bully? World Peace was just letting Thunder players know he is not going to let them smack him around like they do other players. The Thunder has Kendrick Perkins, who twice kicked Dwyane Wade during a game and threw hard elbows at Chris Bosh's head. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook almost broke LeBron James's legs by committing a hard foul against the Heat MVP. He should have been ejected, but wasn't.
And don't get me started on wonder-boy dunker and L.A. Clipper Blake Griffin. The league doesn't want anybody messing with him even though he commits hard offensive fouls when he goes to the rack. When the Clippers last played the Lakers, Griffin put his knee in Pau Gasol's mouth and elbowed him hard in the face when the Spaniard dunked on him. Griffin should have been suspended. But when the Phoenix Suns' Robin Lopez knocked Griffin to the ground to stop him from dunking, Lopez got an automatic ejection. The NBA is a fraud.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.
- Marco Rubio on Cecil the Lion: "But What About Abortion?"
- Dolphins Bring Back Old Logo and Throwback Uniforms for One Game
- Hillary Clinton to Speak at FIU on Friday (She's Just Not Sure If You're Invited or Not)