In the forth quarter of Phoenix’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday, Ryan Hollins, a back-up big man for the team from Hollywood, used a move on Goran Dragic that would be more suitable in the wrestling ring.
He practically choked the Slovenian point guard, who is nine inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter than Hollins, around the neck with his arm and would not let go for a while. The L.A. center had been trying to deny Dragic the ball on the in-bounds after a made basket, but ended up going much farther than that.
As the two players were tangled up, they ended up moving far too close to the Phoenix bench. Players, coaches, referees and other officials moved in to help.
It’s kind of funny that in these situations that everybody instantly becomes a peacemaker, making it almost impossible for anybody to be one, because of all the shoving, yelling and general chaos that ensues. With all the anarchy this is the time that everybody watching thinks, “Oh no, this could get bad”. It hardly ever does, but it crosses the mind of many fans, who have seen similar situations.
Hollins was ejected for the flagrant-2 on Dragic and Beasley was also told to leave the court for his part in the altercation.
While no fines have been announced, there are automatic fines when anything like this occurs.
The NBA rule-book for 2012-13 explains why each player was ejected
Anyone guilty of illegal contact which occurs during a dead ball may be assessed (1) a technical foul, if the contact is deemed to be unsportsmanlike in nature, or (2) a flagrant foul, if unnecessary and/or excessive contact occurs.
Hollins would be fined $1,000 for the flagrant-2 foul, and probably $2,000 for each of the technicals, which would be his first and second that resulted in him being ejected.
A fighting foul and a technical foul for an attempted punch or swing with no contact or a thrown
elbow toward an opponent above shoulder level with no contact.
That ejection counted as Beasley’s second and third technicals of the season. According to the rulebook, he is still in the first tier of technical fouls and would be fined $2,000 for each tech that got him ejected.
Both players would also get fined an extra $2,000 for being ejected. Too bad all these fines probably won’t affect future behavior, because this is pocket change for these guys, especially for Beasley who makes about $5 million more than Hollins.
I don’t know what Hollins was doing in this altercation, but Beasley was just standing up for his point guard, who happens to be the best player on the team.
That loyalty is admirable, especially because they have only been teammates for less than a year.
Through the journalistic prowess of Suns.com writer, Greg Esposito, and Arizona Republic Suns beat writer Paul Coro, we get a glimpse at what players and coaches thought of the incident.
“The perception with him was he didn’t care,” Coach Lindsey Hunter said at practice Thursday. “You saw with him standing up for Goran that he does care. He cares about his teammates. He may have a peculiar way of showing it sometimes, but he does.”
“He’s a true teammate,” Goran said. “I’m really grateful for what he did for me. He’s like a younger brother stepping in for me. After the game I came to Mike and thank him for what he did for me. That’s true teammate and a true character of his personality. We need more of this kind of guy.”
Immediately after the altercation, when the officials were looking at the replay to see who needed to be ejected, Beasley seemed all fired up as he came up to Dragic and gave him a high-five, like he was saying, “I’ve got your back”.
“He choked Gogi,” Beasley told The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro after the game. “These guys in this locker room are my family. They’re my brothers. You’re not going to choke my brother and sit there and smile about it. I feel like the only reason he did that was because it was Gogi. He’s bigger than Gogi. I’d do it a million times. I’d do it for anyone in this locker room. That’s not right to do anybody. You want to pick on somebody. I got a 7-footer to my right (O’Neal) that likes that kind of stuff. Don’t pick on our smallest guys and then to put him in a headlock and hold it for five minutes? I just wanted to get him off Gogi and he threw his fists up at me. That’s when the situation got heated.”
This is the brand of loyalty that seems to be in the locker rooms of professional sports teams and is what we want from our athletes, regardless of the poor execution of that passionate defense of a teammate.
This new side of Beasley makes you want to second-guess yourself, saying, “Maybe the Suns should keep him.” Then you think back throughout the season to all the mental mistakes, bad passes, long-twos, horrible defensive efforts and bad shot selection and think, “Nah, lets trade him.”