Tweet of the Night: Steve Kerr disagrees with suspension of Chris “Birdman” Andersen

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Birdman Chris Anderson has been on Tyler Hansbrough’s case through much of the Eastern Conference Finals. His overaggressive behavior in Game 5, however, will cost him the opportunity to play in Game 6 after the NBA suspended the backup center on Friday.

There has been plenty of debate about whether the suspension was warranted, and TNT analyst Steve Kerr chimed in with his own thoughts on the matter:

Count me in the minority on the reaction to the Birdman suspension. An ejection from the game? Okay. A one game suspension? I don't get it.
@SteveKerrTNT
Steve Kerr
Nazi Mohammed didn't get suspended for doing the same thing as Anderson (and more excessively). Shouldn't suspensions be about precedent?
@SteveKerrTNT
Steve Kerr

Steve_KerrLet me clarify that I don’t condone the behavior of Andersen. He should have picked up a technical or a flagrant foul for giving Hansbrough the cheap shot before things escalated. Andersen’s shove after the two came face to face warrants a technical foul as well. That said, I am in the minority with Kerr on this one.

Many believe that the decision to suspend Andersen has been made, in part, to correct the mistake of not ejecting him on the spot in the first place by assessing a Flagrant 2 foul. If that’s the case, Andersen should not be suspended. How many times during the regular season did we hear the league admit that the refs screwed up on a call? Bad calls and false no-calls in the final seconds of games have cost plenty of teams a win this season, but at the end of the day, those teams have no choice but to simply live with the results. It’s also true that the league upgrading or rescinding technicals or Flagrant fouls after the game has no effect on what actually happened in that game. So why is it that all of a sudden, they are attempting to bend the effects of what happened in a game that’s already over? There is no sense of consistency on how the league handles these situations.

Upgrade the Flagrant call. Give him a hefty fine for acting in a disorderly conduct. Suspending him for a cheap shot and a shove while two grown men were staring each other down in a tense playoff moment? The overall actions and the results of what he did don’t warrant penalizing the Heat to this extent. This is the postseason, where everything is on the line, and we shouldn’t have to watch a team be limited because of an overreaction by the league.

Everyone wondered why Nazr Mohammed picked up a Flagrant 2 for what he did against LeBron James, but not Andersen for doing something very similar in Game 5. That’s a reasonable argument because there’s a sense of inconsistency from the refs, but now you have to ask why Anderson is getting suspended when Mohammed didn’t suffer any post-game consequences. The difference is that we expect refs to make mistakes in live-game situations. What is the league’s excuse?

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  1. STFU Donnie says:

    Further proof that Steve Kerr is just dumb. I’m stunned enough that TNT forces his banality on us…but an actual NBA owner put him in charge of a playoff team, which of course he summarily drove into a ditch from which Phoenix is still crawling out of.

    Had the referees done what the NBA instructs referees to do in that situation, which is to eject Anderson…then there would be no suspension. The only precedent this sets is to tell the players that even if you get away with something in the game that the refs miss, the NBA will still review the film and force you to suffer the punishment you should have received in the game…so don’t do it.

    The real BS move is that Wade’s forearm shiver to Stephenson’s head didn’t merit a suspension. If Stephenson had done it to Wade you better believe he’s sitting the next game. But the NBA DESPERATELY wants Miami in the finals, especially with San Antonio already with their ticket punched.

    • Alek Samm says:

      Exactly. Thank God Reggie is there to balance out Kerr’s total suck-up job on the broadcast team or else I’d turn the audio down. Kerr never questions anything NBa related even when it’s obvious the NBA/refs got it wrong.

      As far as the NBA wanting Miami to go to the Finals goes…ya think? Even tho’ the officiating has been horrible for both teams, it really is 5 on 8 favoring Miami and if it wasn’t for the refs not calling it straight, Miami would likely have lost this series already. Hopefully, the Pacers can finish ‘em off and sent the entirety of ESPN into cardiac arrest.

  2. steppxxxz says:

    Im guessing the suspension, (and this is where it is different from nazr’s shove) has to do with Anderson’s tussle with the ref and his grabbing the ref by the wrist….however brief.

    • The “tussling” with refs happen all the time, though, without any consequences. Thanks for your input.

      • Come on, Park, that’s complete baloney (as opposed to the other word I want to use in response to your nonsense). We’re not talking about the “tussling” when he was being pushed away off the court, we’re talking about the “tussling” at around the 0:33 mark. That’s not “tussling.” No doubt THAT is what got him suspended, not the shove of the opposing player.

        Yeah, an argument could be made that this is the playoffs, a crucial game in a Conference Finals series, a valuable role player, blah, blah, blah. But those types of arguments didn’t stop the League from jobbing Phoenix in 2007, giving San Antonio the title by suspending Stoudemire and Diaw for simply going on the court. Go back and read Stu Jackson’s quotes from his conference call with the media. Those quotes have just as much application now as they did back then. This is totally consistent, nothing arbitrary about it.

  3. alekesam says:

    For consistencies sake, that’s exactly why the Birdman should lose a game. If they can fine a player after the fact for flopping, they can suspend Birdman (who automatically should’ve got ejected to begin with…it wasn’t a play on the ball on the initial contact and then he made contact again, while trying to fight through his own coach and a ref or two to get to Hansbrough…If that was the other way around against someone on the Heat, they would’ve been ejected flat out, like Nasir) a game.

    Teach the players a lesson that stupid moves like this have consequences.

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