Amare Stoudemire vs. "Dirty" Spurs

May, 11, 2007
5/11/07
3:26
PM ET

ESPN's Marc Stein has done some checking says the league isn't going to take any action in this instance. He also links to a good Mike Monroe article from the San Antonio Express-News detailing the history of Amare Stoudemire vs. the San Antonio Spurs. Monroe writes:

"It was a wide-open play," Stoudemire said of his uncontested dunk off an over-the-shoulder pass from Boris Diaw. "I saw the replay and Bruce Bowen came up behind me, measured his feet and kicked me purposely and affected my Achilles. I came down pretty sore.

"That's a dirty play. I think the Spurs are a dirty team. I mean, Ginobili during the regular season kneed me in the crotch on purpose. I just hope the league takes a look at it and cleans the game up a little bit."

Stoudemire was referring to an incident in the Suns' Feb. 1 victory over the Spurs in which Ginobili drove to the basket leading with his knee. Stoudemire was called for a foul after the collision and also picked up a technical after he tried to go after Ginobili.

"I just tried to go strong to the basket," Ginobili said at the time. "I think I was in motion before he came. I, of course, had no intention of hurting anybody. I just tried to draw a foul."

Stoudemire also complained to officials during Tuesday's game when Ginobili grabbed his leg and prevented him from getting a pass. No foul was called on the play.

People are talking about this like it might give the Spurs some extra motivation. But they just lost by 20 in a series many have called the real NBA Finals. How can you get more motivated than that?

Also, reproduced from yesterday's bullets, for your viewing pleasure (I can't find video of the February 1st alleged Ginobili knee incident):

Bruce Bowen kicks Amare Stoudemire (in Game 2). Bruce Bowen kicks Ray Allen. "Bruce Lee" Bowen flying kick to the head of, I believe, Wally Szczerbiak. Bruce Bowen slips a foot under Steve Francis, injuring him. Anthony Parker lands on Bruce Bowen's foot, hurts his ankle.

UPDATE: Interesting, and relevant: In an exhaustive play-by-play analysis of the refereeing in Game 2, Adam Hoff of WhatIfSports concludes:

I learned that even in a huge Suns win, the Spurs still got the benefit of +10 on the calls. And that was being as fair as humanly possible, giving San Antonio the benefit of the close calls (to balance any natural bias I might have), AND ignoring the 20-25 Bowen and Oberto fouls away from the play. I am more convinced now than ever that the Spurs have an enormous systematic advantage over every other team when it comes to the whistles.

Then he wrote another long post wondering why that might be. He emails a summary:

My conclusion is "systematic desensitization" that has given the Spurs a certain fouling immunity. And my secondary conclusion is that something that has bothered me for years (San Antonio "getting all the calls") is actually the byproduct of having one coach and one system in place for a decade. And therefore, that they deserve this officiating advantage. In other words, "getting all the calls" isn't an unfair advantage bestowed upon them by the league, but rather one they earned through foresight, patience, and intelligence. Needless to say, it is not the conclusion that I expected to reach. But it is enlightening in the sense that I will be able to enjoy their success a lot more than I was before.

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