Another look at Rafer Alston slapping Eddie House. In my opinion, anything less than a suspension is complete BS. But as I read over the league rules, there appears to be a loophole.
According to the rule book, a technical foul shall be assessed for unsportsmanlike tactics such as:
- A deliberately-thrown elbow or any attempted physical act with no contact
The slap is clearly a physical act. But when referencing a suspension, the rule book only refers to punches or elbows:
- Any player who throws a punch, whether it connects or not, has committed
an unsportsmanlike act. He will be ejected immediately and suspended for a minimum
of one game.
Will the head slap be considered a punch? I hope so. If not, guys will be bitch-slapping one another like there's no tomorrow. The NBA writers at SI.com offered their opinions and most believe Alston will be suspended.
I'm also waiting for ESPN to report on this the same way they did the Rondo/Hinrich incident – incessant replays, online polls and irresponsible speculation. I'm sure it's coming any minute now.
Here's Eddie's post-game interview on TNT. It's now one of my all-time favorite quotes (scroll ahead to the 50 second mark):