While many expected Serge to at least get a one-game suspension, it appears that he will get off with just the slightest of fines.
Ibaka explained after the game that he had no intention of hurting Griffin, and that he was simply trying to secure his position down low.
“He hit my hands away,” Ibaka told reporters afterward. “He’s strong, so when he grabs you, your jersey or whatever, and you try to defend yourself and rebound. So maybe you can do some move, not to hurt, (but) just to get good position, but then something happens where you get hurt in the paint. It’s not anything where I want to try to hurt him. I’m not that kind of person. I just try to play hard, and that’s it.
“I just tried to play hard. I really don’t care if someone is dirty or not, that’s not my problem. His game was intense. We all were complaining to the referees (about) some dirty stuff. It’s basketball. We just played. If you can see the replay, you can see he grabbed my jersey first so I wanted to try to defend myself, (but) not to hurt him.” (NewsOK)
He will now be eligible to compete later tonight as the Thunder face off with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Does the punishment fit the crime?
Ibaka should thank his lucky stars that he wasn’t suspended, because that’s what he deserved, if only for a game.
I believe his clean history in such matters and the fact that the play in question was simply a flagrant-one (how, I don’t know) has something to do with the lack of suspension.
DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings was suspended for one game back in December for an apparent low blow on Dallas Mavericks guard O.J Mayo. How is this any different from what Ibaka did?
Cousins has a track record. Serge doesn’t.
For those who have seen the footage, it’s clear as day how Ibaka raises his arm with the intent of striking Griffin, whether it be in the groin or not.
I don’t know how you CAN’T suspend him for such a thing.
He wasn’t ejected from the game and he wasn’t suspended. A couple of shots from the free-throw line and a meaningless slap on the wrist won’t suffice.