By Rob Mahoney
Clippers big man Ryan Hollins has a long track record of cheap shots (including shoves, punches, trips, elbows and an incomprehensible amount of trash talking), but this latest entry is a new low even for a player with such an extensive body of work.
After losing the ball thanks to the prying hands of Houston's Jeremy Lin on Wednesday, Hollins found himself trailing behind Lin as the Rockets' point guard looked to push the break. Fellow Clipper Lamar Odom first bodied up Lin to commit an ordinary foul, but when that nudge sent Lin into Hollins' path, the hot-headed big man just couldn't help himself. As Lin struggled to keep his footing, Hollins visibly kicked Lin -- only to hold his hands up and claim innocence.
After some discussion, the play was called as a flagrant foul 1, and this play would definitely seem to be deserving of that judgment based on it being wholly "unnecessary" contact. Either way, this surely won't be the last that we see of Hollins -- who was named one of the dirtiest players in the league last season in a Sports Illustrated player poll -- in the context of flagrant/technical/hard fouls. He just has a way of grossly exaggerating his physical response to otherwise normal basketball situations, and clearly has little regard for the written and unwritten rules of the game.