Matt Barnes calls out NBA for punishment double standard

Tuesday March 5th, 2013

Matt Barnes, left, was not happy with the NBA's treatment of Serge Ibaka. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Matt Barnes, left, was not happy with the NBA's punishment of Serge Ibaka. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

By Ben Golliver

Clippers forward Matt Barnes accused the NBA league office of having a double standard when it comes to its punishment process on Tuesday.

Barnes posted a series of messages on his Twitter account following the NBA's decision to fine, but not suspend, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka for a low blow to Clippers forward Blake Griffin. Ibaka's foul, originally deemed a flagrant 1 but upgraded by the league office to a flagrant 2, came as the two players were jockeying for position during a Barnes three-point attempt on Sunday night.

Barnes asserted that the punishment would have been harsher had he or Lakers forward Metta World Peace committed a similar foul.

You can INTENTIONALLY grab or hit someone in the balls & not get suspended, but you push someone & get suspended. #ImConfused

Let me or Metta World Peace do that & I guarantee its a 5 game suspension .. I [love how] there are different rules, for different people!

So if I would have back handed Ibaka, I would have been the only one to get suspended right??????????????????????????

Heat forward LeBron James also tweeted about Ibaka's suspension, comparing it to a low-blow kick from Dwyane Wade to Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions that earned Wade a one-game suspension without pay in December.

So explain to me the difference? My teammate gets a 1 game suspension and 150k+ taking away from him for his groin altercation #strangetome

Back in February, Barnes was suspended for one game after he received a flagrant 2 for shoving Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma in the neck. The NBA also suspended Barnes for one game back in November 2012 after he pleaded no contest to "resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer" following an offseason arrest. At the time, Barnes called that suspension a "JOKE."

Also in February, World Peace was suspended for one game for a rebounding tussle with Pistons guard Brandon Knight. World Peace has also been suspended on numerous other occacsions, including a seven-game suspension in April 2012 for elbowing James Harden, a one-game suspension for clotheslining Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea in May 2011 and a season-long suspension for his role in the "Malice at the Palace." The NBA did assess a one-game suspension to Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for a low blow similar to Ibaka's that Cousins delivered to Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo in December. Like Barnes and World Peace, Cousins has a lengthier history of disciplinary issues than does Ibaka.

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