Shortly, just after I came in from the beach, I was greeted to the conclusion of the Lowry versus Warriors’ owner saga. I thoroughly enjoyed this not from the “F*** the Warriors” stance. That is petty, and too much of a cop-out. I enjoyed this whole saga because this is exactly what I thought would happen this series, but it occurred not in the place (or with the person) I thought it would.
Before going further, I will not refer to the owner by name at all in this piece. It is not because I don’t know it, since his name is a Google search away and plastered over everything that has broken in this story. I refuse to name him off of principle. The man let his emotions get the best of him, and did something that we are drilled as kids never to do: make contact with someone for no good reason. Kyle Lowry dove for a ball and hit you; it happens every game. Now why, for the love of God, are you taking that personally and shoving him and cussing him out? Get a life dude, you are not that important. If you can’t control your emotions at one business you run, I seriously question how you came to be a billionaire. Emotions are useful, but they must be controlled. If you can’t control your emotions, then you don’t need to be at the game. End of story.
Now, back to the issue at hand…
I think the NBA was bound to have this occur this season. This whole season has been mired in fans versus players controversy. Before the Warriors owner, there was Drake. Before Drake, there were the Jazz fans. Before the Jazz fans reached a fever pitch, Warriors “fans” were plaguing stadiums. Going WAY back, Spike Lee was annoying anyone and everyone that had to come to Madison Square Garden. Fans have always been annoying to the players; it’s a fact of life. Sure, antics have gotten out of hand recently. However, it was never an issue with a fan putting hands on a player. If it occurred, it was handled swiftly and quietly. The fan was always taken out, and the punishment is firm and lasting.
I originally thought that a fight would occur this finals between a fan and a player. Sure, I thought it’d be between Drake and Draymond Green, but why is that I am automatically assuming that an instance would occur. The NBA has allowed the fans to get out of control this year, and they have done nothing to curtail the issue. Hell, the owners are even getting out of control. The fact that an owner would have the balls to do something like that is despicable, and I personally don’t think this punishment befits the crime.
The partial owner had his tickets for the rest of the Finals stripped, was banned from NBA games for next year, and fined $500k. Normally, this is not that bad. $500k is a lot to the average person, so this just makes sense. However, Jared Dudley pointed out that Chris Paul got a 3 game suspension and was fined $500k for a scuffle that occurred earlier in the season. The owner is a billionaire. Yes, Chris Paul is a millionaire, but this seems…well, like it isn’t scaling properly? Every other fan in the history of the NBA has been suspended indefinitely for touching a player. But, being an owner, he only gets a year suspension? Fine, I guess the whole Sterling precedent is not indicative that any owner taking harsh actions/words/stances with players will be forced out, just ones of bad franchises.
The biggest issue I have with this is the fines. There is no scale that the NBA has, and it is completely based on an outdated finance model. The fines were designed around a league where no player made a million dollars. Now, the minimum salary for vets is $1.5mil. Sure, a hefty $500k fine hurts him tremendously, but how does that hurt Chris Paul? Chris Paul is slated to make roughly $160 mil this year and the next three. What does $500k mean to him? Same can be said for the Warriors owner. If $500k is a drop in the bucket to Chris Paul, what is $500k to the owner? Is it equivalent to him losing a penny on the street? I’m slightly furious that the league considers this to be worth their time at all. Why even fine a billionaire for what he views as chump change when he just wants to attend the games?
Overall, I think the fine was pointless; it was a useless gesture. To me, the NBA should have kept its precedent and suspended the owner for life. Caving more to the owners is not a good sign for the league, especially in this player-empowerment era. It sets another horrible precedent to operate under for the future, especially considering Drake may take this ban to the chin knowing that this is the most the league will do.