Bucks’ Joel Przybilla Suspended A Game For Throwing Ball That Hit Ref, Everyone Sort Of Rolls Their Eyes
Bucks center Joel Przybilla did this on Saturday night. He got suspended a game for it. In general, people seem to think suspending him was a dumb thing to do. But what do you think? See it for yourself and decide:
For the record, if you’re wondering what we thought: there was probably no malicious intent here (hence why the throw was a gentle lob), and the suspension was handed out purely to preserve consistency on such matters. Still, it shows that consistency can be a slippery slope leading to possibly-undeserved punishments – and the consistency we just mentioned isn’t absolute. The story we linked to was about a two-game suspension for a ball toss at a ref, showing that punishments still vary based on the degree of the act in question.
There’s nothing wrong with that – in fact, fines and suspensions should be handed out on a case-by-case basis, because no two offenses are exactly the same. But we’re getting a strong “Belichick grabs ref and gets fined $50K” vibe from this suspension – a punishment given out more because the league was afraid it would be exposed for some sort of hypocrisy if it weren’t given, rather than because it was actually deserved. And when that happens, decisions ostensibly being made for fairness’ sake stop being very fair at all.