Saturday 30th September 2023,
The Hoop Doctors

Is Controversy Just Part of the NBA Playoffs? Erick Dampier Guarantee’s It

Erick Dampier Dallas Mavericks

April 23, 2009 – Dr. Casper

‘Dr. Casper’ a.k.a. Ben York from Phoenix’s fame, is also the founder of Ben’s Suns Blog.

“My first foul Thursday night is going to put him on his back. I guarantee it.”

That was the quote from Erick Dampier, doing his best impression of Men’s Wearhouse CEO George Zimmer, in reference to his wish to take out Tony Parker. As soon as I heard those comments, I had a few immediate thoughts rush through my mind:

1. What an idiot.
2. Erick Dampier said that?
3. As a Suns fan, I wish more of their players would think like that. (key
term: *think*, not say)
4. Finally – the 2009 playoff controversy

There is no doubt that if the Mavericks want to contain Tony Parker, Erick Dampier is going to have to step up his defense as almost half of Parker’s made shots were layups in their blowout loss to the Spurs on Monday. However, once again, instead of focusing on the actual game and what is proving to be a better series than we all thought it would be, we are now clearly smitten with Dampier’s “threat.” Please.

Clearly, this is not a unique situation. It seems that the NBA playoffs bring out this type of controversy; something like this happens every year that gives us bloggers and fans something to talk about. Sometimes it’s about an actual play (see Suns/Spurs 2007) and sometimes it has nothing to do with the game such as the seeding (see 2006 controversy).

Right or wrong, valid or not, we soak this stuff up. And much of the time, every side in these arguments has a solid case to support; there isn’t usually a undeniable correct response or solution. Typically, objectivity is used in every situation, such as the NBA deciding to review Dampier’s comments. While this stuff happens all the time in the regular season, and
we have strong feelings about it, the playoffs bring out much more gut-wrenching, personal reactions of everyone involved from the casual fan to the player himself; after all, this is for all the marbles!

This is why I love the playoffs. They bring out the best and worst in us.

We tend to think that each controversy correlates with the outcome, and if the outcome isn’t what we wanted…hey, at least we can blame it on something! That’s what I love and loathe about the NBA; there is always someone or something to place blame on. Instead of looking internally as fans or players, we blame refs, coaches, calls, time differences, etc. Excuses are all of a sudden much more a part of the game rather than moving on. Every call is scrutinized, every play is questioned, and every outcome has a hero/villain. It’s truly a fantastic time of the year. Even the most high-character people get caught up in their subsequent anger and grudges – some, rightfully so.

Now, I’m not someone who places blame on others very quickly, if at all. However, when playoff time rolls around…I tend to sing a different tune.

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