J.J. Barea was unhappy with Ray Allen pushing off near Barea’s throat, and decided to even it out by bumping Ray to the ground. Allen then lost his cool, got up to confront Barea and your typical NBA kerfuffle broke out.
Official Ed Malloy went to the monitor, probably watched a torture scene from the movie Hostel, and deemed that the action he saw on the monitor was not acceptable for an NBA game. He changed the Flagrant-1 foul to a Flagrant-2, which gives Barea the automatic boot from the game. After the game, Barea expressed his thoughts on Ray overreacting to a “soft foul,” said he’s been hit much harder than that every night, and said he expected the NBA to downgrade it to a Flagrant-1 foul.
The NBA has downgraded a Flagrant-2 foul on Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea to a Flagrant-1 foul.
The Timberwolves announced the decision on Tuesday, one day after Barea was ejected in the fourth quarter against Miami after a foul on Heat guard Ray Allen. Barea knocked Allen to the court with a chest bump and Allen immediately took exception and confronted Barea. Officials initially ruled it a Flagrant-One, which gives the opponent two shots and the ball.
Upon reviewing the play, referee Ed Malloy changed it to a Flagrant-Two, which brings an automatic ejection. The Wolves were down six at the time, but Miami responded with a 17-5 run to put the game away.
Barea says he is pleased with the league’s decision.
A Flagrant-2 foul could result in a suspension for the next game if the league decides that it’s necessary to punish the player who committed the foul, but it’s not an automatic suspension. But by downgrading it to a Flagrant-1, it ensures Barea won’t miss any time, which he shouldn’t. Should it have been a Flagrant-1? That’s debatable. I, personally, don’t have a problem with it being a regular foul or a flagrant. But to watch that play and say it’s an ejectable offense just seems crazy to me.
If Ray Allen doesn’t react that way, Barea probably doesn’t get ejected. I don’t think it was a matter of this being a Wolves-Heat thing or anything like that; I think it was simply a matter of an overmatched crew chief for the officials losing control of the game and not knowing how to regain control by any way outside of tossing Barea.
Good to see the league changed it to the proper foul designation.