Bulls guard Alex Caruso to have surgery Monday; Grayson Allen gets a one-game suspension
The flagrant-2 foul heard ’round the league Friday finally got some resolution Sunday. The NBA announced that Allen was suspended for one game. Caruso is expected to be out six to eight weeks after his fractured right wrist is repaired.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan doubled down Sunday afternoon.
He had time to sit back and reflect on the flagrant-2 foul by Bucks guard Grayson Allen that will sideline the heart and soul of his defense, Alex Caruso (fractured right wrist), for the next six to eight weeks.
The NBA announced that Allen would be suspended one game for what was deemed an excessive non-basketball play.
“I still stand by what I said: It was a really dangerous play,’’ Donovan said. “Obviously, it proved to be that with [Caruso] having to have surgery, so it is what it is. I was worried about that after the game, just based on talking to [Caruso]. There was some talk on the bench about him not playing the rest of the game by the medical guys, and Alex was pretty adamant that he could play. . . . We put him back in there, and he finished the game. But talking to him after the game and then speaking to him the next morning, I could tell that there was something wrong. That’s when we found out he had a break and would need surgery.’’
The surgery will take place Monday, and the Bulls will have to move on without Caruso.
And that’s what Donovan was stressing to his players — moving on.
Whether they agreed that Allen’s third-quarter midair tackle of Caruso was worth one game or thought the punishment was too light, he didn’t want the team dwelling on something they no longer had a say in.
Donovan spoke to the league and said his piece leading up to the punishment being handed out — and so did the front office.
“Maybe people think, ‘You know what, he should be out for as long as Alex is out,’ ’’ Donovan said. ‘‘All those things, they’re out of my control. They’re not my decisions. Nothing is changing from what happened the other night to where we are now, and the best thing we can do is move on.’’
Donovan was aware that Bucks players had rallied around Allen in the 24 hours after the incident, with Jrue Holiday saying, “We know Grayson. He’s not that type of player. . . . Grayson didn’t do it on purpose.’’
The Bucks issued a statement supporting Allen, saying, “We disagree with the suspension. We support Grayson and look forward to him rejoining our team for Friday’s game vs. New York.’’
Donovan expected nothing less from the Bucks.
“I totally get and understand teammates supporting another player,’’ Donovan said. “I mean, that’s the right thing to do, and they should do that. But my question would be if the roles were reversed, and it was Alex Caruso that took down Giannis [Antetokounmpo] or took down [Khris] Middleton or took down Jrue Holiday in the same way, it sounds like they would basically be saying, that’s OK, it wasn’t really a malicious act. So if it happened to those guys, would that actually be the same response or would there be a different response?’’
Donovan did reconsider his comments from Friday that Allen’s history of dirty plays goes back to his college days at Duke.
“When I made the comment that there’s been a history there, I don’t think anybody should necessarily be evaluated on their past,’’ Donovan said. “I was just making a point that it was not a first time that something like that happened. Certainly his time in college and every incident, everything that happens is totally different, so I don’t want to just totally say that he should be evaluated on what took place in college.’’