Grayson Allen is a punk.
And that’s a low crown. You have to be something of a sneaky, dirty weasel to be a basketball punk.
But when the shoe fits, wear it. Slip it on, Grayson. Enjoy.
The Bucks guard flagrantly fouled Bulls guard Alex Caruso in a game Friday in Milwaukee, and Caruso, who was in midair at the time, landed hard on his right wrist, breaking it. As I type this, he probably still is shaking off the effects of the anesthesia from his wrist surgery Monday.
He’ll be out for two months and, because it’s his shooting wrist, might have a hard time returning to his old form. Who knows?
What we do know is fouls such as Allen’s are chicken bleep. They should not be tolerated by the NBA. Not anywhere.
They sure aren’t tolerated in noon ball at the YMCA. Guaranteed.
Indeed, if you have played basketball at any level — from gym class in grade school to three-on-three on the driveway to rec-center pickup to high school, college or pro ball — you know that low-bridging a guy on a layup is as nasty as it gets.
That includes yanking, shoving or elbowing the shooter while he or she is helpless in midair, concentrating on the basket, looking up, body fully extended, thereby causing the player to fall from a height that might be as low as a couple of inches to nearly 4 feet when the great NBA acrobats are attempting a jam.
You just don’t do it. Never.
It’s that simple. Terrible fights have occurred in referee-free ball after cheap shots such as Allen’s. It’s one of those sports breaches you can’t abide.
And what is Allen getting from the NBA? A one-game suspension and a fine of $23,000.
Nothing, really. The guy makes more than $4 million, with a two-year, $20 million extension ready to go next season.
Say you’re single and making $80,000 a year. That fine is like you paying $460. Ouch. Not to mention a couple of days off to relax.
Then again, it’s not really the same for you because you truly might miss that $460. Allen pays his fine and is still left with $4 million.
Yes, he does lose his one game of pay, too. Boo-hoo.
The weirdest part? The Bucks are upset about the slap on Allen’s pinkie.
“We disagree with the suspension,” the team said in a statement. “We support Grayson and look forward to him rejoining our team for Friday’s game vs. New York.”
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer continued the charade when he said: “Competition is tough, and there’s things that happen in the games that are unfortunate. . . . But there’s nothing that was intentional.”
Oh, for God’s sake.
Like you grab a guy’s arm and violently yank it down by accident. Please.
Allen is a career dirty player. At Duke, he was a serial tripper who riled every foe in the ACC. In 2017, he said: “I know there’s half the basketball world that thinks I’m this hothead, dirty player who can’t get anything under control and who probably thinks I’m extremely arrogant, a selfish guy.”
Got that right.
“Grayson’s been nothing but great for us,” finished Budenholzer, noting how much the Bucks love Allen.
As though that’s relevant here. As though this is about team love.
No, this is a Kermit Washington-punching-Rudy Tomjanovich moment for the NBA. This is stuff that’s gotta go.
And forget all the chatter about player “payback.” The NBA doesn’t have enforcers. Payback might mean crippling someone. This isn’t hockey; NBA players don’t wear helmets. They rightly are forbidden to throw punches.
Tomjanovich nearly was killed by Washington’s blow, which separated his facial bones from his skull, causing spinal fluid to leak down his throat. No payback.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan tried to be restrained in his statements about Allen’s cheap shot, calling it “really, really dangerous,” then adding: “God forbid, this guy [Caruso] was on a stretcher going out of the building.”
But nobody I’ve heard has said Allen should be suspended for a month or two or more and should pay the money to Caruso himself. Hand it to him. Maybe in twenties. With a non-lawyered apology. Handwritten.
Why does the NBA get the fine? Did it get hurt? Did it have surgery?
Wake up, league. Stop this punk stuff now. Stop it before really bad stuff comes along.