By Craig Kwasniewski
Bruce Bowen is a dirty player!
I know, I know... the sky is blue and water is wet. This is not really breaking news except that the sports media is afraid to say it because he comes off as such a nice guy (read: he speaks to the media).
We've had this discussion before on The Association followed up with a bunch of people defending Bowen's antics because he's an overachiever. Hey we all like the stories about the non-talented succeeding because of hard work and perseverance. Hollywood churns out 10 of those types of movies every year. It's the American dream!
Take Saturday night... in the first half of the Knicks-Spurs game, Bowen ran under a jump-shooting Jamal Crawford, increasing Crawford's chance of landing on Bowen's foot and rolling his ankle. Isiah Thomas was infuriated, drawing a technical foul for mouthing off to Bowen. I agree with Thomas's anger because Steve Francis injured his ankle earlier in the week from the exact same play against Bowen. Here's a video of Francis' injury:
Notice how Bowen over extends his left foot right under Francis? While this is not an illegal move it is an unwritten rule in basketball is that you never step under a jump-shooter, because it will result in a serious ankle injury. (BTW - unwritten rules in basketball all exist to protect the health of players as opposed to baseball which protect the pride of some dumb rednecks, like bunting in a perfect game.)
During the same replay of the video on the MSG broadcast, Mike Breen and Walt Frasier (a well-respected team) discussed Bowen's style of defense. Breen, who's also an ABC/ESPN announcer, took the vanilla stance of defending Bowen because of his aggressive nature on defense, going as far to say that it's not intentional. Obviously Breen wants to keep the national TV job and not offend anyone. Clyde Frasier, one of the greatest/coolest point guards in the history of the NBA, disagreed adding that, "other players have called him out... Ray Allen, Carter with the Nets..."
Here's the video of Bruce Bowen under cutting Vince Cater in the exact same way (watch closely as Bowen steps under a jump-shooting Cater with his left foot):
Bowen doing his "I didn't do anything!" is completely offensive to anyone who knows basketball.
Yet again here's a discussion on Pardon the Interruption regarding Bowen's cheap shot on Steve Francis, notice how reluctant both Michael Wilbon and Bob Ryan (both excellent hoops journalists) are to calling out Bruce Bowen as a dirty player. It's like a parent realizing that their perfect child is a drug adddict, they just can't accept the truth: