If NBA officials continue to not call a Flagrant 2 foul on players who blatantly throw themselves into Giannis Antetokounmpo, it’s going to lead to him being injured.
And that wouldn’t just be a giant blow to the Bucks. It would affect the entire NBA. What if one of these fouls result him to be out for the year? Your reigning NBA champions are now without their best player and arguably the best play in the NBA.
Flagrant 2 fouls have been trending due to a foul Grayson Allen committed against Alex Caruso of the Chicago Bulls. On January 21st, Allen committed a hard foul on Caruso.
Grayson Allen foul on Alex Caruso. Replays included. pic.twitter.com/1ixcve9i0s
— Ⓜ️𝕒𝕣𝕔𝕦𝕤𝔻 ▶️ (@_MarcusD3_) January 22, 2022
Unfortunately, it lead to Caruso fracturing his wrist and will miss six to eight weeks. After the foul, Allen was awarded a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game. A Flagrant 1 is unnecessary contact, while a 2 is considered unnecessary and excessive. A Flagrant 1 does not result in ejection. Allen was also suspended for a game.
You can argue all day about Allen’s intent. Don’t ask a Chicago Bulls fan, though. According to Twitter, they will be storming the court on March 4th when the Bucks and Bulls meet again and attack Allen. Let’s see if that actually happens. But Allen’s foul was ruled a Flagrant 2, and Giannis is never given the same treatment. And he receives much harder fouls.
Giannis is second in the league for average free-throw attempts per game at 10.88, just behind Joel Embiid. Basically, he’s one of the two most fouled players in the league.
Montrezl Harrell Foul
During this week’s Bucks 112-98 victory over the Washington Wizards, another potentially dangerous foul was committed.
Giannis gets absolutely hacked by Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Portis immediately gets in Harrell’s face. pic.twitter.com/1BIgzHKcWo
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) February 2, 2022
While he was on his way to his 29th triple-double and passing Michael Jordan for 18th all-time, Montrezl Harrell did a tomahawk-type chop on number 34. It was borderline for Flagrant 2, but if they are going to call it on the foul from Allen, they need to at least be consistent.
The same thing happened less than a week ago with Nerlens Noel against the New York Knicks.
Nerlens Noel’s flagrant one on Giannis: pic.twitter.com/tTpOluc0AI
— Scott Grodsky (@ScottGrodsky) January 29, 2022
Again, the Bucks were winning the game and Giannis had basically a full arm crash onto his head and face that sent him to the ground. Just a Flagrant 1.
Other Flagrant Examples
I decided to research and find actual Flagrant 2 fouls that have been called from players hitting Giannis. In a shocking discovery (sarcasm), it’s basically impossible to find. There are lists of players who commit flagrant fouls, but no real official log. Spotrac has a list of technical, fines and suspensions, but not easy to find a foul being committed on certain players.
The only official one I found was back in April of 2019. Yup, almost three years ago. In the first playoff game against the Detroit Pistons, Andre Drummond was given a Flagrant 2 foul against Giannis for shoving him to the ground. Blake Griffin, who wasn’t even playing in the game, got a technical complaining about an actual Flagrant 2 being called.
Andre Drummond shoves Giannis Antetokounmpo, resulting in a flagrant 2 foul that ejects him from the game. Blake Griffin is also hit with a technical from the bench. pic.twitter.com/pRKVFXlZJB
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) April 15, 2019
After that, it is pretty much crickets. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t examples of dangerous fouls on the Greek Freak. Remember Game 5 in the NBA Finals? When Jrue Holiday stole the ball and the Valley Oop happened? Chris Paul flat-out shoved Giannis as he went for the dunk. If Giannis wasn’t the athlete he was, he could have easily fallen hard and been gone from the series. He had already overcome a major potential injury during the playoff run. Chris Paul received a normal foul.
The Valley Oop leaves the Bucks one away…
🗓 2 Days To Ring Night | PIN-IT USA pic.twitter.com/TucaqryLOV
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 17, 2021
During the first round of the playoffs last year, the Bucks were basically manhandling the Miami Heat. During the second game, MIlwaukee was up by almost 30 points at one point, and that’s when Trevor Ariza did this to Giannis.
Trevor Ariza tackles Giannis Antetokounmpo on the fast break, then pushes off his chest on the ground.
Ariza was hit with a flagrant foul for this play. 👀pic.twitter.com/Pw6Bz38AX8
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 25, 2021
A Flagrant 2? Of course not. Kendrick Nunn also received a Flagrant 1 foul that game. People often forget there is a pattern of this stuff because Milwaukee dominated the series and became NBA Champions. Yes, Ariza got the flagrant for the push off the chest more than the foul. Giannis also could have hurt his neck or head as well.
Setting An Example
Are some of these fouls borderline and could go either way? Sure. The officials have to make a decision after watching the replays, and will most likely give a Flagrant 1 first so that not many players are ejected from NBA games.
But this is now twice in one week that this has happened to one of the biggest stars in the NBA. If refs aren’t going to issue a Flagrant 2 to players who go after Giannis, he won’t get up uninjured forever. You need to send a message that blatantly fouling Antetokounmpo cannot keep happening. Especially when they gave one to Allen for a foul most would consider a lot softer than the two Giannis has received the past week.
He’s an All-Star, on another MVP run and definitely wants another title. Giannis is already hacked to death when going to the basket. But to allow Flagrant-type fouls to escalate against him just because he is a star and drives to the basket often isn’t a good look for the NBA.
Start calling Flagrant 2 fouls, or Giannis is going to end up hurt. And why would you want to make Bobby Portis even angrier?
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