So I’m watching the Bucks/Clippers game and I see Steve Blake and Andrew Bogut mixing it up. Or at least trying to anyways. Check it out for yourself:
So as I’m watching this “altercation” unfold, I can’t help but assume that Andrew Bogut is retaliating against Blake for that man-move that he made against Ilyasova underneath the rim a few seconds earlier. While I began to chuckle, I quickly realized how weak that was and how it would have turned out so much differently had an “enforcer” from the early 90′s had dealt with it.
And when I say “enforcer” I mean grown ass men like:
- Bill Laimbeer
- Rick Mahorn
- Xavier McDaniel
- Anthony Mason
- Charles Oakley
- Dennis Rodman
See, now these muthafuckas were some bad dudes.
These men had passion, commitment and most importantly, they had balls.
Xavier McDaniel swears to this day, that if he EVER sees Dennis Rodman in public, he will “jump from his seat and punch him in the face like it was 1987″. 20+ years and the man STILL wants to get back at Rodman for a dirty play during a game in which the X-Man got suspended. What passion!
Bill Simmons, The Sports Guy, had once asked a current NBA player “What makes Oakley more intimidating than everyone else”? the player simply answered, “There’s a lotta tough guys in the league but Oak just don’t give a fuck”.
I’ve read that quote over and over and that shit just does not stop being funny.
Which brings us to the looming question, SO WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?! Where did all our “enforcers” go???
To sum it up, players started to making some serious money back around the mid- 90′s. So with such polished price tags, owners started bitching to the league about less “valuable” players inflicting excessive force on their blue bloods thus, making a case that Championships were at stake. Unfortunately, the league went overboard with their solution and implemented ridiculous rules and limitations that many could argue, took the “fun” out of the sport. Ejections and suspensions were increased, while taunts and hand checks were decreased. The final blow to the “enforcers” came in the 97-98 season when new rules stated that players could not use their forearms to “impede” the progress of an approaching opponent. Damn.
Today, the occupation of “Enforcer” in this league is virtually non-existent. The closest guys we have to fitting the description might be guys like Ron Artest and Anderson Varejao, that type of crowd. But I wouldn’t really categorize them under “enforcer” more than I would as simply “pesky defenders”.
But then again who knows! Perhaps Andrew Bogut will perform CPR and breathe new life into a dying artform. Perhaps we should brace ourselves….. for the nastiness….. that is….. Andrew Bogut.
After the game, reporters asked Bogut about Brandon Jennings and how quick he was to defend Bogut against Blake, here’s what the former Ute had to say…….”That’s the way he is, he’s a guy with a chip on his shoulder, too, and I stick up for him, he sticks up for me and I think we have a team that’s pretty good with that.” Sure buddy, you two are a regular Batman and Robin duo. God help us if this is the future of “enforcing”…….God help us all.
Dave E. Gold