During Saturday's NBA game in Minnesota, Timberwolves forward Kevin Love stepped on Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola while he was down on the ground, and some people are wondering whether it was really an accident.
The Timberwoves and Rockets last faced each other Monday night in Houston. During the first quarter of that game, Scola saved an offensive possession for the Rockets by bouncing the ball off Kevin Love's groin.
That brings us to the third quarter of Saturday night's rematch. As Scola made his move for the basket by trying to dribble around Love, Love stripped Scola and a Timberwolves teammate got the rebound. Scola flopped to the ground to try to get a foul call but was unsuccessful. However, while Scola was down on the ground, Love stepped on his face and might have been a little too forceful with it. Some commentators called it a dirty play, and even the NBA TV studio commentators watching the game highlights said that Love stomped on Scola.
So, that begs the question: Did Love intentionally stomp on Scola? Well, Love didn't exactly try to avoid stepping on Scola if you look at the replay. Love was looking down, so he knew exactly where Scola was and could have avoided him if he tried. Given the incident on Monday night, Love also had the incentive for payback against Scola, so it looked really bad.
According to the AP, Love denied that he stepped on Scola intentionally:
"He was kind of right there, and you know, I've got size-19 feet," Love said. "So he just happened to be there, I had nowhere to go. I got kind of tripped up, and I just had nowhere to step."A Timberwolves spokesman said that Love went to the Rockets locker room after the game and apologized to Scola. Love deserves some credit for that.
Unfortunately, the NBA will probably have to still look at this incident, and they will have to make an example of Love to discourage other players from doing this, so there's a good chance he'll get some type of punishment. We'll find out in a few days.
NBA TV video via Sports Grid. H/T Sports Grid.