Jerry Stackhouse was found to be in violation of the NBA's strict "Do Not Touch Shaquille O'Neal" policy yesterday, as the league announced that it was suspending him for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Stackhouse committed a hard foul on Shaq as the big man was driving for a lay-up. Have a look:
The foul was originally classified as a Flagrant 1, meaning that the penalty was two shots and possession for the Heat. It's been upgraded to a Flagrant Two, which means Stackhouse gets suspended for a game. The NBA rulebook is quite vague on the guidelines. Here's the definition of a Flagrant 2:
If contact committed against a player, with or without the ball, is interpreted to be unnecessary and excessive, a flagrant foul—penalty (2) will be assessed.
I guess you could argue that it was unnecessary and excessive, but at the same time, there did appear to be an attempt on the ball. It wasn't just a random Reggie Evans scrotal assault. The man was going to the basket, Stackhouse hit him, and Shaq went down. Perhaps it was judged a bit more harshly because it looks worse when such a huge man lands awkwardly. Rick Mahorn's gotta be rolling over in his grave.
Even Shaq said it was just a hard foul and not a big deal. He said that his daughters tackle him harder, and they just might. Shaq's daughters are probably pretty husky girls.
Stackhouse suspended for Game 5 for hard foul on Shaq [Star-Telegram.com]