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Players Angry Serge Ibaka Was Not Suspended For Low Blow

serge-ibaka-2011-5-14-0-20-32When the NBA announced Tuesday that they would not suspend Oklahoma City power forward Serge Ibaka for his below-the-belt hit on Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin, fellow players expressed outrage.

Miami Heat teammates LeBron James and Dwayne Wade along with Clippers Matt Barnes took to Twitter to express their confusion in the league only fining Ibaka $25,000.

“So explain to me the difference?” James tweeted. “My teammate gets a 1 game suspension and 150k+ taken away from him for his groin altercation #strangetome.”

James referred to Wade’s suspensionwithout pay by the NBA in December for a kick to the groin of Charlotte Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions. The league described Wade’s actions, saying the suspension was “for flailing his leg and making contact with the groin of” Sessions.

“All I can say is WoW…no pun intented but really…and I get suspended and lose 200… #someexplainingtodo,” Wade tweeted Tuesday evening.

Ibaka hit Griffin in the groin with 1:52 left in the fourth quarter in Sunday’s victory over the Clippers. Ibaka was initially assessed a flagrant 1 foul, but the league chose to upgrade the foul to a Flagrant 2.

Ibaka apologized for his actions prior to Tuesday’s night victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, saying that the hit was not intentional and that he is not a dirty player.

“I did not see, I only heard,” Ibaka said when asked about the reactions of fellow players on Twitter. “But it’s not really my concern. . . About the people that was tweeting or whatever I’m not really concerned about that.”

Griffin’s Clipper teammate Matt Barnes, who has a gained a reputation in some circles for being a dirty player, chimed in on NBA’s course of action.

“Let me or @mettaworldpeace do that & I guarantee it’s a 5 game suspension..,” Barnes tweeted. “I luv *how* there are different rules, for different people!”

Barnes was suspended for one game without pay for striking the neck of Minnesota Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma in January.

It remains unclear if the league will give an explanation behind its decision for not suspending Ibaka.

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