On Sunday, in a chippy game in Portland, Blazers point guard/old man Andre Miller became fed up with Blake Griffin's physicality, and intentionally blasted into the Clippers rookie at near full-speed. In case you haven't seen the hit, here it is.
Miller ended up taking a one-game suspension from the NBA for the hit; unfortunately, that broke his league-best consecutive appearances streak at 632. (If you're on the metric system, that comes out to 7.7 Greg Oden careers.) The best part of the whole episode is how incredulous Miller has been that he deserved any punishment at all.
Miller told Matt Calkins of The Columbian that the league is protecting its young players, like Griffin, too much.
"It just shows you how soft the league has gotten, protecting young players. It's not like it was when I came in this league."
Miller goes on to cite John Stockton's dirty play. The thing is, Stockton was dirty on every play. That was John Stockton: always pointing his elbows, always too high or too low, always out of view of the officials. Miller isn't dirty. He was aggravated with Griffin and went after him. It's shocking none of the referees saw it, and any other player would have been disciplined for the shot, too.
This is all to say that not only does Miller now play like an old man, but he sounds like one too. Geez, get off his lawn already, Blake.
In the end, the NBA decided to make it clear to its players that moves like Miller's were not acceptable. The league accomplished this in the best way leagues can send messages: through a memo telling players to be conscientious of the value of fair play.
(Via the best Blazers resource in the history of Western Civilization, Blazersedge.)