The Miami Heat are an easy team to hate, but the lack of backlash on Manu Ginobili purposely elbowing LeBron James in the throat is a little bit ridiculous. Because people were actually considering LeBron James flopped on that play, and it’s pretty safe to assume that if either him or Dwyane Wade (who already had his phantom-elbow moment in this postseason) there would be quite an uproar about it.
Miami Heat fans, or at least some of them, never cease to catch the scorn of the media and the rest of the NBA’s fans. Be it about being classy, or about people herding out of the arena when they think it’s all over only to try and break in once they hear the Heat have forced overtime.
The announcers suggested that Ginobili was simply trying to box out LeBron James, aiming to push off his chest. But the Spurs have a squeaky clean image in the days of the post Bruce Bowen era, even if Manu Ginobili is known for his flopping and cheap shots, that people covering this series seem, or prefer, to forget.
There won’t be any suspensions, possibly a fine. Ginboili is a master of his art, which is making something like this look like just being a part of the game. But looking at his eyes and his lack of any kind of surprise that James hit the floor by being elbowed in that way pretty much proved there was enough malice and intent in simply hurting him as badly as possible.
Being on top of the game means you’ll be targeted on and off the court, and criticized 24/7. And still, there’s no way James should be the one coming out of this encounter with Manu Ginobili’s elbow as the villain. For all the bad things Ginobili did in game 6, this flagrant-foul deserving cheap shot was possibly the worst.