In Thursday night’s 102-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Miami Heat‘s Mario Chalmers was called for a foul when he ran into Blake Griffin, raising his forearm to Griffin’s neck, and his actions seemed to be somewhat malicious in their intent.
After a review of the play, the NBA has now upgraded his foul to a flagrant-1 and has fined Chalmers $15,000 for the incident.
These two seem to have a certain amount of animosity towards one another, dating back to a Jan. 2011 matchup between the Heat and the Clips when Griffin pushed Chalmers down late in the fourth quarter of a 111-105 win. This was the beginning of a rivalry between the two as both were given technical fouls as their jawing escalated and each player had to be held back by teammates. Their rivalry continued as almost exactly a year later, Griffin dunked over Chalmers, embarassing the point guard as his Clips once again defeated the Heat in a 95-89 overtime victory.
It seems as though Chalmers was dishing out a little payback in Thursday’s win as he not only won the game, but got to take his own small jab at the dunk-machine that is Blake Griffin.
Does he deserve a $15,000 fine? Probably. If you take a look at the replay, he obviously raised his forearm to the neck of Griffin in an attempt to injure the 6’10″, 250 lbs. star. However, it didn’t seem to phase Griffin, as he shook off the shot to his neck and made his two free throws. Chalmers also attempted to play innocent as he backed away with his hands held in the air.
These two superstars will face each other again on February 5, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another altercation between the two. Only time will tell, and if you’re patient, you just might just get the battle you’re hoping for.