The NBA Playoffs Have Kind of Turned Into Wrestling

We’re coming up on the midway point of the NBA playoffs, and the drama level is already at, like, peak The OC.

Sometimes, it seems like we’re watching a raucous wrestling event instead of a basketball game.

Let’s just take a look at things that have happened this round.

The Flagrantest of Fouls

Three minutes into a game, Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies did a wild wind up and smacked Golden State’s Gary Payton II as he was in mid-air. Payton fell on his arm and fractured his elbow, and is now out for at least a month.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr and multiple analysts said Brooks “broke the code” of the league, which is to basically look out for each other, healthwise.

Once, when I was a kid, I pushed a kid in the back to stop a fast break. My coach told me to never do that again, since it could really hurt someone. I have never shoved someone in the back since.

The only difference is I was about eight years old and was not being paid millions of dollars to play a game. Dillon Brooks is (being paid millions of dollars. He’s not eight years old). I hope this situation causes him not to pull such a move in future games.

Draymond Goes Full Heel

MERE MOMENTS LATER, Golden State’s Draymond Green took an inadvertent elbow in the face. The blow was so fierce that Green needed to leave to go get stitches.

This happened to me one time in college. I was going for a rebound during a pickup basketball game and ended up behind the man who actually got the rebound.

For some reason, he chose that moment to make a long-distance pass. For an even more inexplicable reason, he decided he needed to jerk his head back when throwing the ball.

The end result: His head slammed into my face, just under my eye.

This man was bald, and I always wondered if he had hair, would it have softened the blow? Probably not, but it’s a fun hypothetical.

I also remember the rest of the group feeling bad, except for one guy who was like “so…are you good to keep playing?” as my face was gushing blood.

“No, sir, sorry to ruin this pickup basketball game that literally means nothing to any of us,” is what I wanted to say. Instead, I just sadly shook my head and trudged downstairs.

The kid at the front desk gave me a Band-Aid and said I’d be fine.

Then I went to an actual doctor who told me I needed stitches. As I was waiting to get stitches, I heard a woman in the next room SCREAMING in pain.

“Is she getting stitches?” I asked the doctor.

“Yes,” she replied. “But hers are on her foot. Face stitches don’t hurt as much.”

And you know what? She was right. The stitches on my face did not hurt to receive. Plus, I got a cool Band-Aid under my eye, so most people called me Nelly, with a few going the TLC route in honor of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

Anyway, that was a long-winded story to get to my point.

In Game 1, Green was whistled for a flagrant-2 foul. As he was headed off the court, he jumped around like he was at a trampoline park, getting the crowd all stirred up. He also recorded an emergency podcast shortly after the game ended.

In Game 2, he headed to the locker room for stitches. In response to the crowd yelling and cheering at his injury, he offered a double middle-finger salute.

Whatever the Heck This Is

Chris Paul has a long history of being annoying on a basketball court.

In fact, a future issue will dive into his transgressions, which have included flinging players’ arms into him and falling over at the mere breath of a defender.

For now, we’re just concentrating on his latest move.

After throwing a nice alley-oop to Mikal Bridges, Paul acted like a dachshund on the loose and sniffed out his prey: Dallas guard Jalen Brunson.

Paul then locked arms with Brunson and stumbled backward, acting as if Brunson shoved him.

It looked questionable in live-action and even worse on the replay. Kudos to Brunson for not immediately pulling out a projector and making the officials watch their bad call in real-time.

The worst of all is that Paul doesn’t need to do this. He’s a very good basketball player with a brother who’s a very good State Farm agent.

These moves only sully his reputation, and I can’t imagine they sit well with the other players. But what do I know? Maybe they applaud his craft.

What do you think? Could you get away with this in any other walks of life?

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