Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Kirk Hinrich is a tool

I normally don’t take satisfaction in ripping into other people but I’ll make an exception with Kirk Hinrich. Before the Pistons/Bulls series started, I actually liked Hinrich. He is an excellent shooter as well as the engine that makes the Bulls somewhat exciting offense go. He is also a solid contributor from the greatest NBA Draft class that ever was. I just never knew he was a tool until this week.

Before I get to the event that prompted this article, I’d like to bring attention to another less obvious reason why Hinrich is a blowhard. One of my most annoying pet peeves in my life (yes, unfortunately and sadly, I did say “life”) is a basketball player who constantly tries throwing himself in front of the dribbler to draw a charge ala every Duke Blue Devil that ever lived. I don’t mind charge calls when the dribbler tries to run through a defender. I don’t mind when the defender braces for a charge if it looks like the dribbler is going to try to run them over. I absolutely cannot stand to see defenders cut off the dribbler by jumping in the way and then get rewarded with an offensive foul call. This is something that Hinrich does often. What’s particularly annoying about this is that referees get manipulated by this tactic. They may recognize it for a silly attempt to draw a foul the first time. But, I have always felt that referees sometimes unconsciously decide whether they’re going to call a charge or a block before the play even happens. I think refs like to call charges when they haven’t been called in a while. I’m not saying that this is how referees operate on every call. I’m just saying that when the crowd gets on the referees for not calling a charge against the road team and the ref hasn’t called a charge in a while, he/she will be more inclined to call a charge.

I saw this happen in Tuesday night’s game. Chauncey Billups tried to dribble around a hounding Hinrich when Hinrich jumped in front of him. The referee correctly called this a block. Later on in the game, a similar play occurred and Hinrich flopped again. I think the ref was waiting to reward Hinrich with a charge call from earlier in the game. There is no question in my mind that the NBA should have “flop” calls in the same way the NHL has “dive” penalties. This would all but eliminate flops all together. I have played enough basketball to know that it takes more than a bump to make a guy go flying ten feet back. Flops make the NBA look bad.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll move on to the event that actually prompted this post. Some of you may remember that Hinrich was nice enough to pose for a Flip Murray-poster in Sunday’s game. What you may not know is that Hinrich actually punched Murray in the cojones as he was posing for said poster. I am willing to admit that there is a small percent chance that the video footage makes it look like the punch occurred when in reality it didn’t. However, it looks fairly certain—at least in my mind—that Hinrich punched Murray in a place where you don’t punch a man. I don’t think I really need to explain how cowardly this is because I think most people are already familiar with the indignity involved in such an act. You don’t see that crap in UFC and you don’t see it from any self-respecting man. Hinrich is a tool and now you have the video that proves it.

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