When push comes to shove, Andre Miller thinks the NBA has a soft spot for young players.
The 34-year-old Blazers point guard is not denying that he intentionally shoved Clippers rookie Blake Griffin on Sunday, but he thinks his suspension doesn't fit the crime and it "shows how soft the league is," The Oregonian reports.
Miller argued that Griffin hit him twice earlier in the game without drawing a foul, and Miller simply wanted a little revenge. Indeed, a YouTube video does show that Griffin pushed Miller twice, but Miller delivered a much bigger blow.
The refs didn't call a foul during the game, but a subsequent review by the league led to Miller’s one-game suspension and a flagrant 2 foul. As a result, Miller's streak of most games played by an active player ended at 632.
"I took two shots," Miller told The Oregonian. "I took two shots and I gave a shot. So I told the ref out there, 'We can call that even now.' He didn’t make the call and he was looking right at it. So I get suspended for that? I'll take a flagrant foul. But a suspension? It wasn't justified at all."
Miller had more to get off his chest.
"There was no consideration for what I’ve accomplished in this league," he added. "[There is] favoritism toward the young players. I delivered a shot. And when I delivered it, I was hoping the ref would call a flagrant foul or a foul. They ignored what he did two times. Two times. And I let it pass. The referee didn’t say nothing."
Miller thinks the league has made a change for the worse, as young superstars seem to have more power than ever before.
"If I was a dirty player that was looking to go out and hurt somebody, then I could understand. 'Oh, this guy has a reputation for taking out guys,'" Miller said. "Back in the day, players like John Stockton — who was a tough-minded player and, actually, some players thought he was dirty — never got suspended for anything. The league has changed. They make the rules, they favor the young guys now, and that’s how it is."
After missing Tuesday's game against Phoenix due to the suspension, Miller restarted his streak at one against the Magic on Thursday night. Miller went off for 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. His next game comes when the Trail Blazers take on the Suns again Friday night.
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