Under most circumstances, I’d figure anyone trying to maim Tyler Hansbrough would have a tough time finding a jury of 12 men and women who’d recommend punishment. In the instance of Chris Andresen’s assault on the Pacers F Thursday night, however, Stu Jackson was all the judge, jury and executioner required to suspend the Birdman for tonight’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. From the New York Times’ Howard Beck :
“I can’t regret anything,” Andersen, known as Birdman, said after the Heat’s morning shootaround. He added, “I just got to deal with it the way it is, and I’ll be cheering my guys on.”
In announcing the suspension on Friday, the N.B.A. cited all of those actions, saying that Andersen “escalated the altercation” with the shove of Hansbrough and “resisted efforts to bring the altercation to an end.” The league also retroactively upgraded the foul on Andersen to a flagrant foul, penalty two — a call that would have triggered an automatic ejection had referees made that ruling at the time. It was initially ruled a penalty one.
“It was their decision,” Andersen said. “They made it clear that it was a flagrant 2 and it is what it is. I have to deal with the repercussions of it. And I’m missing this game.”
Asked what set him off, Andersen said, “Man, it doesn’t matter at this point. It was just the heat of the moment, the heat of the battle, man. It just pushed me out of my comfort zone and got out of my composure and I let him get the best of me.”