We have two reports today. Flip Saunders and Cutino Mobley are hating on him this week.
Dirty, little secret: Bowen alters the trip
MINNEAPOLIS Everything is still possible for the Spurs now. An MVP trophy, a divisional title, a few playoff series.
Everything is still possible, including a league record for slurs in one season.
Bruce Bowen has a chance at that. Three zingers were aimed at him on this rodeo-road trip, across four time zones and two countries.
And when he personally heard the opposing head coach slight him Sunday afternoon?
What followed is typical of a team that could again play in June.
This came in the third quarter, after Rasho Nesterovic showed some soul and before Tim Duncan showed some blood. Then Bowen defended Sam Cassell.
It was a logical defensive switch. Bowen has guarded Stephon Marbury and Gary Payton, too, freeing Tony Parker. Parker used the time Sunday, leading the Spurs in scoring.
So Bowen chased Cassell, bumping him and hand-fighting him as he does, when Cassell fell. Bowen stood over him, keeping his leg against Cassell as if to suggest he might as well stay on the floor for a while.
Cassell naturally protested, springing up to confront Bowen in front of the Minnesota bench. A ref called a foul on both as everyone screamed, and that's when Flip Saunders said it.
"He's dirty!" Saunders told a ref.
Compared to other things said on this road trip, "dirty" is tame. Bowen forced Ray Allen to miss 9 of his first 12 shots in Seattle, after all, and Allen afterward called Bowen's style "sissy basketball."
A style question: Is it possible to be both dirty and a sissy?
Vince Carter took the rhetoric to another level last week. When Carter went up for a jumper, Bowen pivoted and turned his back on Carter, and Carter sprained his ankle when he came down on a Bowen foot.
Carter later implied Bowen had done it on purpose. "It's not very often," Carter said, "you see someone put their foot up under me like that."
Bowen is clever. But replays showed Bowen's head was turned the other way. Could he have really planned what happened?
The same is true of another incident in Minnesota, this one two years ago. Then Bowen leaped and struck Wally Szczerbiak in the face with a foot.
The late Bruce Lee would have been pressed to pull off the move. But the NBA fined Bowen, and Saunders referred to the incident again Sunday before the game.
Saunders called it "a dirty move." But Saunders also said he loved Bowen and his competitiveness.
"A lot of times, good defensive players are borderline dirty or whatever," Saunders said. "They play with that kind of intensity, they get caught in those situations a lot. They play so hard, you get a reputation, maybe, that they let you get away with a little bit more."
Bowen would take pride in most of that. But in the third quarter, Bowen agreed with nothing. Then Saunders, perhaps the topic still in his head from the pregame interview, was more blunt in front of Bowen.
Bowen went after Saunders as players rarely do the other coach. "I am not a dirty player!" Bowen yelled. "I play the game the way it's supposed to be played!"
Behind Bowen and Saunders, Cassell was pleading. "Don't call anything," he told a ref. "It's my fourth foul."
Cassell had to sit. He would score 24 points for the day, and the only reason he didn't score more was because his minutes were limited.
Some road trip for Bowen. He had taken out Allen, Carter and Cassell in three different ways.
But dirty? Bowen went up to Saunders after the game. "I told him what he said was unfair," Bowen said. "It's disrespectful. It's the worst thing a coach can say about a player, and he wouldn't want me saying those kinds of things about him."
We have two reports today. Flip Saunders and Cutino Mobley are hating on him this week.
It's an intensity that often gets lost, especially on a day when Nesterovic and Hedo Turkoglu combined for 25 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili closed so quickly on Latrell Sprewell that the Timberwolves couldn't get a final shot.
But Bowen impacts games, and the evidence comes afterward when other teams complain about him. If he didn't frustrate them, they wouldn't talk.
So a league record for slurs?
It's another reason everything is still possible for the Spurs.
Mobley lambastes Bowen, refs
After spending the bulk of a seven-game road trip defending himself against all kinds of tawdry accusations, Bruce Bowen came home and finally found an opponent who refused to call him dirty.
But that was only because Houston's Cuttino Mobley had a different label in mind for the Spurs forward.
Angered by the attempts of Bowen and Manu Ginobili to draw charging fouls and especially by the officials' willingness to take them up on it Mobley was more than eager to share his thoughts after the Spurs' 86-77 victory over the Rockets at the SBC Center on Tuesday.
"Tim (Duncan) deserves it," Mobley said of the Spurs' perceived respect from officials. "I don't know about the rest of them getting whistles every (expletive), I mean, every (different expletive) time they go to the cup or something.
"Manu Ginobili flops, Bruce Bowen flops. I'm no flopper. I play ball."
Bowen, fresh off wars of words with Toronto's Vince Carter and Minnesota's Flip Saunders, laughed incredulously when told of the most recent insult directed at him.
But he was understandably uninterested in offering a reply.
"I choose not to respond to any of that," Bowen said. "I've got enough of that going on right now."
Not that Bowen was the only one targeted by Mobley, who was called for two charging fouls on a night when he also had 11 points, seven assists and five turnovers.
Mobley seemed far more agitated by Tuesday's three-man officiating crew of Ron Garretson, Marc Davis and Derek Richardson.
"The refs are stupid for even buying into it," Mobley said, ensuring that he'll soon be paying a league fine. "You walk up to them and say, 'Did you see that flop?' And they say, 'Yeah, I know, I'll get it the next time.' But then they do it again about three or four times a game. It changes the whole momentum."
But he wasn't finished.
Not even close.
"Be consistent if you're a referee," Mobley said. "You take (refereeing) classes in the summertime. There's some calls I can't believe they even make. Then they go down to the other end, and it's just retarded.
"Competence is one thing, but incompetence is another."
Mobley's exasperation wasn't limited to the locker room.
With 4:25 remaining in the game and Ginobili racing ahead of the pack for a long pass, Mobley shoved Ginobili from behind with a strong forearm, earning his third foul of the night. Moments later, he was seen jawing with Bowen.
But Ginobili said he wasn't bothered too much by Mobley's hard foul or his postgame comments.
"Sometimes people get frustrated," Ginobili said. "They say things they wouldn't usually say."
Or, as Mobley might have put it: frustration is one thing, but not being frustrated is another.
I watched the game. Vlade would have been proud. But, the players need to keep playing the game till the whistle blows, and stop bitching to the refs.
Players are pussy now a days and think they are not supposed to get touched
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Allen recounted: "When we were at the All-Star Game, Tim Duncan asked me, and we were in front of Peja (Stojakovic, Sacramento), and he asked me, 'Is Bruce Bowen dirty?' I said, 'Hell, yeah, he's dirty.' And Peja was like, 'I don't think so ... well, sometimes.'
"I was like, 'The only reason you say that is because you're catching it and shooting it. He doesn't have a chance to put his hands up on you.' And Tim was like, 'Yeah, maybe you have a point.' ... He knows. The whole league knows about Bruce."
LMAO @ some of those!! And especially the Duncan, Allen, Stojakovic conversation!!!
And HAHAHAHAHAHA @ Wally taking that foot to the face!!! How much was Bowen fined for that?? That was pretty fucked up. lol
LMAO @ that video, thats hillarious
I still think most are over reacting and the best part is Bowen now knows he is in people's heads, he is winning and doing what he is supposed to be doing
I'm glad he's not in Peja's head.
It would have made Charlie Murphy proud. lol
Bwahahahaha at that video, I'd never seen that before.
Zuffa, get this guy in the UFC.
Bruce Bowen is the Gerard Gordeau of the NBA, the dirty fucker. ;)
I thought it was common knowledge that Bowen is the dirtiest player in the NBA. That entire team is coddled by the refs. Bowen and Ginobli get way too much respect just to be role players.
With Rodman retired, Malone injured and Oakley in oblivion there are no enforcer-types to give Bowen the response he deserves. If I were one I'd tell Bowen before the opening tip, "if my superstar gets injured and you're anywhere near him, you'll go out". We'd see who's in whose head, then.
Can someone freeze-frame the kick and make it into an "owned" pic? It'd be perfect.
LoL @ the video. Me and my wife were just talking about the Bowen karate kick too.
bowen is a fucking asshole for doing that to wally
Per 48 minutes on the court Bowen shoots an effective field goal percentage of .453 to his opponents .506. He's also minus 4.1 rebounds.
In other words he's not very good and would never be talked about if he wasn't dirty.
While Bowen gives up 18.1 points per 48 minutes, the vastly underrated Tayshaun Prince gives up 16.7 while holding his man to a .401 effective field goal percentage. And Ron Artest only gives up 14.4 points per 48 minutes.
Also while I'm on the subject of small forwards, Richard Jefferson is a fucking pimp. Among other things he takes the same number of shots as the guy he's guarding, but scores 4 more points.