Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mario Chalmers flagrant foul should have been called a flagrant 2


Mario Chalmers was called for a flagrant foul with 6:43 left in the 4th quarter of the Heat's 98-96 Game Two victory that tied the Finals at one game apiece.

While the Mario Chalmers flagrant foul wasn't a turning point in the game (unless you count the Spurs missing four consecutive free throws on the ensuing possession which could have taken a two point lead up to six), the point is that is absolutely should have been called a flagrant foul 2, for which Chalmers would have been ejected from the game.

The definition of a flagrant foul, from
These fouls are considered unnecessary and/or excessive. There are two types of flagrant fouls, 1 and 2. A flagrant 1 is unnecessary contact. This is usually when a defensive player swings and makes hard contact with the offensive player or makes hard contact and then follows through. A flagrant foul 2 is unnecessary and excessive contact. This usually has a swinging motion, hard contact, and a follow through. Both fouls carry a penalty of two free throws and the team that was fouled retains possession. A flagrant foul 2 also results in an ejection of the player committing the foul. A player also is ejected if he commits two flagrant foul penalty 1’s.
Chalmers certainly threw the elbow in a swinging motion, and there was most definitely hard contact. It was intentional and blatant contact that had nothing to do with attempting to make a basketball play.

From the NBA's Official Rulebook, Rule 12B-Section IV :

b. If contact committed against a player, with or without the ball, is interpreted to be
unnecessary and excessive, a flagrant foul—penalty (2) will be assessed. A personal foul is
charged to the offender and a team foul is charged to the team.
It's obvious from watching the video that the Mario Chalmers flagrant foul was "unnecessary and excessive"- he was already past Parker with the dribble, and he blatantly and maliciously threw an elbow backwards and hit Parker in the ribs.

I don't really expect the league to review the Mario Chalmers flagrant foul, and even if they do, I don't expect them to change anything regarding the call. Leave a comment if you agree with me that this should have been called a flagrant foul 2.