Can Ibaka Play?… And Roger Goodell Faces Serious Decisions With Discipline

Serge Ibaka wants to play, but what affect can he have if still less than 100%?

San Antonio Spurs’ Head Coach Gregg Popovich has been pretty insistent about his thinking regarding Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka. Popovich has said all along that he thinks the Thunder’ big man will return before the end of this series. It now looks like Popovich has been right all along.

Although Ibaka has yet to be cleared by team doctors, he said as of last evening that he’d be willing to play through the pain. As courageous as this sounds, Ibaka has not even run on his strained calf since injuring it in game six against the Los Angeles Clippers. To say that Ibaka would be less than 100% would be an understatement and one has to wonder just how effective he can even be.

The irony of the situation is that Oklahoma City desperately needs him to be in the game. The Spurs have dominated the Thunder in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals and in large part due to the absence of Ibaka in the paint. Regardless of Ibaka’s presence I think this series belongs to the Spurs.

Jim Irsay's punishment will be a major issue for Roger Goodell.Ravens, Roger Goodell and What to do with Jim Irsay

Ever since the time that the Baltimore Ravens made Ozzie Newsome their general manager, they have done about as many things right as any team in the National Football League. On Friday, those good choices and decisions were tarnished by seven minute press conference.

Ravens’ star running back Ray Rice addressed the media for the first time since he was arrested for knocking out his then-fiance in the elevator of a casino. Rice was accompanied by his now-wife and their infant child. Rice gave his apology for his actions and said that he was working towards being a better a person, husband and father.

Part of the problem for the Ravens was the cliche-filled comments by Rice but also the lack of questions allowed by the media. With the incident having happened in February, the media deserved to ask questions but they were not. Also scarring the image of the Ravens was the person in charge of the organization’s Twitter account.

For who knows why, the Ravens decided that ‘live-tweeting’ the Rice press conference would be a good idea. All they did was set domestic violence awareness back about 25 years with a series of bizarre and poorly worded tweets. The early speculation on Rice’s punishment is that the league and Roger Goodell will come down with a suspension that starts at a minimum of three games.

Since Goodell became Commissioner his main focus has been “protecting the shield” and limiting ‘conduct detrimental to the League.’ Goodell has painted himself in a corner in this regard because five years ago he suspended Ben Roethlisberger despite never being arrested and never being charged. Goodell claimed his behavior was ‘conduct detrimental to the League.’

Goodell’s problems don’t end there though because now he has to punish one of the very men who helps pay his salary. Although Jim Irsay’s crimes were reduced last week, Goodell still has to take action. Irsay was arrested for numerous offenses including having prescription drugs that weren’t his and we all know if this were a player, the penalty would be harsh.

If Roger Goodell is going to suspend a player (Josh Gordon) for a year due to marijuana use, then how does he not come down equally as hard on a player like Rice who has struck a woman. Furthermore, what will Goodell do with Jim Irsay? Fining him really doesn’t do much considering his wealth and suspending him probably doesn’t do much either.

My suggestion? Hit him where it really hurts; take away draft choices.