30th July 15:04
Finley calls Bowen a coward/Cuban offers a bounty on Bowen's face
Bruce Bowen will have to decide: Is it more insulting to be called a
sissy or a coward?
Dallas Mavericks small forward Michael Finley heaved the latest verbal
assault at the Spurs forward whom opponents seem to love to hate:
Add that to SuperSonics All-Star Ray Allen's charge that Bowen plays
"sissy basketball" and Bowen might want to consider either a bodyguard
or a shrink.
Of course, it was Finley who was charged with a category-two flagrant
foul and ejected from Friday night's 113-100 Spurs victory at the SBC
Center, so consider the anger of the source.
Televised replays of an elbowing exchange between the two with 2:18
remaining in the third quarter clearly showed both players throwing
Who first elbowed whom seemed to be a matter of contention and very
much in the eye of the beholder, not to mention the color of the
Finley, however, was bluntly insulting Bowen, a defender he said he
"A coward guy made a coward play," Finley said. "He gave me a cheap
shot from behind and I retaliated.
"I thought I deserved a technical foul. I don't know about the
ejection. The refs must have missed the first one because it was away
from the play. I was just going back down the court and he came up
behind me and leveled an elbow into my ribs.
"I'm a man first and I went down and let him know it's not going to be
Naturally, Bowen saw things differently. In fact, Bowen said it was
Finley who threw the first elbow.
"We both elbowed one another," Bowen said, "and he bumped me back.
Basically that's what happened. He hit me. I hit him back. That's the
gist of it."
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he doesn't believe he will have to
report the incident to the NBA office because he expects it will take
action on its own after reviewing replays.
"Everybody knows about Bowen," Cuban said. "Hopefully I won't have to
turn it in to the league. That was obvious. They showed it on national
television. They showed it in the arena. I shouldn't have to do
Cuban said Bowen's reputation preceded him, and the fact Allen
repeated his argument that Bowen crossed the line of dirty tactics
just two days ago didn't help matters.
In fact, Cuban said he offered to pay any fine that might accrue if
one of his players hit Bowen in the face with the basketball.
"I told one of our guys when he gets up close like that just knock the
ball into his face and I'll pay the fine," Cuban said.
Finley said he respected Bowen's reputation before Friday's incident
because he didn't believe he resorted to dirty play.
"That's not his reputation," Finley said. "His reputation is as a
physical defender, and you have to give him his due on that. But when
you have to start giving people cheap shots, that's not basketball,
especially away from the play.
"I'm a man before I'm a basketball player. He can't disrespect my
manhood by giving me a cheap shot. I'm going to retaliate every time."