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Jason Smith Hip-Checks Blake Griffin As Audience Cheers

New Orleans Player Facing Possible Suspension

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New Orleans center Jason Smith is in sports news today after a foul involving body-checking the Clippers’ Blake Griffin so hard, Griffin was knocked to the floor.

It happens sometimes in basketball, and is to be expected. But the difference between this foul and any other is that after it happened, the audience cheered Smith on. Granted, the game was held at the New Orleans Arena and was mostly attended by the team’s fans, but their reaction came as a surprise to those involved.

Finally saw the Jason Smith flagrant2 on Griffin. Worse than the foul itself: fans applauding as Smith leaves the arena. #classy(image) 41 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Jason Smith is a straight up punk. Dirty foul and then he cheers the crowd on? He better be suspended.(image) 15 hours ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

As Griffin powered down the court, Smith drove his shoulder and hip into Griffin, who went sprawling.

This sort of playing is widely considered the ultimate kind of poor sportsmanship, and Smith–who was ejected from the game and is now facing suspension–knows it. In the clip, he’s seen throwing up his hands immediately after the incident to signal that he wasn’t to blame and has since apologized to Griffin.

“I think it looked a lot worse than what it was, but that’s still not a play that you ever want to do to another player like that,” Smith said later. “I apologize to Blake Griffin. I didn’t want to hurt him at all. I just wanted to try and cut off his lane to the basket.”

Whether the hard foul wasn’t his intent or not, it’s gotten him into some hot water. Twitter reacted today to the news of his possible suspension:

@jalenrose i think jason smith should be suspended at least two games because that is anti-deportive you dont foul someone that hard(image) 4 minutes ago via web ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Watching that Jason Smith-Blake hit… I don’t see what the issue is. It’s a hard foul and they happen all the time.(image) 2 hours ago via TweetDeck ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

That Jason Smith foul wasn’t that bad. Blake wasn’t in the air and he sells it hard. Ejection, sure. But come on…seen way worse(image) 2 hours ago via TweetDeck ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Jason Smith Hip-Checks Blake Griffin As Audience Cheers
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    Bound to happen. I’m shock it hasn’t happened sooner.

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