Dirty Dirk? Nowitzki strikes again

So, what’s up with Dirk Nowitzki and his penchant for flagrant fouls in Utah anyway?
For the second time in the same calendar year, the German hammered a Jazz player and received a flagrant-2 foul for his actions.
Nowitzki’s latest foul came in Friday’s loss to Utah, when he flailed his arms and delivered a closed-fisted backhand to Matt Harpring’s face.
The Dallas star was ejected with just under 10 minutes remaining after being called with the more severe of the two flagrant fouls. The play and call were immediately reviewed and confirmed by the referees on video replays.
(UPDATE: According to an ESPN.com report, the Mavs won’t find out until Sunday morning whether or not Nowitzki will be suspended for their afternoon game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Boston’s Kevin Garnett was suspended for one game after a somewhat similar foul against Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut earlier this season.)
Harpring told reporters after Friday’s game that he’s been hit harder before. Kyrylo Fesenko reminded media that Nowitzki has a history with the Jazz and Andrei Kirilenko, whom he was hounded by Friday.
Last March, Nowitzki fouled Kirilenko hard, a play that resulted in the Russian falling, hurting his hip, leaving the game to be X-rayed at a hospital and then missing three games with a sprained right hip.
That play in March was initially ruled a flagrant-1 foul, but the league later changed it to a flagrant-2 and suspended Nowitzki for a game.
When I asked Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, he said he thought the referees handled Friday’s situation correctly.
“He had a pretty good shot at him from where I was looking,” Sloan said. “I just thought he hit him in the back of the head. That’s up to the officials to take care of that. They usually do.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle didn’t necessarily think Nowitzki was being malicious, but he didn’t dispute the way the refs handled the incident, either.
“It appeared to me to be accidental,” he told reporters. “But they said his fist was closed, so it’s an automatic flagrant two.”
Nowitzki did not talk to the media after Friday’s game.

Categories: General

About the Author

Jody Genessy

Jody Genessy is the Utah Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News. To answer some of your questions: 1) Yes, he travels everywhere the Jazz do. 2) No, he doesn't fly on the team charter. 3) No, he can't sneak you into the game, let you take notes for him or get you tickets (sorry, Mom). 4) Yes, he realizes that other people out there have to work for a living so he's a lucky dude. 5) Yes, he usually answers questions in the third person.

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