For opposing players, coaches, and fans, Bruce Bowen is a
lot like the dirty old man at the Y. Few players can generate the same kind of
annoyance and frustration quite like the San Antonio Spurs forward can.
On the court, hes a hyperactive pest when he chases around
opponents on D.
Bruce is a world class flopper on both sides of the court, and
he can get in your head faster than a hypnotist. Just ask Ray Allen, Chris
Paul, Amare Stoudamire or Kobe Bryant.
Personally, I admit Bowen gets on that last nerve every time
I see him. But from a non-biased point of view, I wanted to debate whether
Bowen is a legitimate defensive player or strictly a dirty player.
Dirty is a term that has a very gray area when you are
talking about basketball players. Im from Salt Lake City, and remember that a lot of
former players accused John Stockton of being a dirty player. They accused him
of throwing elbows while setting screens and flopping.
But is there a difference between dirty and just being
Bowen has long been under fire for using sly kicks and
sweeps to stop a player or intimidate him. If you have no idea what Im talking
about, just go to YouTube and type in Bruce Bowen and youll have four dozen
results that have the words Bruce Bowen and kick attached to it.
In one video from two years ago, you will see Bowen kick Ray
Allen, while the two were on the ground. Bowen has long been an on-court enemy
of Ray, and Ray has not been bashful for expressing his feelings towards Bowen.
Last season, Bowen injured then Knicks guard, Steve
Francis, by sticking him foot in his landing zone after a jump shot, causing
Steve to land on it.
Bowen did the same move to another Knick, Jamal Crawford -
causing an irate Isiah Thomas to call out Bowen in the middle of the game.
Just last week, Bruce attempted to step on Amare Stoudamires
foot while Amare was trying to dunk. The move infuriated Amare who told media
after the game he would like to know where Bowen lives.
There is no question that tactics like this are dirty and have
no place in the game. They go way past crafty and can result in somebody
getting hurt. Obviously, the league is well aware of Bowens ways and have
punished him on several occasions for these cheap shots.
It is a shame that Bowen resorts to these kinds of tactics.
It takes away from what Bowen should be recognized for his defense. He is a
seven-time All Defensive player and has the ability to play excellent
one-on-one defense. Bruce also is a decent offensive player who, especially
from the corner, can hit a three pointer. He is a hard worker and a smart
I guess he does these cheap plays to intimidate his
opponents and get inside their heads. This results in your peers losing respect
for you and your reputation being tarnished. At the same time, Im sure most of
the league would want him as a member of their team - because at the end of the
day, its the wins that count, not nice guys.