It's All In The Game: Kickin It With Bruce Bowen

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, he’s 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. I’m 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 I’m talking

about, just go to YouTube and type in Bruce Bowen and you’ll 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 Stoudamire’s

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 Bowen’s 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, I’m sure most of

the league would want him as a member of their team - because at the end of the

day, it’s the wins that count, not nice guys.