The suspension of Phoenix’s Didier Ilunga Mbenga isn’t a shocker given the precedent established earlier this season with the Knicks’ Antonio Davis. But what’s up with The Owner With A Boner getting off so easy, particularly as there’s not a single person in America who’d compalin about Mark Cuban getting less face time on ESPN or TNT?

The Suns might be right back in their Western Conference final with the Mavs, but the Association seems to think Steve Nash should drink a class of Calm The Fuck Down Juice.

The Chicago Tribune’s Sam Smith shows the sort of patience and goodwill towards his readers that I can only aspire to.

Q: Sam, I must say your trade scenarios for the Bulls are a joke. Heat, Pistons will be tough for three years. Bulls won’t stand a chance until 2009. Pick Thomas, JJ Red, sign Joe Pryzb., and two guard. 2007 NY pick. You and I could coach that team to east finals. Give Deng, Gordon 2-3 more years here come the bulls! FORGET Ben is too short. That’s bull. If Pax wants to do something good deal TC. He’s not a game changer. –Tom Petros, Sycamore, Ill.

A : I think I get all the abbreviations, though I thought out there in Sycamore you guys had more time to sit down and write out a complete sentence. First of all, you never know what will happen in three years. Guys could leave in free agency, be injured. And I think the East is wide open. I think the Pistons appear to have lost their edge and will make changes in the offseason. If the Heat is in the Finals, it will give Shaquille O’Neal the excuse to take half of next season off, making it difficult to get 50 wins. If they win a title, I can see Pat Riley walking away. LeBron’s running mates aren’t very good. The Bulls’ core now has enough experience if you add a player or two; I can see them making a serious run next season. You never want to sit and wait, and this NBA in the coming years looks like it will be as wide open as ever.

Following the Pistons’ gutty 91-78 Game Five win over the Heat last night, The Grand Rapids Press’ David Mayo pays tribute to the Rejection Heard ‘Round The World.

Wallace’s one determined arm manhandled the most daunting package of strength and size in professional basketball history. O’Neal found himself pancaked to his formidable rump, placed there by the force of Wallace’s impact on the ball. The Palace found itself pulsating, the Pistons found themselves off and running, and a Hall of Fame coach on the other sideline found himself wondering when he saw such a sight.

“Not too often — I can’t remember too often,” Pat Riley said. “There are some times when he puts it behind him and I think that’s when Ben caught him. It was a hell of a play.”