According to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times, Metta World Peace–in lieu of his recent “flagrant foul 2” designation–feels a certain way about how opposing players guard Dwight Howard:
“Dwight gets fouled a lot intentionally. Dwight goes up, they push him in the back. So I’ll let you guys do your research from here on out, just monitor how Dwight gets fouled. Is it an intentional foul or not? Because y’all aren’t looking for those things unless it’s brought to your attention.
I’m not complaining. Sometimes he gets hurt. Those are intentional fouls. He’s getting hurt. He got hurt when he got pushed in Orlando [last season]. These guys are coming down on his back. He had to get surgery as a result of that. And he missed games. He’s not complaining. He’s a little upset but he goes out there and plays. And those [fouls] are multiple occasions.”
Personally, I think World Peace is correct if he’s referring to “intentional” fouls as “flagrant” fouls, and pointing at the league to do a better job of calling it. Metta didn’t exactly call out the NBA, but it’s true that Dwight Howard often does get fouled harder than most other players–often times even harder than taller and/or heavier players–yet rarely does a flagrant foul get called in favor of Howard.
At the same time, this is how the game has typically been called over the years; the dominant players of the league have always had to take a beating and simply live with it. As a fan growing up and watching the Kobe and Shaq Lakers, it was the norm to see Shaquille O’Neal get hacked and treated roughly, yet if he even touch-fouled an opponent or made a strong post move, the foul would often come down on him.
World Peace likely made the comments in defense of the flagrant foul 2 that was awarded to him recently; pointing out that certain players often get blatantly hacked without even a simple foul call, yet when he makes contact with another player, it gets examined and sometimes results in a punishment later on.
In that sense, there is certainly a double-standard in the league when it comes to its dominant big fellas–and sometimes with players who have a certain reputation like World Peace–but it’s unlikely to change. At the very least, however, it was nice to hear Metta World Peace sticking up for his teammate.