Opponents called Bruce Bowen dirty when he played for the Spurs, but that didn’t stop him from doing the same thing to Zaza Pachulia.Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Bruce Bowen calling another guy dirty? Wow. If anything, this should make Zaza Pachulia laugh.
Bowen earned a reputation as a dirty player in his eight seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. Pachulia is currently taking a beating in the media, rightfully so, for his injury causing closeout of Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in Game one of the Western Conference Finals.
When one of the talking heads on TV gives Pachulia a hard time that’s one thing, but when he hears it from Bowen, that’s just crazy. Bowen’s former coach, Gregg Popovich, ranted against Pachulia on Monday. The legendary head coach referred to Pachulia’s history of dirty play as a reference.
Naturally, this called Popovich’s defense of Bowen to mind. People called Popovich a hypocrite and Bowen decided to respond, first defending himself then backing up Pop.
“Well, I used to hate it when people called me dirty. I thought it was unfair when people just piggyback on what other people say. And I still do.”
So Bowen thinks it’s unfair that people call him dirty. Then in the same article, he says this about Pachulia.
“That play? I’ve watched it and, yeah, I thought he took an extra step,” he said. “Plenty of time to stop where he did, but he continued moving in that direction of Kawhi. That seems like it’s intentional and it’s definitely dangerous.”
Like Popovich, Bowen doesn’t seem to care what Zaza’s intent was on the play.
“What was his intent?” Bowen said. “You can re-wind something five times and convince yourself of anything. What I saw, he kept moving in that direction after he contested the shot. You know you have to let a player come down. He kept walking into that space, so, for me, that says more about the intent.”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bowen’s work, check out his defense against Kobe Bryant in the 2002 playoffs.