Was the ‘Birdman’ suspension legit?

Just when it seemed LeBron James and the Miami Heat had completely righted their ship and were ready to cruise past the Indiana Pacers into the NBA Finals, there’s another potential speedbump.

The ‘Birdman’ got caged.

With one Game 5 meltdown, colorful center Chris Andersen (who resembles a peacock wth all of his body art) may have morphed from X factor to ex factor.

Andersen has been a surprising, supplemental star for the Heat throughout the playoffs. He has made a remarkable 18 consecutive field goals and has somehow shot 37 for 43 during the postseason — an incomprehensible 86 percent from the field!

But this shoving incident with the Pacers’ own Energizer bunny, Tyler Hansbrough, is forcing Birdman to sit for Saturday’s game in Indiana.

Clearly, Andersen flew the coop a bit (OK, couldn’t resist). But was this worth a suspension, especially in the playoffs?

FOX Sports Florida’s Chris Tomasson reports that both NBA commissioner David Stern and Hansbrough likely think such punishment is warranted.

Some folks are clearly on-board the with NBA’s decision . . .

 

While others think the Association is being a little too harsh . . .

 

To that point, here’s a look back at what NBA playoff fouls used to look like . . .

Back in the 1980s, this was garden-variety, playoff basketball. And guess what? There was no such thing as a flagrant foul. It was only a personal foul, with no one suspended or even fined. Seriously.

Here’s another entertaining example of a normal Detroit Pistons playoff game from their glory days . . .

On the flip side, this is probably the reason the NBA and David Stern have become more sensitive to on-court fighting in recent years . . .

So what do you think?

Are the Miami Heat getting jobbed by a super-sensitive league office, caught in being too politically correct?

Or does the punishment fit the in-game crime by Andersen?

Share your $0.02 by voting in our poll, and dig into the comments below.

Oh, and just for all-out awesomeness, check out the interesting evolution below of Andersen’s look during his NBA tenure through the years . . .