You had to figure someone's head had to roll for the little altercation between the Lakers and the Blazers, but I really didn't think it was going to be Lamar Odom—who wasn't even in the game at the time.
Honestly, the foul on Rudy Fernandez wasn't that bad at all. I know that sounds incredibly bias with me being a huge Lakers fan, but if you actually look at the play a couple times over, you will notice that Trevor Ariza had absolutely no intention of hurting Fernandez. Ariza just went for the ball like any good defender does.
The only problem is that Rudy hit the floor very, very hard, and everyone on the Blazers went nuts.
The deeper issue is that these two teams obviously don't like each other. This isn't the first time these two teams have gone at it like this; just a year ago the same thing happen when Lamar Odom fouled Brandon Roy while he was going up for a layup. Now that was a hard foul, but Roy didn't end up on a stretcher like Rudy did.
Also, the Rose Garden is an extremely tough place to play for every team besides the Blazers. That place is as loud as it gets when the Blazers are on their game and that night Rudy went down the Blazers were destroying the Lakers.
One thing that has to be done when the losing team is getting hammered by the other team like what the Blazers were doing to the Lakers is to put someone on the floor like Ariza did to Fernandez. That is just common sense in the NBA, going all the way back to the days of the showtime Lakers and Larry Bird's Boston Celtics. The team obviously doesn't want to end a player's career or hand out a season ending injury, but foul just hard enough to get your point across.
Although Trevor Ariza is the one that put Rudy Fernandez on the floor that night, it was Lamar Odom who ultimately got suspended for one game because of the whole ordeal after the fact.
I knew someone was going to get some sort of punishment, but didn't expect it to be Odom. I figured if anything were going to happen it would be Ariza getting fined.
I am not going to lie; Odom is a hot head and seems to be getting in people's faces all the time lately, so I think the league may waiting to put him in his place, and they chose to make an example of him here.