Although flagrant fouls in the NBA aren’t unheard of, a “level two” offense is definitely uncommon.
The terms of flagrant fouls are summarized by Sporting Charts: “There are two types of flagrant fouls in the NBA: Flagrant Foul 1, in which contact is considered unnecessary, and Flagrant Foul 2, in which contact is considered unnecessary and excessive. When a player commits a Flagrant Foul 1 twice, the player is ejected from the game.” Initially the play was deemed a Flagrant Foul 2, but after review it was decided that it was a Flagrant Foul 1.
Sports Illustrated pointed out that since Allen’s leg was five feet in the air, it was hard to justify it as intentional. After the Grizzlies’ victory, Allen did tweet an apology to Paul.
Maybe it was Chris Paul’s shock that blurred his focus and cost the Clippers the game? I guess we will never know.
Featured Image: A close up of Tony Allen’s Flagrant Foul. SB Nation used with permission.