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Inactive or Suspended? A Matter of Semantics

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Jim O'Brien refused to admit Jamaal Tinsley was suspended for last night's game. He mentioned his balky knee and that they wanted to keep the pace up so he decided to list JT as inactive last night. Mike Wells reported that "several" people confirmed that Tinsley sat out as discipline for an incident during a film session on Wednesday. O'B also explained why Tinsley wasn't on the bench.

"Not if I tell him he doesn't have to show up for the game," O'Brien said, when asked why Tinsley wasn't there. "It's not the first time this year a player was deactivated that wasn't on the bench or here. That's totally up to the head coach. . . . What I told you (Wednesday) is the story I'm sticking with."

Tinsley has been dealing with several injuries the past few weeks but is expected to play Saturday against Sacramento.

"I intend to have him activated next game," O'Brien said.
There's also a video clip of this report on the Star website.

On the Jim O'Brien Show tonight, O'B commented on the initial Star story. He mentioned to consider the source since the only person on the record was Stephen Jackson. O'B also said he can decide whether or not to share the reason why he deactivates a player. Again, he mentioned the injury. What he didn't say was that there was no incident on Wednesday or that discipline played no part in his decision.

Mike Wells doesn't write fiction and he knows what he heard from more sources than just Stephen Jackson. Combined with what O'B didn't say, I think we can all agree something happened and O'B was forced into disciplining Tinsley.

I have no problem with O'B steadfastly refusing to share what happens in his locker room (or film room) with the media or fans. Plus, Rick Carlisle was often criticized for his lack of discipline when dealing with Jack and Tinsley, so knowing O'B is running a tight ship is great to hear.

The sad part of the story is that Tinsley appears to be playing the role of malcontent, again. As I mentioned this morning, Tinsley's body language has been sour since Phoenix. Surely, some words were exchanged after Tinsley's pass-free finish against the Suns. We haven't seen the smiling or productive Tinsley who dominated at times during the first six weeks of the season. I'm sure he's frustrated with the nagging injuries and his struggles on the court. Regardless, poisoning the locker room with drama is intolerable. As long as he's not on the same page, inactivate him. If you can ship him, even better. I won't hold my breath for something that drastic, though. For now, we just have to be thankful that O'B is willing to lay down the law and hopeful that Tins will fall in line and get back to work.