Professional sports players should have higher penalties for flagrant fouls. This shows bad sportsmanship and doesn't set a good example for our youth. These players make enough money, that the current penalties are merely a slap on the wrist. If they were hit in their wallet or taken out of games, it would help control their actions. This is sad but true.
The truth is that it's hard to call the last two years anything but a rivalry, and one that will be remembered for a long time to come like the Lakers and Celtics or Bulls and Pistons. But If James is right and the players on the top two teams in the NBA didn't consider each other rivals 24 hours ago, then one hard foul could have changed all of that.
Flagrant fouls are a part of the game. Players get frustrated and lash out. However, the NBA should empower officials to have a short fuse on using their whistles in rivalry games or even in games with two players who are rivals. The NBA should also issue stronger flagrant foul penalties for cases such as these.
Yes, players should be more heavily penalized for flagrant fouls, because it makes players have better sportsmanship. A player should also know that when they commit a flagrant foul that they will suffer a worse consequence for it than the benefit that they get for committing the foul. It's more important to play the game honestly.