That's a technical foul!

>> Thursday

Don't be fooled my image selection: The screenshot of adorable cartoon character Whitey from Eight Crazy Nights (which I mostly chose to get that song stuck in my brother's head for the rest of the week) belies the feelings of angst and disgust that NBA playoff officiating has brought me once again after last night's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

If you're like the "snooty European guy in the audience" character from Late Night with Conan O'Brien and were watching the U.S.-England friendly instead of our savage American game of basketball, you missed a pretty awesome game. Unfortunately, even such a fine display of basketballmanship was not spared the scourge of questionable officiating--this time in the form of unnecessary technical fouls.

Ultimately, neither fourth quarter technical ended up being much of a factor in the outcome of last night's game. And in light of Tuesday night's Brent Barry duck 'n' cover and Lamar Odom's tackle of Tony Parker, a couple weak technicals don't seem very controversial. Having said that, Rasheed Wallace is now one tech away from a one-game suspension for what seemed like a modest protest, and it's very conceivable that he'll pick up his seventh in Game 6 and have to sit out Game 7, assuming the Pistons win Game 6. The technical called on Kendrick Perkins a few minutes later was even more petty.

I realize that the NBA instituted a shorter leash for player protests last season, but... it seems a little absurd to T up a guy for a non-threatening protest when it's the fourth quarter in Game 5 of a tied series. Of course, the classic line justifying a technical after a mild protest is, "He must have said the magic words," to which I respond: What could these magic words that are so horrific they merit a technical foul/ejection possibly be??? Is it "Fuck you"? Honestly? Are the simple words "Fuck you" the break point for an NBA official? I would at least hope they're something a little more creative and vicious like, "Don't take out your frustrations on me just because I'm young and rich, and you're loveless, lonely, and impotent." Even then, I don't think a technical is warranted when it's the fourth quarter of a crucial playoff game.

I'm not saying players should be able to verbally assail a ref without repercussion just because a bad call was made. But I think a lot of officials forget that being a punching bag is sorta part of the job description. Excuse me for sounding like Hawk Harrelson, but as an official, you are an arbiter, meaning your role is to make sure that the two opposing sides act civilly toward one another and are subject to the same set of rules. It is not your role to show what balls you have by standing up to the big, bad famous athlete who gets a little upset or pottymouthed. Because guess what--nobody watching the game cares what you get called or how much you get yelled at. We just wanna see the action called correctly.

That's why it's inappropriate for an umpire in baseball to glare at or egg on a batter protesting a called third strike as he walks back to the dugout. I think it's just as inappropriate for a basketball ref to call a cheap technical on a player for expressing verbal displeasure at a call. Protesting is part of being a human with emotions. It's the first thing a baby learns after how to suck on a breast, and there's really not much anyone can do to turn off that instinct. And by rule, a player has no recourse when he feels was wronged by a bad call. A verbal protest is the closest thing he has, and I think it's a tad cruel to take that away. On the other hand, the ref does have recourse once that player protests, and therefore the burden is on the ref--not the player--to show restraint during a dispute. It's the ref's responsibility not to abuse that power but only use it as a last resort on a player who's totally lost control.

I know that questionable NBA officiating is a tired and annoying topic (my favorite kind, it seems), but it's one that gets me every time. Bad split-second calls are one thing. They happen. Most split-second calls are ambiguous and reactive. Sometimes the ref even knows immediately afterward that he screwed up. But a technical is proactive. And in most cases, it's totally unnecessary.


Mike 10:01 AM  

Sadly, due to my folks' TV being stuck in 1981 with no cable, I was unable to watch either the snooty USA-England game or the savage basketball game.

Paul 11:49 AM  

Great tune! "That's a technical foul..." Oh man. Well, Sheed's put himself in this spot (although I missed the game so I can't really speak to the tech in Game 5). I mean, his long history of obnoxious protests has made the officials less tolerant of his crap. That said, Sheed rocks.

Vinnie 12:39 PM  

I'd be less inclined to endlessly defend Rasheed if it weren't that the double-standard is so obvious. You ever notice that Tim Duncan pretty much never gets T'd up? And he protests plenty. I may be biased, but there's no way Rasheed deserves all the technicals he gets.

Post a Comment

NSAwins is a popular site for daily vegas sports odds including updated Vegas Super Bowl Odds and weekly NFL totals and odds during football season. Check out NSAwins during March Madness for FREE March Madness Brackets to Print and Expert Picks on the NCAA Tournament. NSAwins also offers HUGE 100% BetUs Bonus Code and BoDog Bonus Code sportsbook promos.
Online Casino Reports - Online Gambling Guide and Directory for casinos, poker and sports betting.

Get out of your yellow chairs and onto some treadmills to train like a pro.

Check out Casino Guide Canada for free NFL online betting picks and the best online casinos for Canadian and US players today!
USA Online Casino guides you not only to casino bonus, but odds of sportsbook for online sports betting. Try your luckiness today to enjoy gaming games on the internet.

Blog Archive

Try GP sports for luscious sports betting games in a stylish setting. Play to your heart's content and be in with the chance of winning big!

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP