We’ve seen some huge blow-ups over NBA reffing this season and things are surely reaching boiling point.
From the players’ perspective, the situation has become so egregious that they have called for referees to be fined for their bad calls.
The most recent critique of the refereeing was yesterday when the Timberwolves went down to the Celtics 104-102 and Rudy Gobert called out the refs for their lack of respect postgame.
“Sometimes, we have that feeling that the things that get players and people in general furious, is we feel like we’re not being treated with integrity. And that’s when it becomes hard to keep your cool,” Gobert told The Athletic.
“I get hit in the face every night and I never get a flagrant. It’s crazy. Tonight was about things happening at once. I need to watch the game and see if I’m crazy or not.”
Minnesota forward Kyle Anderson posted on his Instagram story after he was ejected in the closing seconds: “Never been one to harp on officiating but got damn.”
Draymond Green got his 16th tech foul yesterday in the Warriors loss to the Clippers and although he is a serial tech-artist, he thinks his count shouldn’t be that high.
“I expect something to change,” Green said. “I got one tech this year because a ref yelled at me and I said, ‘If I yell at you, I’m gonna get a fine.’ I got a tech for it. So, I think something will change. If that’s a tech, then every word you say on the court is a tech. We’ll see.”
On Saturday, Julius Randle pretty much lost his mind after getting a tech for elbowing Clippers center Mason Plumlee and had to be restrained by his coach.
“I mean, I wasn’t good today. I was bad. But the officials today? Pssh. I’ll just leave it at that,” Randle said after the game. “All you gotta do is watch the game and see what you see going on.”
Fred Van Vleet absolutely tore the refs to shreds last week in a very well-worded rant after the Raptors 108-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
VanVleet said a technical foul called against him by Ben Taylor “changed the whole flow of the game” and he was fined $30k for his comments.
“Most of my techs this year have been with Ben Taylor officiating. So at a certain point as a player you feel it’s personal and it’s never a good place to be,” VanVleet said.
“I’ll take my fine for speaking on it but it’s just this is fu*king ridiculous.”
Van Vleet isn’t the kind of guy to speak out of turn, so when he is saying something, things must be bad.
“I wouldn’t have done that if I felt like I had another option or another outlet,” VanVleet explained the next day. “I felt like I’ve exhausted my options this season on many different occasions.”
In January of this season, Pat Beverley even took a photographer’s camera onto the court to show the refs they had made the wrong call during a Lakers game, which they could have won with a drive from LeBron James but a no foul was called in the dying seconds.
Referee crew chief Eric Lewis even admitted after the game that it was a blown call.
PAT BEV BROUGHT A WHOLE ASS CAMERA TO SHOW THESE INCOMPETENT NBA REFS THEY MISSED THE FOUL CALL FOR LEBRON 😭😭😭 THEY GAVE HIS ASS A TECH LMAOOOO FIX YOUR LEAGUE @NBA
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) January 29, 2023
Things seem to be reaching an almost unprecedented level but only last month, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that officials are “absolutely held accountable” despite the public not knowing their punishments.
“We don’t publicize discipline for officials. We don’t think that will be appropriate. But their assignments are affected by the quality of their calls, whether or not they progress into the playoffs and then round by round is impacted by the accuracy of their calls and their demeanor on the floor.”
With play-offs just around the corner, things are likely to get even hairier between the officials and NBA players.
Watch this space.