“I wish I had it to do all over again and, starting 20 years ago, I’d
be suspending Phil and Pat Riley for all the games
they play in the media,” Stern said in a press conference at the Ford
Center moments before Game 3 of the Lakers-Thunder series. “You guys
know that our referees go out there and knock themselves out to do the
best job they can, but we’ve got coaches who will do whatever takes to
work them publicly. And what that does is erode fan confidence and then
you get some of the situations that we have.
So our coaches should be quiet, because this is a good business that
makes them good livings and supports a lot of families. And if they
don’t like it, they should go get a job someplace else. I don’t mean to
be too subtle. [Laughter] And I think that Phil’s a great coach. He’s a
friend of many years. I just came by and said, ‘Hi.’ And he said, ‘I
don’t like you today.’ I said, ‘I like you.’ But it’s corrosive. It’s
Because of the pressure cooker that is the NBA playoffs, over the
years I’ve let it go. But when you hear the Chicago coach [Jackson] say,
‘Oh, this game was lost because NBC wants an extra game,’ you hear a
New York coach [Riley] say, ‘Well, you know, what are you gonna do?
Jordan gets all the calls,’ it sounds like a lot of fun, etcetera. Or
you hear a Stan Van Gundy do what he wants to say and
then the players join.
We know, inside the community, what it’s meant to do. So, OK, it’s
playoff time, everyone’s crazy. Back off. But if I had to do it again, I
wouldn’t. I would stop it and the price wouldn’t be a modest $35,000
fine. It would be whatever a day’s pay is, and then two days pay, and
then a week’s pay. And if someone wants to try me the rest of this
playoffs, make my day. The game is too important and I don’t think that
the people who trash it are respecting it, and we’ll do what we have to
Players and coaches alike. They give the impression to our fans that
referees somehow have an agenda. Yeah, they have an agenda – to knock
themselves out to give the best calls that they can give, and then to
send their checks home to their mothers and give the rest to charity.”
I know I'll get crap for this, but that last graph is true.
Now… referees have players they like and don't like. That's because some player are a-holes and some aren't. And yes, that influences their calls. And yes, sometimes the home crowd will have an effect. But I just don't believe the league would put its entire product in jeopardy by pulling strings and fixing games.
It's being said a lot around the blog world lately… basketball is maybe the hardest game out there to officiate… especially the NBA. You've got 10 beasts out there running all over the place… bodies crashing into each other… and everyone yelling at you. You're going to miss things… and you're going to think you see some other things.
The problem that David Stern doesn't address is when some of these referees decide they want a little attention. He doesn't address how sometimes these guys will let a call go all game long and then decide to start calling it later. NBA refs are the most inconsistent officials in sports… except for the occasional home plate umpire.
So I don't think there's a conspiracy out there… but I don't think it's all rainbows and puppy dogs either. Stern sent a little message last night… I just hope he gets the message about the officiating problems too.
On Page 2… Rondo smelled blood
“When he did that, the game changed,” Kendrick Perkins said. “I thought the (Miami) coaches made an adjustment and they had to
take both of the point guards out of the game. They couldn’t bring the
ball up, taking time off of the shot clock. That’s key when we do that.”
With the C’s holding a 49-33 lead at the half, Rondo turned up his
defensive intensity in the third quarter. He began by pressuring Carlos
Arroyo and then harassed backup Mario Chalmers.
“I just remember (Tuesday) at halftime, guys were like, they smell
blood,” Perkins said. “When they came out, you could tell. When Rondo
picked up full court and then Paul Pierce ran up to shadow, guys were just focused.”
All of a sudden, Rondo's face-up D isn't really much of an issue anymore.
Rajon Rondo is supposed to destroy player like Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo. They're ok players… but they're not Rondo. Rondo, at his best, can play the best PG's in the league to a standstill.
So thanks for stepping up your defensive intensity, Rajon. Keep it up and we might not even get that "game 3 letdown" that we're kind of expecting. Cleveland lost last night… so a sweep would be a great way to get a little extra rest.
The rest of the links
Herald: Celtics must work quickly | Globe: Caught in a Miami vise | Celtics taking fire out of Heat | Celtics Blog: Should we be concerned with how much BBD gets blocked? | Gino's Jungle: Always keep your ticket stub | NBA Musings: What your press conference outfit says about you