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Got an issue with the refs? Do something about it

Henry Schwan June 1, 2012 Celtics News 17 Comments

Doc and refWe’ve all had problems in our lives. We either accept them, complain about them, which accomplishes nothing, or we hit them head on and resolve them. That’s the decision Celtics fans, for that matter all NBA fans, face when it comes to the quality of officiating in what’s marketed as the world’s greatest basketball league.

LeBron James took almost as many free throws as the entire Celtics team in game two. The Heat went to the line 47 times compared to the Celtics 29. LeBron and D-Wade are the only players in these 2012 NBA playoffs to shoot over 100 free throws each. The disparity in statistics is endless. Some of you believe David Stern is telling his officiating crews, either directly or through subtle measures, that he wants the LeBron-D-Wade due in the finals to boost TV ratings. The NBA under Stern’s watch has always been about marketing its stars at the expense of the team. This type of conspiracy theory has been presented by fans and media personalities for years. Maybe there’s some truth to it. Well, it’s time to stop K’vetching and do something about it.

Sue the NBA for fraud. I’m not kidding here. You the fan watch games on TV and the internet, listen to them on the radio, and buy tickets to see them live under the assumption they aren’t predetermined. That they represent the true ideals of sport, namely sportsmanship, fair play, and the concept that the best team wins. You invest your time and dollars watching a contest that unfolds before your eyes, under the assumption there is no league mandated hidden agendas. If David Stern is selling you a bill of goods, then take the league to court.

There is precedence here. Jets fans sued the Patriots for millions on the grounds that the Pats cheated through Spygate, thereby robbing them of a fair and balanced gridiron fight. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually refused to hear the case. However, don’t let that deter you. Fans expect fair competition. If you and other NBA fans believe a fraud if being perpetrated, then file a class-action lawsuit against David Stern and the NBA. If the case isn’t thrown out by the courts, then Stern and his officials will have to answer questions under oath. Maybe we’ll finally get to the bottom of these conspiracy theories.

If a class-action suit is too radical for you, then why not work to change the culture in the NBA. I’m referring to the blatant acceptance that the league’s superstars/veterans have earned the right to get the benefit of the doubt from officials. Not a game goes by that I don’t hear a broadcaster say that so and so isn’t going to get that call because he hasn’t been in the league long enough. This warped way of thinking bothers me more that the conspiracy theories, because it’s so obviously wrong and can so easily be changed. If an infraction happens on the court, who made it, how big a star he is, or how long he’s been in the league should have nothing to do with whether it’s a foul.

It’s like the ridiculous code of conduct in major league baseball when a pitcher throws at a batter’s head the next inning, because one of his teammates was hit by a pitch in the prior inning. Or when a batter is plunked by a pitch in retaliation for hitting a home run. This Neanderthal line of thinking in professional sports, including the NBA, must stop. It’s time to stop accepting this zany sports culture. Change can happen if you the fan decide to boycott the NBA. Turn off the TV set and stop buying Celtics tickets. Do something else with your disposable income and leisure time. Hit the league where it hurts, in the pocketbook. Stern will get the message and you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll return to unbiased officiating and fair play.

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  • Dustin Chapman

    Please. Fans will never go away. If you decide to turn your tv off, it affects the NBA about as much as a grocery store if a kid came in and stole one stick of gum from a package. If I turn my tv off, it doesn’t matter, because my neighbor’s tv is still on. And so is Joe’s tv two houses down. And in the next room over, his two sons are watching it on another tv. If I recycle, it doesn’t fucking matter, because everybody else still pollutes.
    .
    Besides, that’s doing nothing but kidding yourself. Do I want the product on the floor to as good as possible? Obviously. But me refusing to watch the game I love, is not going to help it. All that does is make me miss games, while the rest of the country continues to watch.
    .
    The NBA can get away with this, because they know the fans will always be there. Whether they are age 40 or 12, they will be there. And they know that. Which is why the lockout didn’t affect them in the slightest. It deterred the opinions of some of the older fans, but do their kids give a fuck? Hell no, and neither do their friends.

  • classless

    Makes sense…except Joe Six Pack doesn’t have the time or resources to bring a class action lawsuit against a billion dollar business.
    It’s so sad officiating is the topic day in and day out. Just win the goddamn game. Celtics can’t close out elite teams. Figure it out.

  • Dustin Chapman

    Also, you can’t tell me a miniscule group of delusional NBA fans throwing a lawsuit at the league, which will never turn into anything of significance, will make the league to think twice about anything.
    .
    “OK, so the Celtics lost and their fans are blaming the officials for it….” is what they will say to the judge. And the judge will laugh at the notion that a group of angered fans can prove that the league fixed the game. Give me a break.

  • Dustin Chapman

    Exactly. If the Celtics had squeaked by and won Game 2 by 1 point, there wouldn’t even be a discussion about the officials. But when the Celtics lose, the ONLY topic of discussion is how “the refs screwed the Celtics again because the league has a vendetta against them!!!”
    Shut the fuck up. The Heat are outplaying the Celtics. Accept that much.

  • dantvman

    I know I’m not watching the NBA anymore if Lebron wins a championship. He’s everything wrong with professional sports today

  • http://profile.typepad.com/vandelay28 Lakerhater

    If the celtics shoot above 35% tonight they will win. 4 game series are not profitable and damage marketability of the upcoming finals. Nothing will change under stern. If the owners, who hire and fire the commissioners gave a sh#t it would stop. If they allow one of stern’s henchman to take the reigns upon his departure, then you know they are complicit.
    I agree with Dustin Chapman’s generational analysis, most people my age tuned out long ago. I wish I could but I love this game and the celtics I grew up with too much. What is missing in the arguement is that the NCAA tournament is exponentially more popular than the NBA play offs because it is percieved as unbiased (Yes people bitch about the teams selected for the dance card but what are you gonna do). Do college refs blow calls? Hell yeah. IS the a pattern of calls that favor a particular player or team? NO.
    So I guess the bottom line is, stern’s complete lack of credibility on the issue makes it impossible to resolve. Dustin chapman is right, turning the channel has no value in the modern age. Stop buying tickets? Now your kicking them in the nuts, and they feel it especially in the small markets.
    Honestly I’m only watching at this point because I enjoy watching these celtics play together – even when they get f#cked by the refs, which they did.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mattwilding Matt Wilding

    Your argument is based on an inaccurate point. The Celtics have been beating elite teams all year. They beat the Heat multiple times this year. As far as the conference is concerned, they’ve beaten every playoff team this season at least once. And as for Dustin’s point that Miami is “outplaying them,” that may have been true in game 1, but it’s just not in game 2. They only won by 3 points, and there are at least 7 points worth of disputed calls.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/sothewind Lee in Oregon

    Sue the NBA? What planet will that work on? The C’s lost a close game and the refs didn’t do them any favors. Stern is a prick and water is wet. Let’s just get over it and move on to tonite.
    Justin, keep recycling, it does matter. That’s all I have to say other than go C’s!

  • Danno

    If it gets enough bad press in the national media, you can sure as hell bet the NAB will stand up and take notice.

  • sev

    its not just celtics fans, turn on espn and all they’ve been talking about is the legitimacy of the NBA. From the vetoed trade, to the Hornets getting the #1 pick, to the ABSURD officiating(4 techs, game 2-no calls and all the free throws for James and Wade)….come on dude, your either a Heat fan or you hate the celtics, but anybody watching the game can see some of these ridiculous superstar calls. Not to mention they were also talking about how all the NBA players know it’s fixed. Try to bring more to the table next time.

  • Dustin Chapman

    Ha, I am as true a Celtic fan as anyone on this site. Just because I don’t fall in line with the “everything about the NBA is rigged!” crybaby brigade, doesn’t mean I’m less of a fan.
    Obviously there’s “star treatment” but it has been that way forever. People bitched more about Jordan getting calls than anyone currently playing.
    And as far as my “Miami is outplaying Boston” comment… 2-0 is all that matters. Not “what could have been if we got this and that call.” Two wins to zero is the only thing that matters in the conference finals. That’s all I was getting at.

  • Dustin Chapman

    Of course I understand the Celtics played incredibly hard in Game 2, they played well. Rondo wasn’t even human. But two to zero, is all I was getting at. Because that’s all that matters in the conference finals.

  • KyleW

    Sorry, but this comes off as very childish. “My team lost a tough game and some calls didn’t go our way, let’s sue the NBA!” Define a fanatic sports fan my friend. No lawyer in the nation would take that case.
    Should it matter that the Heat get to the line more than every NBA team, should it matter than Lebron and Wade attack the basket with reckless abandon? Rondo scores layups, not dunks, Garnett is good for 1-2 dunks a game, but most of his scoring is via 18-footers, same with Pietrus and obviously Ray. Pierce gets to the line 3rd most in the playoffs, so what’s the issue here? He has a 1st-team defender on him, maybe that had a little bit to do with it. The HEAT block 10X more shots that the Celtics. The Celtics reach, grab and hold a lot. That’s what older, slower (an injured) teams do. All those reasons MIGHT have something to do with it.
    Man, lose with pride, don’t whine about it like a baby. Your franchise has a rich history, don’t taint it by taking this route. Reminds me of all the BS talk when the Lakers beat the Celts in game 7. You guys were complaining about unfair free throw attempts, disparity, etc. Truth is, you could have won that game if you made shots, same as the last game against Miami, but you didn’t. Don’t foul, that’s the easiest way to not send your opponent to the line. There isn’t some master conspiracy my friends, you are just too close and passionate about the outcome to really see that.
    And for the record I’m a Warriors fan, so don’t start lumping me into a group of haters.

  • James

    I have a question regarding the officiating. Since you think that game 2 was rigged because of the free throw disparity and that the refs want the Heat to win, do you think that game 2 of the 2008 finals was rigged when the Celtics got 38-10 ft advantage and Leon Powe shot more ft’s than the entire Lakers team? Or do you think that game 2 against the Heat was rigged with the NBA wanting the Heat to win and the game 2 against the Lakers was just the Celtics being more aggressive and nothing to do with awful officiating? Not trying to start an argument, I’m just saying that it’s a little funny that you complain about this but you say the 2008 finals were completely fair.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157053529f970b zippittyay

    Amen to that!

  • kyleW

    Also, I assume via the logic of this article, that these rabid Celtics fans would sue the NBA if the Thunder had a tough loss where the Spurs shot 20+ free throws. It’s not because you are fanatical about YOUR team is it? You’d also sue the NBA if the Warriors were screwed out of the playoffs because of a one-sided poorly-officiated game where their opponent shot twice as many free throws as they did, right? You’d run to the Lakers aid if the Nuggets got ALL the calls and the Lakers were clearly hosed by the refs in a critical game, right?
    See how you look?

  • Aaron

    Were you high when you wrote this?