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90'sNBARocked
10-14-2010, 11:44 AM
http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2010/10/14/new-officiating-rules-are-ruining-the-game/
by Zach Lowe


Here’s the reality right now for the NBA: The officiating is the biggest story in the league, temporarily bigger than the new-look Heat or Gilbert Arenas‘ latest gaffe or the near-dead Carmelo Anthony trade talks. On Thursday, the league’s crackdown on technical fouls trumps all of it.

The issue has been simmering since the league unveiled the new rules late last month, and it bubbled up Monday because of strange technicals against Jermaine O’Neal and George Hill. But few saw those calls, and fewer really cared.

That changed Wednesday night, when the officials in charge of the Celtics-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden called four technicals in a 17-second span in the second quarter. There was legitimate buzz around this game, the home debut of Amar’e Stoudemire and the first chance for most New York fans to see Timofey Mozgov, the 7-foot-1 center from Russia whom the Knicks signed in free agency. The Celtics even played their A-team after trotting out their B- and C-lines the night before in Philadelphia.

But by the four-minute mark in the second, Kevin Garnett was gone — ejected — and all anyone was asking was: Is this really good for the game?

Let’s start with the tape. Things unraveled at the 4:39 mark in the second quarter when O’Neal tried to battle Mozgov from behind for a rebound. O’Neal used his right arm to push off Mozgov’s left armpit, and the force of O’Neal’s shove moved Mozgov under the hoop. Zach Zarba, an official standing about three feet from this action, whistled O’Neal for some combination of over-the-back and shoving. It was probably a good call.

O’Neal turned to Zarba, frowning, and said something. What he said was not enough to merit a technical. But then O’Neal took a few steps up the court alongside Zarba, chatting calmly, with his left hand raised as if to take Zarba around the shoulders for an in-close chat.

That was too much, and Zarba T’d up O’Neal.

Around this time, Garnett was standing near the scorer’s table. He said something to another official, Kane Fitzgerald, and it’s impossible to tell on tape exactly what Garnett said to earn his first T. But what’s clear is this: Garnett reacted to that first T by walking toward Fitzgerald and mouthing off. Rajon Rondo even put his hand on Garnett’s chest, trying to hold him back from Fitzgerald. Too late. Garnett was gone.

The reaction has been unanimous — almost. Mike Breen and Walt Frazier, calling the game for the MSG Network, said the referees had gone too far, that O’Neal should be able to have a civil conversation with Zarba, and that fans pay good money to see stars like Garnett. Ray Allen was laughing. Mike D’Antoni smirked on the sideline.

But there are those who support the league and the officials, and there argument is this: Why can’t NBA players just shut up? Why can’t they walk away? Do they think they are going to persuade refs to change foul calls? There are only certain types of calls officials might change because of a combination of player reaction and replay availability: clock-based situations, such as buzzer-beaters; out-of-bounds calls (think of the Finals last season); and block/charge calls, where officials will sometimes get together after one of them makes an initial call.

But a run-of-the-mill foul? You’re not getting that changed, and arguing about it often makes players look silly. (Hi, Tim Duncan.)

The problem, though, is that it is impossible for the league to maintain any in-game consistency on this issue. On the Knicks’ possession immediately before the parade of technicals Wednesday, Stoudemire drove on Garnett, converted a tough lay-in and then glared at the official, screaming “And one!” and making the “and the foul” gesture with his right hand.

No technical. Why not? There is no good reason.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports attended one of the sessions in which league officials explained the changes to members of the media. Here is his understanding of the new edict:

Demonstrative and continuous displays of emotion will not be tolerated under the new rules. Players will be allowed to display emotion in the heat of the moment, as long as it isn’t over the top – and as long as they get under control and walk away.

To be clear, this is Berger’s language, not the league’s. But good luck interpreting it. What counts as “over the top”? What about “demonstrative” or “continuous”? O’Neal was not demonstrative in his protest over the initial foul call Wednesday, but his protest did continue for several seconds. Should that merit a T? Stoudemire’s “And one” demands — and there were at least two in this game — were clearly demonstrative but not continuous. Should that merit a T?

You could argue that such inconsistency is inevitable when any entity sets up a new enforcement regime, and that the inconsistencies will disappear once the standards are gradually made clear. I’m not convinced that’s the case. There are just too many scenarios in an NBA game, too many variables — too many types of calls and player reactions, an infinite list of gestures that may or may not be T-worthy – and officials who are human will react differently to different players across different circumstances.

Of course, inconsistency with technical foul calls is nothing new. Rasheed Wallace was allowed to behave like a jerk in some games and not in others. But if the league is serious about this new crackdown, confusion of the type that reigned at MSG on Wednesday will appear often — and affect the outcome of regular-season games.

I think this is going to be a big problem

travmil
10-14-2010, 11:53 AM
I think the biggest reason they did this is to stop the players who are guilty of consistently doing what they are trying to stop. KG is one of those players and they got him last night. Once this happens a few times I think it will calm down, especially going in to the regular season. Just my opinion.

Heisenberg
10-14-2010, 11:59 AM
I assume those "all he did was look at him!" techs will subside pretty quickly once the games count. If that's the case and they stick to just calling them when a guy actually gets somewhat demonstrative I'm all for it. If the players can't adjust to it that's their problem, they know the rules.

90'sNBARocked
10-14-2010, 12:01 PM
I really hope so, I ena there should be some leeway to show emtion without showing up the ref

Sparhawk
10-14-2010, 12:08 PM
Complaining about calls isn't the worst thing in the world. It's only bad when they are pleading their case when the game is still going leading to a fast break or mismatch at the other end of the floor.

They need to do something about flopping though. The league is not doing a good job cracking down on this, and I think ruins the experience for me. This ain't soccer.

graphic-er
10-14-2010, 12:32 PM
Complaining about calls isn't the worst thing in the world. It's only bad when they are pleading their case when the game is still going leading to a fast break or mismatch at the other end of the floor.

They need to do something about flopping though. The league is not doing a good job cracking down on this, and I think ruins the experience for me. This ain't soccer.

Says the man who's avatar is one of the best known flopper in NBA history ;)

Dr. Awesome
10-14-2010, 12:39 PM
David Stern has been ruining the NBA for a while now.

BillS
10-14-2010, 12:44 PM
What we're missing is that the question wasn't whether cracking down on complaining is good for the NBA, it was whether ejecting Kevin Garnett in 4 minutes is good for the NBA because "fans pay good money to see stars like Garnett.".

If you want to watch something where you pay to see a star and are guaranteed to see nothing but that star's best and longest performance, go to the movies or WWE.

Trader Joe
10-14-2010, 12:48 PM
What we're missing is that the question wasn't whether cracking down on complaining is good for the NBA, it was whether ejecting Kevin Garnett in 4 minutes is good for the NBA because "fans pay good money to see stars like Garnett.".

If you want to watch something where you pay to see a star and are guaranteed to see nothing but that star's best and longest performance, go to the movies or WWE.

Yep.

ChicagoJ
10-14-2010, 01:22 PM
Kick 'em out. I pay to watch the Pacers play "basketball", which is a sport that is governed by referees (albeit imperfect) and a standard rulebook that is supposed to apply the same to all players.

F! the superstars.

90'sNBARocked
10-14-2010, 01:34 PM
Kick 'em out. I pay to watch the Pacers play "basketball", which is a sport that is governed by referees (albeit imperfect) and a standard rulebook that is supposed to apply the same to all players.

F! the superstars.

Is that becasue we dont have a superstar? :)

Phildog
10-14-2010, 01:38 PM
What's funny is O'neal though, I believe thinks he has yet to commit a foul in the NBA, especially as a Pacer. It got old.

heywoode
10-14-2010, 01:59 PM
Somehow I just KNEW JO would be involved in the backlash over the new, "too sensitive" rules. They ALL complain because that is what they are taught to do. Not any different than a running back developing the habit of moving the ball forward another half yard after they've been tackled EVERY SINGLE TIME. I'm sure the logic is that if they move the ball every single time, sooner or later the ref will "forget" and they will trick their way into an extra half yard.

Arguing about every single call is establishing a pattern of questioning every single call, so that the ref will consciously or sub-consciously change the way they make calls. Basically, the players want to complain so much that the next time, the ref won't call the foul so they won't have to listen to the player complaining.

Brad8888
10-14-2010, 02:48 PM
The preseason hopefully is just an experiment with respect to enforcement. Otherwise yes, it will have an impact on both the enjoyment of, and the actual outcome of, games.

If it continues to be enforced as it has been so far, there will be those who question the legitimacy of the officiating moreso than it even has been in the past with even more conspiracy theories than before, especially if the Heat, as the chosen "Deciders" end up being beneficiaries of more lenient interpretation of the limited reaction rules.

Lebron is known to "converse" with officials at length, and to get pretty animated at times, so it is not difficult to imagine situations, like the end of the Cavs / Pacers game where Lebron and Danny traded lobs, with Lebron being visibly upset about the officiating, where he or other superstars could magically get away without being called, where other players probably would get both T'd and tossed. In fact, in that game, there could have been multiple techs on both plays. It is entirely possible that the game would have been decided by the combination of Lebron's free throws coupled with free throws for whatever T's would have been called on the initial play, leaving it impossible for the Pacers to win.

So, I don't like the new interpretation as it has been enforced in some instances so far, and am afraid of what might happen if the interpretation is not relaxed when the regular season starts.

90'sNBARocked
10-14-2010, 02:54 PM
The preseason hopefully is just an experiment with respect to enforcement. Otherwise yes, it will have an impact on both the enjoyment of, and the actual outcome of, games.

If it continues to be enforced as it has been so far, there will be those who question the legitimacy of the officiating moreso than it even has been in the past with even more conspiracy theories than before, especially if the Heat, as the chosen "Deciders" end up being beneficiaries of more lenient interpretation of the limited reaction rules.

Lebron is known to "converse" with officials at length, and to get pretty animated at times, so it is not difficult to imagine situations, like the end of the Cavs / Pacers game where Lebron and Danny traded lobs, with Lebron being visibly upset about the officiating, where he or other superstars could magically get away without being called, where other players probably would get both T'd and tossed. In fact, in that game, there could have been multiple techs on both plays. It is entirely possible that the game would have been decided by the combination of Lebron's free throws coupled with free throws for whatever T's would have been called on the initial play, leaving it impossible for the Pacers to win.

So, I don't like the new interpretation as it has been enforced in some instances so far, and am afraid of what might happen if the interpretation is not relaxed when the regular season starts.

Good points
I wonder if LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Durrant etc. will get a techincal

Makes me remeber when MJ mushed Reggie in the face , and Reggie got tossed form the game at MSA

spreedom
10-14-2010, 03:09 PM
While I'm not necessarily in agreement with how last night's calls went, I can also tell you that Kevin Garnett is a child and whatever he said or did probably warranted an ejection. Not only is he a whiner, but he's a careerlong cheapshot artist as well. I saw this for 10 years when I lived in Minnesota.

As a whole, I'm 100% in favor of empowering the referees. I absolutely despise turning on a game and watching Tim Duncan show up every official who makes a call against the Spurs, or Jax bickering with an official while the Bobcats try to play 4-on-5 on defense, or Paul Pierce faking an injury until a call is made so he can begin his fake Superman comeback.

Okay, so the last one wasn't really related, but I hate Paul Pierce's tendency to do that.

Trophy
10-14-2010, 03:19 PM
At least Rasheed Wallace isn't on the Celtics anymore because that would've made it worse.

I hate when the refs try and take over the game.

cordobes
10-14-2010, 03:30 PM
I saw this play differently than Lowe. I thought the first technical was because Garnett and Stoudemire were trash talking each other, not due to complaining.

Anyway, I like this no tolerance policy in theory. Just disallow any communication from players to refs. It'll be weird for awhile, but eventually players will adapt. In rugby, a sport equally difficult to officiate and with lots of contact players don't complain a single time during a match; if they can do it, no reason why basketball players can't.

However, for this to work referees need to enforce it all the time. Even in yesterday's game there was plenty of whining that wasn't penalized. Ejecting a guy here and there won't work: I agree with Brad8888 on this, if they keep making calls this way things will only get worse. But, personally, I'd like to see the rule enforced more strictly, not relaxed. Just Tup any player who whines and complains about foul calls. They can ask for explanations during time-outs or after the game if they wish so.

dohman
10-14-2010, 03:56 PM
I think its a good rule. Players are Players and Refs are Refs. Learn to shut your mouth and play the game. If you are upset with the call simply document it and send it into the referee committee. There is no reason to have a in game chat with the official. They are there to call the fouls and blow the whistles. not be your friends. If you do not know the game of basketball or have to question why a official made a call then you probably should not be on the court.

You cannot tell I am a referee can ya :)

owl
10-14-2010, 04:32 PM
I want consistency in all the calls, not just the T"s. I can't stand the superstar getting away
with excessive griping and physical play that is called only one way. It ruins the integrity of the game and the enjoyment of watching the NBA.

duke dynamite
10-14-2010, 04:53 PM
I love it when the refs actually talk to a young player and explain to them how the foul was committed. Doesn't anyone see that ever happen?

vapacersfan
10-14-2010, 04:57 PM
I love it when the refs actually talk to a young player and explain to them how the foul was committed. Doesn't anyone see that ever happen?

This is what I dlslike about the new rules.

I still have not seen a NBA game yet this year (:mad:) but I do think that they need to encourage better communication between the players and the officials.

Also not surprised to see J.O. and K.G. be involved in violations with the new policy

Putnam
10-14-2010, 05:08 PM
This is just like the speed limit on interstate highways. In 1974, Congress passed a law making 55 the maximum speed that anybody could drive anywhere. And I just got used to that. Congress relaxed the law in 1987 and Indiana has made 70 the Interstate Speed limit. But I just cant get used to the idea of driving over 55.

And when I say, "This is just like that" I mean that the players can learn to adapt to these new rules in time, just as I could learn to speed up my car. They won't like it, but they will learn.

I don't know how strictly the officials will enforce the rule, but I do know that most rules of all kindws are stricter than they are enforced. Speed limit is a great example. When you get stopped for speeding, it is never because you were going one mile over the limit -- it is because you were going 15 or more over the limit. And this NBA rule will be the same. It says no demonstrations or arguments at all, but it will probably sort out to something reasonable and whenever a player get Td up, he'll be way over the expressed limit.

There's no reason to fret about this yet.

xBulletproof
10-14-2010, 05:17 PM
I love it when the refs actually talk to a young player and explain to them how the foul was committed. Doesn't anyone see that ever happen?

Nothing in the new rules eliminates this.

Someone said people pay to see star players play, and this could change that? Well one thing I certainly don't want to pay to see is to watch grown men whine like babies. Or just as bad, millionaires and celebrities whining.

If I wanted to pay to watch something whine, I'd have a kid.

dohman
10-14-2010, 05:31 PM
I love it when the refs actually talk to a young player and explain to them how the foul was committed. Doesn't anyone see that ever happen?

Its not the refs responsibility to tell a player what he did wrong. The player should look at the game tape.

The refs job is to keep order on the court and call the fouls that are committed.


This is a professional league and the players need to understand that. This is not rec ball or street ball. This is the NBA and if a player is out of line then he deserves to be ejected.

vapacersfan
10-14-2010, 05:43 PM
Its not the refs responsibility to tell a player what he did wrong. The player should look at the game tape.

The refs job is to keep order on the court and call the fouls that are committed.


This is a professional league and the players need to understand that. This is not rec ball or street ball. This is the NBA and if a player is out of line then he deserves to be ejected.

I could not disagree more.

The NBA officials, like most refs, are nto consistent.

It is very much there job to open up to players. How many times have we seen games get chippy and refs start to call EVERYTHING. There is nothing wrong with a guy asking why X is a foul and Y was not.

Hell, if it helps prevent him from not doing it again then why not take the extra .02 seconds to help a guy out. Also, sometimes the ref miss a call (shocking, I know :D)

A player can argue his point, and the ref should have the chance to explain why he does not agree.

So no, I think it is VERY MUCH the refs responsibility to have a dialogue with the players. If this is not the case, then why not just have robots calling the games?

dohman
10-14-2010, 05:54 PM
I could not disagree more.

The NBA officials, like most refs, are nto consistent.

It is very much there job to open up to players. How many times have we seen games get chippy and refs start to call EVERYTHING. There is nothing wrong with a guy asking why X is a foul and Y was not.

Hell, if it helps prevent him from not doing it again then why not take the extra .02 seconds to help a guy out. Also, sometimes the ref miss a call (shocking, I know :D)

A player can argue his point, and the ref should have the chance to explain why he does not agree.

So no, I think it is VERY MUCH the refs responsibility to have a dialogue with the players. If this is not the case, then why not just have robots calling the games?


I would love to see robots calling the game! I do agree refs miss calls. But players know what is a foul and what is not a foul. They have been playing the game their entire life. I sure hope they have it figured out by now. If they have to ask a ref why there were called for pushing or blocking then they need to study a rule book.

I watch the game and see to many players trying to intimidate refs and to many refs trying to be buddy buddy with players. Keep the talking out of it and play against the other team.

vapacersfan
10-14-2010, 06:02 PM
Actually, I have made posts saying I am OK with us getting a robot to call games. I am getting a bit tired of refs trying to become bigger then the game.

That is a thread for another day.

I get your point that the whining is out of hand, but a foul really does change from game to game.

That is the main reason why I am OK with dialogue, as long as it is respectful and a 2 way street

cordobes
10-14-2010, 06:10 PM
I don't know how strictly the officials will enforce the rule, but I do know that most rules of all kindws are stricter than they are enforced. Speed limit is a great example. When you get stopped for speeding, it is never because you were going one mile over the limit -- it is because you were going 15 or more over the limit. And this NBA rule will be the same. It says no demonstrations or arguments at all, but it will probably sort out to something reasonable and whenever a player get Td up, he'll be way over the expressed limit.

A bad habit, but that's all true.

In my view, the problem with a lenient/reasonable approach is that eventually it'll end up in a redux of what happened a few years back when they tried this - at first, referees started calling technical fouls en masse. They thought that was unreasonable and quickly dialled back - and eventually went all the way back to the ante (and current) status quo. It brings too much uncertainty to the game. If players are going to chance their behaviour in order to whine/complain less, they need understandable and clear incentives.

That won't happen if you're going to allow referees to explain a call to a rookie but not to Jermaine O'Neal. It'll never work, because every ref will create his own standard of what constitutes a punishable offence. What we'll see is a player being able run the court moving his arms up and down one night and be ejected for the same offense in the following one. Zarba T-uped O'Neal last night, probably many other refs would just explain him why they made the call. This type of inconsistency only increase the amount of frustration amongst players, coaches and fans. And the way of solving it is going back to the current rules: "players can complain about calls with which they disagree, provided the reaction is not overly demonstrative, disrespectful, or prolonged". Which brings way too much whining and complaining to the game, in my opinion.

I'd love to see them trying to implant the rugby rules. Cut communication with the officials except with the captain/coach under certain circumstances. It works perfectly.

Hicks
10-14-2010, 06:17 PM
If I wanted to pay to watch something whine, I'd have a kid.

:laugh:

vapacersfan
10-14-2010, 06:17 PM
A bad habit, but that's all true.

In my view, the problem with a lenient/reasonable approach is that eventually it'll end up in a redux of what happened a few years back when they tried this - at first, referees started calling technical fouls en masse. They thought that was unreasonable and quickly dialled back - and eventually went all the way back to the ante (and current) status quo. It brings too much uncertainty to the game. If players are going to chance their behaviour in order to whine/complain less, they need understandable and clear incentives.

That won't happen if you're going to allow referees to explain a call to a rookie but not to Jermaine O'Neal. It'll never work, because every ref will create his own standard of what constitutes a punishable offence. What we'll see is a player being able run the court moving his arms up and down one night and be ejected for the same offense in the following one. Zarba T-uped O'Neal last night, probably many other refs would just explain him why they made the call. This type of inconsistency only increase the amount of frustration amongst players, coaches and fans. And the way of solving it is going back to the current rules: "players can complain about calls with which they disagree, provided the reaction is not overly demonstrative, disrespectful, or prolonged". Which brings way too much whining and complaining to the game, in my opinion.

I'd love to see them trying to implant the rugby rules. Cut communication with the officials except with the captain/coach under certain circumstances. It works perfectly.

I have been saying this for years (especially the last part)

I would love to see them give it a try.....work it out in pre season then once the season starts anyone but the captain addresses the ref its a T. The captain can take up all issues.....and the refs only have to deal with 2 players (and less coaches)

Rogco
10-14-2010, 06:28 PM
Not worried about it. There are players in the NBA who whine and ***** every time there is a call against them or every time they think they were fouled. Honestly, I'm sick of seeing it and will be glad to see players get T'd up. It always pissed me off to see players reacting and complaining and then start to get calls. Players will quickly stop once they see it's not helping them anymore, and the Pacer's players last year were, for the most part, good about not whinging to much.

Stryder
10-14-2010, 07:57 PM
They'll adapt.

Rule of the land.

Adapt or get tossed from the game.

Noodle
10-14-2010, 08:22 PM
Foster will lead the team in technicals per minute. That guy never ever fouls anybody. He has always argued like 90% of called against him.

SycamoreKen
10-14-2010, 10:19 PM
I would love to see robots calling the game! I do agree refs miss calls. But players know what is a foul and what is not a foul. They have been playing the game their entire life. I sure hope they have it figured out by now. If they have to ask a ref why there were called for pushing or blocking then they need to study a rule book.

I watch the game and see to many players trying to intimidate refs and to many refs trying to be buddy buddy with players. Keep the talking out of it and play against the other team.

I hope you never ref a game I coach, and i'm not joking. Batters and catchers in baseball ask the ump where strike or ball was when he called it, why can't a player ask what he did wrong, especially if one of the other refs didn't call it that way? Your saying they can't ask a simple question on interpretation? I've attended and watched thousands of games and in every one the players asked refs about calls in a calm reasonable way and got calm reasonable answers.

As others have stated, being consistent is the key. I like the example in the story questioning why Amare didn't get a T for his "and one" complaint. That is showing the refs up as much as a question asked that no one heard.

Kegboy
10-14-2010, 10:55 PM
Speed limit is a great example. When you get stopped for speeding, it is never because you were going one mile over the limit -- it is because you were going 15 or more over the limit.

I knew somebody who got a ticket for going one mile over the limit on Christmas Day.

/digression

imawhat
10-15-2010, 03:39 AM
I've seen about 12-15 preseason games so far, and I must say I've really enjoyed the decrease in player interactions with the refs.

For the most part, the shenanigans are gone. I'm glad this rule was implemented. It's a better long-term play. Nobody wants to pay big money to watch star players get ejected, but the real problem is the spoiled millionaire reputation. Nobody wants to see a millionaire whine and complain all the time, and it's those attitudes that are preventing non-fans from becoming fans.

dohman
10-15-2010, 10:05 AM
I hope you never ref a game I coach, and i'm not joking. Batters and catchers in baseball ask the ump where strike or ball was when he called it, why can't a player ask what he did wrong, especially if one of the other refs didn't call it that way? Your saying they can't ask a simple question on interpretation? I've attended and watched thousands of games and in every one the players asked refs about calls in a calm reasonable way and got calm reasonable answers.

As others have stated, being consistent is the key. I like the example in the story questioning why Amare didn't get a T for his "and one" complaint. That is showing the refs up as much as a question asked that no one heard.


I have no problem telling a kid what is going on or to knock it off. But these are grown men. Usually when they asked what they did its in a condescending way and they know what they did wrong.

Dece
10-15-2010, 10:51 AM
Usually when people make statements like that they have no idea what they are talking about, are making unsubstantiated assumptions, and are then trying to pass them off as fact.