MILWAUKEE — I gave this some serious thought on the flight here today, and I think the NBA’s crackdown on complaining about referees’ calls or non-calls is a wise move. So far, though, the referees aren’t letting the players get away with anything. Nothing. Every wave of the arms or vocal outburst, no matter how brief, is grounds for a technical foul.
Keep your hands up too long, it’s a technical. Grumble about a call, it’s a technical. The rule needs to be tweaked a bit. Lamar Odom shouldn’t have been T’d up late in Sunday’s game for yelling, “And one,” after he believed he had been fouled. It seemed a little harsh given the closeness of the score and the late time in the game.
There have been a few other instances around the league when the referees have gone too far. NBA commish David Stern wants an end to the whining and complaining. OK, fine. But this is an emotional game and the players should get a chance to vent a little for a second or two. No one wants a running words between players and referees.
The constant complaining is pointless and should be curbed, but when a player shouts after a play and then shuts up, that should be the end of it. The punishment has to fit the crime. In the case of Odom on Sunday, the punishment did not fit the crime. Odom had a beef (it looked like he was fouled) and he should have been granted a moment to air it.
I don’t think I’m wrong here.