What appeared to be a harmless swipe turned into a phantom blow the NBA decided to suspend.
Fans should get used to the harsh rulings.
The NBA suspended Toronto’s Joey Dorsey for one game following an altercation with Chicago Bulls forward Brian Scalabrine, where the former Memphis Tiger swung his arm at the head of the nine-year veteran. It occurred late in the fourth quarter of the Bulls’ 109-90 win over the visiting Raptors on Tuesday.
It seemed to be an offense that only warranted an ejection, the league handed out a strict ruling on Dorsey`s behaviour, deciding to make an example of the 26-year-old with its new zero tolerance rules. This is just another baffling course of action taken by the league in implementing the stricter technical foul policy.
“The new unilateral rule changes are an unnecessary and unwarranted overreaction on the league’s behalf,” said Billy Hunter, NBA Players Association director, to ESPN.com. “We have not seen any increase in the level of ‘complaining’ to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behaviour toward the officials.
“Worse yet, to the extent the harsher treatment from the referees leads to a stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work, we fear these changes may actually harm our product. The changes were made without proper consultation with the players association, and we intend to file an appropriate legal challenge.”
In an effort to curb the amount of complaining about calls, NBA referees have been instructed to whistle technical fouls against players who made demonstrative gestures, who continue complaining after being warned to stop, or who approach the officials in an aggressive manner. The NBA has also warned assistant coaches to stay seated or risk being assessed a technical foul.
Throughout the preseason players and coaches have been scratching their heads as the technical fouls continue to pile up. In the first 59 exhibition games, there have been 69 technicals called compared to the 51 techs handed out through the first 62 match-ups last season, according to ESPN.com.
Some of the more timid calls were made in a game Wednesday between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. Kevin Garnett was ejected after drawing two technicals for complaining about a tech called against teammate Jermaine O’Neal. In the same game, Knicks centre Timofey Mozgov was handed a tech for speaking Russian under his breath as he walked past the officials.