May 1, 2009

Where bad reffing happens

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

After last night’s assault on Kirk Hinrich by Rajon Rondo, one has to wonder what exactly it takes to get suspended by the NBA in a playoff game. Check out the video evidence on YouTube.

Here’s Rondo clearly smacking Brad Miller in the face on a late, key layup.
Here’s Rondo tangling with Hinrich and taking a swing at him last night.

So why is Rondo playing in Game 7 after two incidents like this, two games in a row? It makes no sense other than that the commissioner wants to keep the Celtics in the playoffs as long as possible. Why? Because that is what’s best for the league. Worldwide, the Celtics having drawing appeal, the Baby Bulls, not so much. So, when an incident like Rondo’s two come along (potential suspension worthy fouls committed by a key player in a close series), the commish has to look the other way for the good of the game.

But herein lays the problem: It’s not for the good of the league. Since when is a guy getting off lightly because of his place on a team, good for the league? Superstar treatment ruins sports. Referees are not supposed to be a league’s stars; the best refs are the ones you don’t notice are there because they are not supposed to have attention drawn to them unnecessarily. Now, in the NBA especially, refs think the game is about them and it’s ruining the sport. Combine that fact with commissioner Stern’s laid back policy against Celtics offenders and it’s a complete recipe for disaster.

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