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I’ve been an NBA fan for over 50 years. I have to say that I find the motives for the new David Stern/Stu Jackson ruling to be very suspicious. They claim they instituted this absurd rule because fans are annoyed about players complaining too much. They say that focus groups told them this. I’ve never been annoyed by players complaining. What annoys me is the increasingly poor officiating. Who are these annoyed fans and who are these focus groups? Are they the same so-called fans that are constantly calling NBA players thugs in the blogs? I smell a rat!
I hope the players put a stop to this right now before the season starts. Officiating in professional sports is difficult and subjective. The refs make mistakes. In MLB if a team disagrees with a call the manager comes out on the field and the game stops. In football the teams have the option of appealing a call through instant replay because the NFL is not trying to pretend that the officials are perfect. It’s only in the NBA that Stern and his stooges have insisted on trying to pretend that refs are all-seeing and perfect. Now they’re trying to tell players that they must be robots and play the game with no emotion. This is an outrageous development. After watching the Boston-New York game I was so angry that I had visions of a team, any team, testing the limits of this new ridiculous rule. Make the officials eject every player on the team and see how Stern likes that.
I’m delighted to hear that the players union is going to challenge this new rule. Maybe they should try to kill two birds with one stone and take this opportunity to point out that the real reason that players are complaining is because of lousy officiating. There are too many old dinosaur refs that make knee-jerk calls the same way they did 25 years ago. Even though these older refs are at least consistent, they’ve lost touch with today’s game. And there’s a slew of incompetent younger officials who are so inconsistent in the way they call the games that players cannot adjust and play. This is the real problem that the league should be addressing, instead of trying to control players facial expressions.