Blog Entry

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Posted on: October 15, 2010 8:22 pm
NBA players complaining about new rules designed to stop complaining won't result in league executives rethinking the crackdown, a person with knowledge of the situation told Friday.

"I don't think it will have any effect," said the person, who has knowledge of the NBA's strategy but wasn't authorized to discuss it.

So after a flurry of technical fouls and a stridently worded threat of legal action from the National Basketball Players Association, it appears that the NBA and its players' union are headed for a showdown only months before the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire.

After the Celtics' Kevin Garnett was ejected Wednesday night in the latest incident highlighting the league's crackdown on whiners, the NBPA issued a statement calling the rule changes "unnecessary and unwarranted," saying they could cause a "stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work" and "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," the statement said.

There has been no public comment from commissioner David Stern or any of his lieutenants in light of the NBPA's threat. But the person with knowledge of league's strategy said officials are determined to put a stop to constant complaining about calls and verbal abuse of officials and won't cave as a result of the NBPA's threat.

The closest parallel in recent showdowns between the NBA and the union came during the 2006-07 season, when league executives backtracked on their switch to a synthetic Spalding ball after years of using a leather ball. The synthetic ball was widely panned by players, and the union filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board saying it wasn't consulted about what amounted to a drastic change in working conditions.

(I know those of you who work in the real world are snickering, but this is the terminology that the lawyers use to arrive at common-sense solutions that are obvious to the rest of us.)

After a few weeks, the league pulled the synthetic ball and went back to leather -- though not necessarily in response to the players' grievance. It turns out players were receiving what amounted to paper cuts from the rougher surface of the ball.

This is different -- in a way. On one hand, nobody's health is being endangered by the NBA's crackdown on complaining. But the league did increase the fines for technical fouls, and players' ability to perform could be affected if they're whistled for techs, ejected, or suspended for piling up too many techs. Then there's just the small matter that nobody wants to watch that.

Some -- like Matt Moore of the Facts & Rumors blog -- say too bad. Don't have tantrums like a 5-year-old in the school yard, and you won't be assessed any technical fouls. I say the solution is somewhere in the middle. Clearly, nobody wants to see NBA players griping about every call and non-call. The gesturing, cursing, pointing and other expressions of disbelief that various players possibly could've committed a foul ... all that has to go. But nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars to sit in the stands and watch Kobe Bryant get ejected from a game under these new rules. (And believe me, he will.)

In the end, this won't be solved by grievances, lawsuits or other complaining. (Complaining, after all, is what the league is trying to get rid of.) It'll be solved when league officials figure out how to communicate to the referees exactly how far is too far -- and when the refs get a better feel for how to enforce this new normal of on-court behavior. And yes, it'll be solved when the players adjust to their new boundaries.


Since: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2010 6:53 pm

Source: I hate that Idiot chairman Stern

The refs SUCK in the Nba and instead of putting in instant replay to ensure a fair game The league is fixing games by ec=jecting players over nothing. First the Refs fix games by being bad and now the league to hide their ineptitude.

Since: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2010 6:52 pm

Source: I hate that Idiot David Stern

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: October 17, 2010 6:31 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue


Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2010 7:38 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Sportsmanship has got to start at the top leagues to filter down to the college, high school, junior high, and grade school levels.  I used to officiate basketball and football -- it's amazing what people see on TV and believe they can get away with.

Or, if the players can whine, swear, gripe, and groan...why can't the officials tell them to shut the bleep, stop the bull bleep, or simply "quit acting like a 3 year old"? 

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2010 5:43 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Spot on my friend

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 4:12 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

Im glad they are starting to enforce the no-whining rules. They should have done this long ago. Im so sick and tired of players (Kobe Bryant at the top of the list) whining after every call and non-call. Kobe is by far the worst, every time he ventures into the paint he expects the phantom foul call while falling all over the court then whines and moans until he gets it, its embarrassing as an NBA fan to watch. 

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 2:47 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue


Nicely said.

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 1:06 pm

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

this is the latest reason i will never watch the NBA ..quality of the games are at an all tim elow..the refs are allready the 2nd worse in sports but barely behind baseball umps..the players are thugs and cry babies without half the talent of the players who established the NBA ....stern is an idiot who fails year after year to fix anything of substance..and then we had the fiasco of lebron and his 3rd person TV special hopefully will be seen less and less and good riddance i say  

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:52 am

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

The NBA is the dumbest pro sport in the US.  David Stern is a douche bag, players are thugs and babies and control the league (free agent signings this summer were the dumbest I have seen).  There is so much more to life than a fixed game acted out by felons.  Initially when the Sonics got jacked from Seattle and moved out to a pasture, I was pissed.  But I am so over it now and couldn't care less.  MLB and NFL are twice the game and college hoops trump the NBA by a landslide - not even close.  It seems all of the moves made by the NBA simply pound more nails in the coffin.  For this being America, they spend most of their time gag ordering people and punishing "whiners."  I didn't need any more reasons not to watch the stupid game, but thanks anyway.  ..l.. you David Stern.

Since: Sep 26, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2010 9:22 am

Source: League won't cave on tech issue

How about instead of ejecting players for complaining, the NBA makes stricter guidelines as to what is a foul and not a foul etc, etc...Instead of making the calls so much of a judgement call by the refs. It has been backed up that referees go after players that they don't care for,i.e. Allen Iverson, and lets face it they just have too much control over the outcomes of games. You can call a fould on Shaq every time he touchees the ball, or you can just call 1 and nobody would think any different because there is soo  much grey area and the interpretation is left too much in the hands of the refs. Nobody pays money to see thier superstars ejected for arguing a foul, that the last time down court wasn't a foul... The league should focus on the referees doing thier jobs and not getting rid of thier product that people pay way too much money to see. And lets face it, if anyone thinks that Donaghy was the only referee that was affecting the outcomes of games, then they just don't have a grip on reality. These guys have way too much control. That should be the issue, who could blame the player when there is just too much incosistency with calls?

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