Thursday, May 28, 2009

Duct Tape the NBA Whiners

Duct Tape the NBA Whiners

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George KarlHere is a novel idea for anyone watching, playing or coaching the rest of the NBA playoffs:

Stop complaining about the officials.

The next time Phil Jackson does it, they should make him wear duct tape across his mouth.

More than ever before, fueled by whiny players and coaches, pompous television analysts and blowhard columnists, the playoff viewing experience is being ruined by all the blather about the officiating.

Can't we just enjoy the games for what they are: great drama and tremendous entertainment, wonderful highs and lows, all provided by the most talented athletes in the world.

Why does it seem like every game ends now with the losing team and its fans blaming the officials, accusing them of favoring the winners? 

We don't want to hear it.

It was vomit time after the Lakers-Nuggets game Wednesday night when George Karlwalked to the podium, and after being asked about his team's performance, went into a rant about the officiating.

"I thought they (Lakers) got the benefit of the whistle,'' he said.

Sorry, George, but the officials didn't cost you the game. You lost to a better team. Why is that so hard for people to admit?. 

This is not picking on George, who is a really good coach, but picking on the whole atmosphere surrounding the playoffs today, which filters through the sport-viewing public and onto every playground and driveway basketball game.

The passion and emotions that make professional sports so much fun, also have driven both casual fans and hard-core purists into an officiating rage, convinced that the only reason their favorite team isn't winning is because of poor officiating.

What ever happened to winning and losing and the fine line that separates the two?

Debate the coaching decisions, the strength and weakness of the athletes, but please stop questioning the integrity of the officials.

The bottom line is that these are the best officials in the world, working the most difficult game in the world to officiate. No other game has as many split-second, bang-bang calls. If anyone can find better officials, they should send their resumes to David Stern in New York.

They make mistakes and they miss calls, just like players miss shots and make turnovers. It's part of the game. Sure, you could instant-replay every call, or have every call computer analyzed, and then the games would last seven hours like they do in football, and that would be a real joy to watch. 

Stan Van GundySo live with it, and stop whining.

Magic fans think LeBron James is getting all the calls in the Eastern Conference final because the league wants him in the NBA Finals. Cavs fans think James is being jobbed because certain officials don't like him.

Stan Van Gundy said he hates the lobbying other coaches do with officials, then he lobbies hard for Dwight Howard.

It's the same thing in the West with Kobe Bryant. Nuggets fans think he gets away with too much (on the basketball court, that is). Lakers fans don't think he gets the calls he deserves.

Fact is, superstars really don't get calls because of who they are. It just looks that way. They get calls because they are superior players. They play better and more athletically than everyone else, so they deserve those calls.

And yes, too many technical fouls are being called, but that's the way the rules today are written. Rewrite them this summer, but stop complaining now. Whatever happened to good hard playoff fouls? It's nauseating to hear every hard foul being debated as a flagrant.

And for anyone who just thinks that whining is part of the NBA game, look at the example it sets. Go to the schoolyard today and watch the kids play basketball. They can't hardly play a game without arguing anymore. It's what they see in the NBA, so it's what they do now at every level.

It's never your fault if you lose today. Just blame the officials.

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