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March 06, 2010

Reacting to Wallace's ejection

 I was pretty shocked an NBA referee would describe what Gerald Wallace did Saturday as "vicious.'' If that's vicious, then there are plenty of vicious plays in an NBA game that should result in ejections.

I'm glad lead official Monty McCutchen responded to our question, through a pool reporter, about precisely what Wallace did to be ejected. He's not required to speak to the media in these situations.

 But I was taken aback by the word "vicious'' in McCutchen's description. I understand why any blow -- or potential blow -- to the head could be a big deal. But I've seen plenty of things happen in an NBA game this season that were more dangerous -- and dramatically more malicious -- than what I saw in the replay of Wallace's act.

I thought Bobcats coach Larry Brown made a valid point after the game about how little discretion referees now have to do what's right and fair. Brown was talking generically, rather than speaking specifically to the Wallace situation:

"This is a human kind of game and with the older guys (referees of past generation), they were all about (whether an) advantage or disadvantage'' was created, Brown described. "We had more of a flow to the game and now we have the letter of the law.''

My view: The NBA has made refereeing less of an art and more of a science. I'm not sure that tradeoff is good for the product.

Posted by Observer Sports on March 6, 2010 at 11:54 PM | Permalink


"My view: The NBA has made refereeing less of an art and more of a science."
Using discretion, making subjective calls - that's exactly what makes referees exasperating, often unbearable, to fans. Depending on whose fan you are, you'll look at the same call as very smart, or biased and horrible. That's why, Rick, I'll go with the NBA on this one: more rigor and strictness, less room for subjective calls or ref's discretion.

As for Gerald's ejection, just watch the replay; it was such an unnecessary move he made. After the referees confirmed that they made their decision only after watching the replay, this issue was closed for me. As for comparing this to other rough fouls, all I can say is: this is exactly bearing out that you should have as much as possible strict, standard, implementation of the rules, rather than subjective/discretionary calls.

I've been Gerald's fan since he became a Bobcat, and actually I saw his potential since he was a bench player in Sacramento. He said that everybody knows that "he's not that kind of player" (dirty, or brutal). That's right, and it only makes that unnecessary dead ball foul all the more disappointing. Evidently, I am and I will be Gerald's fan, and I don't expect to see such a move from him in any other game.

Posted by: Sandy | Mar 7, 2010 12:44:26 AM

I certainly respect you thinking that way, but let me briefly give you the opposing argument.
Let me tell you what is exasperating: When one team is up 30, there are two minutes left in the fourth quarter, and the most trivial of judgment-call fouls are called and the next morning you run into the referee who made that call at the airport.
You ask him what in the world he was thinking, wasting everyone's time with such a silly toot of the whistle. The ref smiles back, rolls his eyes and explains how big brother -- the league office -- expects every second of every game to be called as if it's Game 7 of the NBA Finals and the score is tied with 10 seconds left.
That defies all common sense. An analogy: You're walking down a deserted country road. There isn't a car moving within miles. You cross that road. And out of nowhere, Barnie Fife jumps from the bushes to arrest you for jaywalking. That's too often what happens in an NBA game. (I'm not saying that's what happened with this Wallace incident. I'm telling you that discretion is not a bad thing, and it's been abolished in the NBA).

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Mar 7, 2010 1:06:57 AM

That ref was wrong...a foul was all that was required. I'll bet the ref is overturned by the league office and Gerald won't be suspended.

Posted by: MajorLeague | Mar 7, 2010 1:28:23 AM

Blah Blah!!!!!!!!

We all know Wallace is a,,, Lion to thrash/ Antelope...!

Posted by: fox has to go!! | Mar 7, 2010 1:46:42 AM


Posted by: fox has to go!! | Mar 7, 2010 1:47:57 AM


Read The Diff..
OK!! Bobcats/miami........... EVAN!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: fox has to go!! | Mar 7, 2010 1:57:23 AM

referees are ridiculous...yes he was wrong.... but not vicious......referees are vicious with their idiot calls.

Posted by: MajorLeague | Mar 7, 2010 2:53:22 AM

I can count on two hands the number of games I have attended over the last several seasons, and that amounts to 30 plus games per year, where I thought the game was really well officiated. Those were not all Bobcats wins so that is not my criteria for judgement. I think the quality of officiating in general has suffered. I think LB has more than earned the right to his comments. Please also drop this ridiculous banter about a name change. There is nothing wrong with Bobcats. Where are all of these whiners when it's time to buy a ticket and put their fannies in the seats on a Tuesday night with no Lakers in town? If you want a name change, then place your name on the bottom line of a 250 million dollar check and you can call them anything you want. Until then shut up. I can't believe how many votes there were on this subject. There are nights where there aren't that many people in the stands.

Posted by: Claydog | Mar 7, 2010 6:53:34 AM

Not saying what Gerald did was right, but how many elbows have you seen K G throw without even a foul being called, much less an ejection? I think GW does a remarkable job of keeping his cool considering how many hard fouls he takes

Posted by: Claydog | Mar 7, 2010 7:13:46 AM

ok gerald now you are part of the thug league now with me, they won't let you forget i choked a coach before, it was just an accidet and now they will do the sae to you..but we thugs must stick together..i support your elbow throwing 100%

Posted by: latrell sprewell | Mar 7, 2010 8:02:42 AM

Its amazing how lost in life some of these people are today.
So you make a page, and use a former NBA players name (with a bad wrap) and act like you are him. For what? Some attention??
Paris Hilton really turned our youth in a BAD direction... lol.

Posted by: T-Bro | Mar 7, 2010 9:38:16 AM

I've seen players do worse and not get any punishment. Ron Artest nearly punched Joey Graham this year and nothing happened. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb0cyOGWFjY

Posted by: Yo | Mar 7, 2010 2:35:33 PM

I liked your answer to my post, Rick, especially the Barney Fife analogy! It shows that at some point referees need to use some common sense, not just the strictest carrying out of the rules.
But I have to say that I still think last night's call was right, and we probably need such calls to be made more often, in order to discourage unnecessary brutality in this league. (Claydog mentioned KG; how about Kobe - as much as I appreciate him, he's another master at throwing "innocent" elbows).

Again: Gerald is a great young man of great character, and that particular motion he made doesn't tell anything more general about him. Lattrell Sprewell, sure he isn't.
It was one incident, and we move on.

Posted by: Sandy | Mar 7, 2010 3:02:47 PM

How many times has Wallace been fouled hard going to the basket, and nothing really said. The no call the other night with Artest, which was clearly a foul. Bobcats don't get any respect from the officials, and it is ashame.

Posted by: David | Mar 7, 2010 5:53:19 PM

Remember last year when Andrew Bynum injured Gerald Wallace? He broke some of Gerald's ribs and punctured a lung. Bynum wasn't playing the ball, it was a flagrant-2. Bynum was not even suspended. Watch this video and tell me Bynum shouldn't have gotten a 1-2 game suspension. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbcjL7AVxMA

Posted by: Yo | Mar 7, 2010 6:42:19 PM

It would have been vicious had he connected and to be ejected he should have connected!!!

Posted by: Hater Hater | Mar 8, 2010 12:04:52 PM

All the comments are thoughtful, but be reminded that Gerald has to be a better player than that elbow play. He's the captain of this team, and he need to set standards for himself. Hopefully, he learns from this ejecttion and to be a better leader, sportsman, etc.

Posted by: nunu | Mar 8, 2010 4:30:31 PM

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