NBA Refs' Lack of Respect for Young Players Must Stop

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IJanuary 8, 2009

In the NBA, when young players get their chance to play, they have to earn the respect of the referees. It is not automatically given, so if a young player complains about a foul call, a lack of a foul call, show any bit of emotion, etc...They are the one's more likely to be called for a technical foul or the one getting the foul called on the.

I've seen comments stating that there's a conspiracy among refs in the NBA or that the NBA refs are still getting paid off after the Tim Donaghy betting scandal that rocked the NBA.

Even when a team is extremely talented, but still young, the veteran team is still going to get the majority of the calls. Last year, during a crucial moment in a game for the Golden State Warriors, Monta Ellis was clearly fouled by Derek Fisher. Ellis was pulled to the floor as Derek Fisher was falling , and it happened before the ball was inbounded, which would have meant two free throws for the Warriors.

Don't believe me? Let's take a look at the clip then. Bob Delaney's ridiculous offensive foul call on Monta Ellis. Fisher initiated the contact, Fisher lost his balance, and Fisher was the one that fell down and dragged Ellis with him before the ball was inbounded; but even with the solid team the Warriors had last year, they were a young team as well, and they didn't get respect from the ref Bob Delaney who made the horrendous call.

When a team is have a hard time winning, it's even harder to get calls from officials. I find it laughable after watching last night's game that Pau Gasol was not ejected in the first half with all his outbursts. 

Gasol was whining and complaining about no calls with the Warriors physical defense in the post on him by using Biedrins and Wright. It seemed on every miss that Gasol had he was glaring, complaining, and whining, yet not even a warning to stop.

On another play, Gasol had an easy path to the lane and dunked the ball for an easy two. Instead of just dunking the ball like he usually does, he decided to hang on the rim and pull himself up. That should have been a technical foul, but was there one? No.

So, with his complaining and hanging on the rim, Gasol should have been tossed. Yes, that's right, tossed from he game. But since he's 28 and in his eight season in the NBA he's not going to get those calls from the refs because even though he's as soft as butter, he still get the refs respect.

Take, for example, Anthony Randolph of the Warriors who dunked on Yao Ming. He didn't hang on the rim and pull himself up, but he still got a technical foul from a ref because of his reaction after the dunk. Randolph's technical against the Rockets. 

I can understand why Randolph got the technical for his reaction to the dunk, but there are plenty of players who do the exact same thing who've been in the league for years. Jason Richardson, last year, dunked on Manu Ginobli and glared down at him, but he didn't get a technical Richardson's dunk on Ginobli.

Again, the difference between a player who's been in the league a while now and a player who's just a rookie and it's a shame that it happens. If you're in the NBA, each call should be the same no matter what. There shouldn't be shorter fuses by certain refs based on players reputation or how many years they've been in the league.

I really have a lot of respect for Andris Biedrins, who's now in his fifth year. He's had plenty of questionable foul calls go against especially from defenders stepping over to take a charge. Biedrins rarely complains and usually just goes back down the floor and continues to play tough defense.

After watching Gasol last night, it was sickening to see a grown man act like a spoiled little girl. Whining pretty much the whole first half and looking for foul calls instead of being like Biedrins letting it go and playing defense. Oh wait, never mind, Gasol and defense don't belong in the same sentence.

All I can say is that the NBA needs to get refs on the same page because I can guarantee you that if Stephen Jackson of the Warriors was complaining like Gasol was last night, he would have at least one technical and probably would have picked up the second one as well.

Yet, because Gasol is on the Lakers, he gets special treatment. He doesn't get a technical for riding the refs for most of the first half and he doesn't get a technical foul for hanging on the rim.

The NBA: It's not where questionable refereeing happens; it's where the lack of respect of younger teams happens.  

It's not just the Lakers that get the benefit of the doubt on lack of a call, either. In a game earlier this year against the Celtics in Boston, Biedrins was going up for an easy layup, got raked across the arm by Rajon Rondo, but no foul call was made. 

There have been times where Biedrins has been in perfect defensive position to take a charge, but he will be called for the foul even though he had the position and the offensive player barrelled into him. 

Isn't life grand for a young team like the Warriors? The answer is no, because it has to be frustrating for a young player to know that they can't really complain, show any kind of emotion unless they want a technical, and lastly knowing there's really not much respect from any of the officials.

I'm adding this late because I just found this because it was on the front page of Yahoo, but apparently there was a clown in the audience in Utah who felt like it was a good idea to blow a whistle, on a move downlow by Ronny Turiaf, every player on the court stopped except for one man Kyle Korver who got an uncontested layup. 

It was there it was obvious that everyone on the court heard it, but play went on. Did the referees do anything? No. Jazz fan blows whistle on Turiaf's move down low.