Techs, Fouls, and Flagrants: Why "Old" Skool Was So Kool

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IMay 8, 2009

Now I know there are millions of these already out there, but I just cannot express enough how bad the calls on flagrants and so-called technicals have been.

Over the past two decades, the calls that the referees and the executives make have just gotten worse. They call tiny things as technicals or flagrants in order to keep the game under control.

Most of us saw how the Pacers-Pistons brawl played out. Now that was deserving of a flagrant two and fines.

The Shock-Sparks brawl was also deserving of flagrants and fines. These were actual fights with a handful of players throwing fists and using foul language.

Back in the '80s to the early '90s, hard fouls and "excessive force" were much more aggressive than it is today. You had Kevin McHale giving Kurt Rambis a clothesline—he probably learned it from the Hulkster himself. McHale was eventually ejected from the game, but no suspension followed.

In another game, Bill Laimbeer of the Pistons got it handed to him by Robert Parish when Parish took his fist and laid it out on Laimbeer's head. That was deserving of an ejection.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think he got suspended for that either.

Now, Derek Fisher just checked Luis Scola as I'm writing this (yesterday night). Fisher has been called for a flagrant two foul and has been ejected. He will probably be suspended for this.

Now tell me, Stu Jackson...if Fisher is suspended for this, why not suspend Rajon Rondo for throwing Kirk Hinrich into the broadcasters' booth and attempting to throw an elbow?

Fisher saw Scola coming, and this was indeed intentional in my opinion. Fisher was trying to get back Scola for his jabber to Luke Walton and Lamar Odom. This would have been a bad call if Fisher didn't make it seem obvious he was going in for the kill. 

Phil Jackson has just said, "I'm upset at the fact that some guy in our Jazz series did something like that to one of our players and it was called a foul. Not a flagrant one, or a flagrant two. It is a matter of consistency of what the refs call a foul and not a foul."

Jackson nailed the stake in the vampire's coffin. Fisher did deserve it because he actually tried to hurt him.

Ron Artest just got tossed from the game for getting up in Kobe Bryant's face. Personally, I love testy games. Artest was arguing that Kobe elbowed him in the throat, which he did in the replay I saw.

The refs did not want to hear it, so being the thug Artest is, he went up to Kobe to give him a little talk and eventually got tossed.

Bad call again.

I expected at least a technical, but not an ejection. The way Artest went up to Kobe, though, was like an, "I want to fight you right here, right now" sort of approach.

Now I don't know if the refs ejected Artest because of his approach, or his best Undertaker-like R.I.P impersonation. If you look at the replay the first time, it looks like Artest was signaling the tombstone on Kobe, but that's probably not what the refs thought. 

Ironically, Stu Jackson was in the building punching in notes to himself on his BlackBerry, saying, "Looks like I have to suspend some people tonight. Good paycheck."

Today, the league suspended Fisher and Rafer Alston, plus assessed a flagrant one foul to Kobe. Alston was suspended because he took a swing at Eddie House's head after he made a tough three-pointer in front of Alston.

If they suspended Rafer for that, suspend Bryant for his elbow. Nobody knows the reasoning behind that play Alston made.

It could be that House said something after he made the shot, or Alston was trying to give him a friendly pat on the head saying, "get out of here, man," which House took a different way.

Just my opinions though.

Kobe should be suspended for his elbow if Alston was suspended for his slap. If not, the league should somehow un-suspend Dwight Howard, because his elbow on Samuel Dalembert was him trying to fight his way out of the tangle.

You can see Howard turning to run back before throwing the elbow. I believe Kobe was trying to do the same.

If these NBA execs actually played some basketball, they'd know what it's like. It gets physical. You get tangled up, and you try to get yourself out of it by being aggressive back.

Funny how refs see the second crime, not the first. The league totally contradicts their calls between different players.

I feel like the league is playing favourites here. It seems that they want to give the advantage to the team they want to win so it would be easier for the Lakers or Cleveland to beat the team that had the advantage.

Basically what I'm saying is that they want to give the Lakers and Cavaliers easier paths to the finals, which equal better ratings for TV.

The technical foul on Kenyon Martin was sufficient enough. He did not need to get fined and have the tech upgraded to a flagrant one.

"The NBA is amazing, absolutely amazing," George Karl was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Denver Post. "That's all I'm going to say, other than it's way out of line, crazy.

"I'm confused. I saw some hits in Chicago-Boston, Atlanta-Miami, and this was not on top of the list from my observation," Karl said.

"They're trying to make the game a basketball game and not a wrestling match or boxing match," he added. "The consistency (is) what we're trying to figure out."

That leads me back to Phil Jackson's quote. I believe the league should realize by now that when two great NBA coaches agree on the same thing, something is wrong.

"It seems like the interpretation has been on past history, and I'm not sure that's the way it should be. Kenyon is a tough defender that at times gets the wrong interpretation because he's so tough," the coach said.

Artest was ejected from the Lakers-Rockets game because of past history. I agree with Karl. That is not the way the officiating should be.

Stu Jackson should look back on every single call he made. Last year against the Hawks, Kevin Garnett elbowed Zaza Pachulia. There was no suspension. It just angers me, and I'm sure others think that this guy should be fired.

In a game against the Pistons, Shaq got ejected after trying to break Rodney Stuckey's body.

This, again, was a bad call.

Shaq went up to stop him for scoring, and Stuckey altered his body, which led to Shaq missing the ball and hitting his arm with excessive force.

He tried to hold Stuckey (which was impossible at the angle between Shaq and Stuckey) by putting his hands underneath, but got tangled up.

The league should do themselves, and us, all a favour by firing Stu Jackson. He has made so many bad calls, including the hip check on Steve Nash.

"Old Skool" was kool.

New school is not.


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