Wizards' Trevor Booker Says Blake Griffin Benefits from 'Superstar' Treatment

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2013

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Honesty is Trevor Booker's favorite policy.

Booker was called for a technical in the Washington Wizards' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers for getting tangled up with Blake Griffin. Afterward, he expressed disdain for the call itself, Griffin and NBA superstars in general.

"He pushed me, I pushed him back," Booker explained, via CSN Washington's J. Michael. "I got the tech. That's how it goes. Superstar never gets that tech."

This isn't the first time an opposing player has alleged Griffin receives preferential treatment. Back in 2012, DeMarcus Cousins told Sports Illustrated Griffin was coddled by the entire association:

He's babied. He's the poster child of the league. He sells tickets, but he's babied. Bottom line.


The refs, the league -- period. He gets away with [everything]. He taunts players. Nothing is done. He's babied.

Seems Booker and Cousins should start a club. The "Blake is Babied" club; BIB for short. The fact that babies typically don bibs during mealtime fun is a happy accident.

Superstar calls have long been debated. Do they exist? Are they an actual thing? Yes. Yes, they are.

ESPN's Henry Abbott elaborated last April:

But I also saw a lot of, well, weak calls. Fouls whistled for contact that was incredibly light, or in some cases nonexistent.


If it seems like stars get a lot of help from the referees, it's because it's true. They draw a hell of a lot of calls.

This claim is not new, or is it even really disputed.

Think of it as an unspoken fact. Superstars are pampered because they're superstars. Top players are favored because stars are what make the NBA go around and the green pile up.

Superstars get calls. Fact.
Superstars get calls. Fact.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Unknown rookies won't get the benefit of the doubt against LeBron James. Robert Sacre of the Los Angeles Lakers couldn't deck Dwight Howard and get away with away it. If Average Joe finds himself intertwined with an All-Star, it's the (more) common man who will be whistled for the foul—most of the time.

This is nothing new, nor does it surprise Booker, who was expecting to receive a technical against the Clippers.

"I knew coming in I'd probably get one," Booker said, via Michael. "It's always a physical game with me and Blake. We just can't seem to get along."

Maybe that's because Griffin is a three-time All-Star and Booker has averaged more than 20 minutes per game just once in his career. Maybe it's because whistles favor Griffin more than they ever will Booker.

Maybe it's because superstars are viewed as royalty, fit for a feast with all the trimmings, while role players are pedestrian, relegated to the children's table where boiled carrots are being served.

One thing to consider: Booker is wrong. Somewhat.

Technicals are called on superstars more often than the Bookers of the NBA. Three of the four current technical foul leaders have been selected to multiple All-Star games, or 80 percent. One of them is Griffin, who is tied with Dwight Howard and Amar'e Stoudemire for the second-most technicals in the NBA (five). So, there's that.

Chin up, Trevor.


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