Technical Fouls: Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace Check In

Thomas HalzackAnalyst IOctober 30, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 08:  J.J. Redick #7 of the Orlando Magic (C) is fouled by Kendrick Pewrkins #43 of the Boston Celtics (L) in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 8, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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Can you get a technical foul for just giving a look?

Apparently, that answer is yes.

I figured that something was eventually coming. Perkins and Chandler were getting a bit chippy from time to time and some words were passed here and there.

I didn’t see it go down, but Kendrick Perkins apparently got a tech for taunting Tyson Chandler ‘with a look’, relates Rasheed Wallace, known for collecting a few technicals himself over the years.

What went through your mind when Perkins got his technical?


It was… to me…the first I said, ‘It was BS.’

For the simple fact that the ref said “he (Perkins) taunted him by looking at him (Tyson Chandler). And so, when I got in the game, I commented to that ref. I said, ‘Well I want to see if you (are) gonna call that throughout the year.’

Because there’s certain ‘stuper stars’ that they (the refs) like, that get dunks and all that, and they look at people, and it’s all fine. So I want to see if he’s going to be consistent with that through out the year.

Rasheed Wallace. You have to like him. I always have. He has a loud ‘game time’ persona that I always believed to be his ‘front’. In person, my intuition wasn’t disappointed. Intelligent and personable—when he wants to be. He is one of those guys that seem like a great guy to hang with. He tells you what he thinks. And now that he’s a Celtic, I get to hear it first hand. God is good.

Always a subject of some interest, technical fouls with the Celtics could be factored into this season’s ‘things to watch’.

Rasheed Wallace, last season’s technical fouls co-leader has been added to the Celtics’ ‘library zone quiet’ team of introverts, led by Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, and even Paul Pierce.

Like all top stars, this is not a group you will see attending seminars for self esteem issues. That they are among the more vocal is a given. It is a part of their personalities. They have made it work as they attained unique success in one of the most hyper competitive environments in the world—the NBA.

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Personally, I completely understand referees using technical fouls to control players and games. But consistency has been an ongoing issue of debate with regard to NBA officiating for years now.

The article isn’t about any technicals that Sheed got. Celtics’ big man Kendrick Perkins and Bobcats’ center Tyson Chandler kept an ongoing dialogue for much of the game. Eventually they both got T’ed up. So did Gerald Wallace and Paul Pierce.

Perkins got mixed up with both Chandler and Wallace He was philosophical about the whole thing. It’s about cause and effect. The first one causes it. The second gets the effect. Instigators and retaliators. It’s all that simple.


(Regarding Gerald Wallace)…
I don’t know. I was just trying to go for the offensive rebound. He said I just threw him out of the way or whatever, and he pushed me but …you see… You (are) wrong when you like the retaliator. But you (are) right when you (are) the instigator. So I instigated the situation (with Gerald Wallace) and I ended up getting him a tech.

Tyson Chandler instigated the situation with me and I ended up getting the tech, because I retaliated. So it works both ways .

On the ongoing dialogue during the game with Chandler..

Seems like he was kind of mad at me for whatever reason. But I (wasn’t) doing nothing. I’m just playing hard. You know, he got in foul trouble early. He was frustrated, you know. But I was just trying to play basketball. It wasn’t nothing personal.….big difference between playing Shaq last night, so I just wanted to be extra physical.

I had actually talked to Perkins first. So I wasn’t able to confirm whether he was T’ed up for ‘just looking’ or not.

I think that would set a bit of a new standard for qualifications for getting T’ed up. I’d have to research it more to know for sure.

But I guess, as Rasheed suggests, it’s about consistency as much as anything. You have to know the boundaries for what behavior is considered a ‘technical’ offense.

A new book called Blowing the Whistle by de-frocked, ex-communicated and feloniously convicted former NBA referee, Tim Donaghy just adds fuel to the fire. Donaghy is back in prison for breaking parole. But hold your fire until you finish the article.

Here are a few excerpts that give credence to the idea that technical fouls (and regular fouls) are not always fairly and equitably dispensed…


To have a little fun at the expense of the worst troublemakers, the referees working the game would sometimes make a modest friendly wager amongst themselves: first ref to give one of the bad boys a technical foul wouldn’t have to tip the ball boy that night.

It even occurred with regular fouls to regain control of a physical game…

Similarly, when games got physically rough, we would huddle up and agree to tighten the game up. So we started calling fouls on guys who didn’t really matter — “ticky-tack” or “touch” fouls where one player just touched another but didn’t really impede his progress. Under regular circumstances these wouldn’t be fouls, but after a skirmish we wanted to regain control. We would never call these types of fouls on superstars, just on the average players who didn’t have star status. It was important to keep the stars on the floor.

The book has been pulled from publication at this time, but the material is up on at least one website and Yahoo Sports Dan Wetzel has written a solid article dealing with the book’s content .

Wetzel even mentions Rasheed Wallace….

Consider Rasheed Wallace, who has recorded a record number of technical fouls during his career-long battles with refs. He earned many of them, but he also claimed the refs had it in for him.

“Some of them cats are felonious, man,” ’Sheed famously declared, even before Donaghy became a felon.

But Wetzel makes an interesting observation…

Ask around the NBA this week and you won’t find too many people outside the league office dismissing Donaghy’s claims.

“I read it last night and was laughing, and said, ‘Yep, that’s about right,” one team executive said. “I don’t think anyone is going to dispute the possibility.”

If the NBA’s own front-office people believe this, then how can fans simply dismiss it?

Great point. That it fuels all kinds of refereeing conspiracy theories and paranoia is a given.

But I digress.

That Perkins was given a tech for taunting with a look, and that certain stars won’t get a T for the exact same thing is what bothers Sheed.

To Perkins, it is simply instigating and retaliating…technically speaking. It works both ways.

I agree with Rasheed that it unevenly distributed. I also agree with Wetzel that there is not a top down and league wide conspiracy. At times, individual bias—yes.

But we all knew that.

Stop looking at me that way. I’m calling a referee.

Tom Halzack is the co-creator/author of Celtics Central at the Connecticut News site CTNews.com.  This article first appeared there. Tom also writes for regularly for Celticsblog.com. 

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