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NBA action is fantastic, except for the constant griping

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This is a cats-and-dogs matter. Frustration with officiating will continue as long as the game itself. But the escalation over the past month has been damaging and, in some ways, disappointing.

Stephen Curry pointing into an official’s face after hitting a game-tying shot. DeMar DeRozan heaving a ball across the court at a referee and having it sail into the stands. Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks crossing every line and entering the referees’ locker room after a playoff loss to protest a call. These have happened in just the past few weeks.

There were more, but I’m specifically bringing up Curry, DeRozan and Marks because they are all high-character people with excellent reputations and a history of good leadership. All of the incidents were unacceptable not just for the actions, but for the example they are setting for their own teams.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The officials, no doubt feeling cornered, are pushing back. There have been 11 ejections already in this postseason. Certainly this total was padded because of the intensity in the Nets-Sixers series, but the officials are on pace to smash the record for most ejections in the past 30 years. There were just three in all of last year’s playoffs. Each case is different — some ejections have been for flagrant foul 2s, meant to protect players — but the numbers suggest referees are on a bit of an edge.3

These are warning signs. If this keeps up, it could lead to a black eye for the league. The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets might be on the verge of the most important playoff series of the year, and both teams have a long history with officials.

Scott Foster, the referee who rates among the best in the game and has a long, tense history with the Rockets and Chris Paul, is probably going to work in the series. It was also Foster at whom DeRozan chucked a ball last week. If a playoff game or series goes sideways because of a player-referee tiff, there are no winners. None.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The way Marks, for example, was cheered by his coaches, players and even his team owner for actions that clearly breach the line is exactly the point. There are plenty of ways to express displeasure and make some sort of stand for your organization without acting so irresponsibly. What’s the next step? Confronting the officials on the court?

It’s not just Marks. Warriors coach Steve Kerr has become the NBA’s conscience, using the capital his immense success has provided to become an activist for causes within the league and outside of it.

He is one of the most valuable and powerful voices in American sport. The NBA is fortunate to have him. Just this past week, Kerr used his influence to warn of the danger Russell Westbrook’s dismissive tone in interviews could have on the league’s popularity.

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