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Have NBA referees gone too far in calling technical fouls?

March 06, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss the topic. Feel free to join the conversation with a comment of your own.

Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times

They ought to call them technicality fouls the way the NBA is handing out technicals willy-nilly. When Mr. Nice Guy, a.k.a. Kevin Durant, ranks No. 2 in the league in technical fouls, it might be a pretty good indication that things have gotten out of hand. The next thing you know, Durant will get a technical for kissing his mother before games. It's gotten that ridiculous.

Then again, what do you expect when the NBA has given out technicals for having an opponent push you in the face (see John Lucas versus Kyrie Irving), laughing on the bench (Tim Duncan) and touching your elbow to denote that's where you were fouled (Kyle Korver)? If the NFL is the No Fun League, the NBA is the No Benevolence Assn.

K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

Here's a better question: Have the officials not gone far enough? Every exhibition season, we hear about officials' point of emphasis, with one of them to assess technical fouls for post-whistle histrionics. And yet the game remains filled with "who me?" outbursts galore.

And don't even bring up hanging on the rim after dunks. Is this the NBA or a pull-up contest? Also, whatever happened to keeping coaches in the coaches box? Ah, for the days of the serene Phil Jackson, chilling in his ergonomically-correct chair.

The game is best featured in its purest form. As far as I'm concerned, the more technical fouls, the better to achieve that end.

Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

No. Technical fouls are not the issue, not when you get 15 -- 15! -- before you can incur a suspension (which comes on the 16th), and that's with the league issuing a letter of warning after the 12th of the season.

Plus, technical fouls routinely are rescinded on review by the league office, so those who do wind up with suspensions likely have been whistled for a total closer to 20.

Essentially, if you can't retain your composure to the degree that you are being called for a technical once every four games, then you deserve any punishment that ensues.

The greater point of inspection should be for flagrant fouls, where a single whistle can lead to instant ejection, as was the case this past week with Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea. Yes, review the following day reduced his Flagrant 2 to a Flagrant 1, which would have kept him in that night's game against the Heat. But by then, it was too late.

You get two technicals in a game before ejection. With flagrants, it can be one and done. That's where greater prudence has to enter the equation.

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