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David Stern talks technicals. Again.


Not one technical was called on a player in the Celtics and Heat season opener. Two teams with guys known for lighting into officials.

In the Lakers game Lamar Odom got called for an early offensive foul said, something to the referee but you could see him pause, and just think better of it and back up. In early preseason games what Odom did might have gotten a call, but the referees seem to be finding a balance with this.

Then at the end of the first half, Kevin Martin fouled Kobe Bryant while shooting and casually punched the air then ran to the other end of the court in frustration — he got T’d up. For something that seemed fairly innocent but has been called all preseason.

David Stern said it would be like this.

He did, right before the Laker game talking to the media he said a balance would be found.

“You’ll see it as it plays out…” Stern said. “It’s hard. You know what’s okay and what you don’t like. And when somebody thinks they’ve been fouled and rather than getting back on defense they spend the entire time explaining to the referee, all the way up — stop it. That’s only designed to undermine the official.”

Stern was asked about the motivation and spirit of the new crackdown on complaining.

“The spirit of it is our players don’t do that in elementary school, junior high, high school, college, and then they get their masters in complaining when they get to the NBA,” Stern said. “And that’s not a good thing because they’re great players. And they should not be complaining, they should be playing because the more they play the more people love this game.”

That sounds nice in a vacuum, but basketball is an emotional and passionate game. It’s hard to see why Martin running away in frustration is the big deal. But in one other big, nationally televised game opening night, players complained less and referees didn’t have the quick trigger. Maybe that balance will be found long term. But you can also bet there will be some rough spots ahead. And Stern will get to address this situation. Again.

Report: Matt Barnes texted friend that he beat up Derek Fisher, spat in wife’s face

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes reportedly attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife, Gloria Govan.

New details are emerging, and they cast Barnes in an even worse light.

Ian Mohr of the New York Post:

Sources told The Post that Barnes became incensed when his 6-year-old twin sons, Carter and Isaiah, called to tell him that Fisher was at the house.

Following the dust-up, Barnes, 35, texted a pal that he had not only assaulted Fisher, 41, but also took revenge on Govan, one source said.

“I kicked his ass from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face,” the text read, according to the source.

If this becomes a criminal case, Barnes’ text could incriminate him.

In the court of public opinion, the presence of Barnes’ children and his spitting in his wife’s face make this even more disturbing.

Unfortunately, not everyone views it that way. Too many are laughing off the incident.

Albert Burneko of Deadspin had the best take I’ve seen on this situation:

When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.

I suggest reading it in full.