Patrick Patterson is one of the many players frustrated with the officiating this season — players are always frustrated with the referees, it’s the nature of the relationship as players push the rules and the refs try to enforce them. This year players have been more vocal about their concerns, tensions are rising, and the players’ union and referees union are going to sit down and talk (and the NBA League Office wants to be part of the solution, although all the two unions really agree on is the league is part of the problem). The league’s Last Two Minute reports are coming under increased scrutiny as players, coaches and referees say they don’t like them.
Oklahoma City’s Patterson was so frustrated after a recent game he Tweeted this out (NSFW language).
That earned him a $10,000 fine from the league on Sunday. Patterson is a smart veteran, he knew the fine was coming when he posted it.
NBA officials have made plenty of mistakes this season (more than normal, I’m not sure), but they are humans trying to referee an incredibly fast game that calls for hundreds of instant decisions a night. Mistakes are going to happen, but the league needs to find a way to reduce the number.
That said, NBA players throw up their arms and whine about a lot of calls every night — there seem to be complaints from one side or the other on any contested drive or shot. On some the players may have a legit gripe, but on the vast majority the referees get it right, the players are either: 1) convinced they didn’t commit a foul (when was the last time Russell Westbrook thinks he committed a foul, back at Leuzinger High School?); 2) They are working the officials trying to get an edge on future calls. The latter is what goes on most of the time, but if you’re an official how much of that can you hear a game and keep tuning it out?
There needs to be better communication between players and referees, but it’s a two-way street.