Tag: Bill Kennedy

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Grant Hill and Reggie Evans in the worst ejection ever


Grant Hill and Reggie Evans got ejected from a preseason game last night for patting each other on the butt. Seriously.

It may be the worst ejection we can remember in the NBA. Referee Bill Kennedy is in mid-season overreaction form.

It happened while the Raptors were blowing the Suns out of the building Wednesday night (don’t read anything into that, it’s preseason). Follow this link to DailyMotion to see the video, but here’s what happened.

The play before there had been a little standing next to each other and jawing between Suns and Raptors players, particularly Hill and Evan. Nothing too malicious but the refs gave both the “hey let’s calm down everybody” double technical. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then when the ball comes in bounds it ends up with Hill in the mid-post defended by Evans, so Hill tries to go to the quick spin move around him. Hill is bumped and slips to the floor. Hill gets up and — as athletes in every sport do all the time — he patted Evans behind. Evans tapped him back harder, so Hill turned and gave Evans one more solid tap.

Technical. And an ejection by Kennedy. Evans and Hill walk off laughing, the crowd booing the ref first then cheering the two players.

The twitter timeline for NBA people at the game — such as Holly McKenzie — lit up with “are you kidding me” posts just like the announcer on the video did. With good reason. We’re in the preseason and we may already have the worst ejection of the season. Kennedy has a quick trigger, but this is really outdoing even himself.

NBA finals, Lakers Celtics Game 3: Officiating is already the story, and tip off is eight hours away


Nicholson_officials.jpgMy plea has fallen on deaf ears.

After seeing 134 free throws through the first two games, after seeing the officiating and fouls called play a key role in both games, the announcement of the referees for Game 3 has led basketball fans everywhere to say, “Are you kidding me?” In Boston and Los Angeles, you can insert a few expletives into that sentence.

Your officials for Game 3: Bill Kennedy, Bennett Savatore and Danny Crawford.

Celtics fans are convinced Bill Kennedy has it in for them. The most public and recent incident is when Kennedy tossed Rasheed Wallace from a game against the Sixers in December (a game the Celtics lost). Last year he tossed Doc Rivers from a game then got in a staring match with him.

Bennett Salvatore? Phil Jackson got fined back in April when after a game he said you never know what you are going to get with Salvatore. Lakers fans are convinced that Salvatore has it in for their team — but that is a huge bandwagon. Everybody thinks Salvatore has it in for their team. Boston fans included.

So after two games of calling the game tight and not letting it look like an NBA finals, the NBA is sending out two of the most controversial referees in the league? Things will get interesting.

This is all a bit like the Tim Donaghy situation. Actually look at the data and it’s clear Donaghy is full of crap. He doesn’t stand up to any test. But it’s about perception. People have long been suspect of NBA referees, and now a former NBA referee is saying they were right so they believe him. It’s that simple.

When you break down the numbers, Kennedy doesn’t call any more technicals against the Celtics than other officials do. But that doesn’t matter, it’s about perception. Celtics fans are convinced he does and will react that way.

After two tightly called games, two controversial officials are going to be watched like hawks and blamed for things beyond their control. But they also could well influence the game, as their peers did in the first two games. The good news, Crawford is one of the best out there. So it will not be three blind mice tonight

Tim Donaghy makes wildest claim yet, crosses about eight lines of decency


Tim Donaghy has no credibility. In addition to the fact he is a disgraced referee with a gambling problem who spent time in jail for his crimes, reasonable studies looking into his claims — people that broke down the numbers — showed he was full of crap. The claims he made turn out to be false.

So, the only way he can keep his name in the public eye is to make up more outlandish claims.

And now he has crossed all sorts of lines.

On the Celtics Late Night blog talk show, he said that referee Bill Kennedy is gay, and that he holds a grudge against the Celtics because Doc Rivers questioned his sexual orientation. (All this via Reds Army.) This led to calls against the Celtics, he claimed.

First, who cares who Kennedy sleeps with? I honestly have no idea and nor do I care. What matters is the quality of his officiating. It’s a non-issue.

Second, Donaghy’s claims have all been crap so far, there is no need to buy this one. It is going to get a lot of media attention (and frankly I had a crisis of conscious about running it and talked with my bosses). But know that it is crap.

Go and read the work TrueHoop — Henry Abbott and Kevin Arnovitz — did. His claims do not stand up to any rigorous test, and there is a lot more research that will come out saying the same thing. So we put out there what he said, but add that the source is crap and, frankly, we doubt that the bias would stand up to any real test.