Talk about getting Stern: This season NBA refs have shorter fuses and quicker whistles
IF NBA COMMISSIONER David Stern had one complaint with his players' on-court behavior it was that they griped too much. Last month Stern announced a zero-tolerance policy toward whining—and sent a memo detailing what will no longer be allowed: profanity, disrespectful actions and "excessive complaining." The question was, Would the NBA have the guts to toss stars out of games?
Yes, it would. Rasheed Wallace (17 T's last season) was tossed in Detroit's opener, and Carmelo Anthony (10 T's a year ago) was ejected from Denver's game the next night when he almost casually flung his headband as he walked to the bench after picking up a foul. "It's [garbage]," says Wallace, who holds the record for technicals (41) in a season. And it's not just the chronic complainers getting busted: In the first six days of the season, there were 57 technicals, up from 20 in the same period last year. "[Officials] are going to be open, always, to very positive dialogue," said Heat coach Pat Riley. "But if you come at 'em and you do things that sort of mock and humiliate them or you cuss at them, it's going to be automatic."