By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
NBA officials are under the microscope in Boston on Thursday morning. The Celtics aren’t playing well lately and lost again to the Spurs on Wednesday at TD Garden, but that doesn’t make the ejection of Kemba Walker any better of a decision.
And speaking of that, the NBA officials’ explanation for the ejection doesn’t make it any better, either. A pool report from the NBA officials’ own Twitter account released three comments from crew chief Rodney Mott on the ejection – none from the young official who actually decided to eject Walker in the first place, Evan Scott.
Mott said the original hard foul on Walker, which was not called and drew Walker’s demonstrative, vulgar reaction in the first place, was simply deemed to be a legal screen in the moment. Officials miss calls all the time so that’s one thing. What was avoidable was Scott handing Walker two technicals within the same profane reaction.
What led to the first technical foul on Walker?
“Per rule, Kemba Walker used profanity towards an official which led to the first technical foul.”
Yeah, but what about the second technical?
“The same. He continued to use profanity and was given a second technical foul and ejected.”
There was no way anyone would be satisfied with the officials’ explanation anyway. But the last answer, especially, said nothing whatsoever. It told everyone what they’d already seen. The question is why Scott decided to give him the second technical so quickly.
As Danny Ainge put it in his interview with Toucher & Rich on Thursday, Walker was upset in the moment as most NBA players are when they take hard contact and it’s not called. But if every official acted as quickly as Scott did in giving Walker two technicals and an ejection within seconds, there would be a hell of a lot of ejections.
Scott himself didn’t even have to answer these questions. Yes, he’s a young official in his first full season. But rookie players and coaches have to face their own music all the time. Leagues protect their officials through these pool reports and they rarely serve to satisfy anyone upset with a particular decision. You saw the same thing with Jerome Boger’s crew after they had just an awful game in the Chiefs’ win over the Patriots in December.
There’s probably nothing more that’s going to come out of this. But it’s just another illustration of why it’s frustrating to deal with bad officiating and how they aren’t held accountable for it like players, coaches, and executives are for their own mistakes.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.