By Bill Smith
Dr. James Naismith who invented basketball watched the first game ever played from the stands. After a foul, the official was unsure how many free throws to award. Naismith gave the refs a rule of thumb that is still used today:
1 if by hand and 2 if by knee.
At the end of the first quarter of the Bulls Celtics game, Kirk Hinrich blocked Rajon Rondo away from the ball. Rondo grabbed Hinrich by the arm and swung him into the scorers table. Hinrich responded by charging Rondo but the refs separated them before anything else happened. The call was a technical foul on Hinrich and a Flagrant 1 foul on Rondo.
That makes me wonder what you have to do to get tossed out of a playoff game. Are we playing under WWE rules where anything short of hitting your opponent over the head with a folding chair is just a Flagrant 1? I hope that there is a no weapon rule in the arena at least for the players and coaches.
Seriously, when you throw an opponent into the scorers table, you ought to get tossed yourself. Rondo did not. That led to a physically brutal game. It sends exactly the wrong message to the other teams as well. Anything short of brass knuckles is fine.
It is time for the refs to do their job and toss players that intentionally attempt to hurt an opponent. The NBA claims that it tells refs to work games consistently withing the game and from the regular season to the playoffs. That is clearly not the case. I can not believe that if that had happened in a regular season game Rondo would have been permitted to continue playing the game.
We will see if the NBA is serious about officiating or not today. If Rondo is suspended for the final game, I will apologize for doubting the commissioner. However, I predict that will NEVER HAPPEN.
So it is up to the powers that are in charge of the league. Do the right thing or expect more tackle basketball in the rest of the playoffs this season. Who knows what might happen next. Whatever that may be, the league will experience the same lack of guts we have seen here.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]