THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
As we look back at the basketball season, there is actually something that stands out to me that may not stand out to the majority of other people. There has been a significant rise in technical fouls, resulting in a less-than-stellar relationship between referees and team personnel.
If you're not familiar with how the technical foul system works in basketball, take the time to look it up before continuing. And even if you are, take the time to review how it differs from league to league, especially in terms of fines and suspensions.
I mention that last part because of the evidence that will really make you scratch your head: Draymond Green actually budgets money for his technical fouls.
You read that right: while wearing the uniform of the Golden State Warriors, a team that is highly touted as arguably the best in the west during this time period, Green has no regard for the shame of the punishment. He keeps cash aside to pay for the fines so that he can act outlandish.
That's the equivalent of saving money for speeding tickets just so that you can watch cops get out of the car in the rain for your enjoyment.
The NBA has a technical foul problem. Thankfully, the league has begun to attempt to fix this, unveiling a program that was implemented in February of this year to better educate all parties on the subjects and create a better understanding between all involved in the hopes of creating empathy that will reduce the amount of technical fouls assessed. The goal is not to remove the emotion from the game, but rather to prevent an escalation of behavior into inappropriate actions that would be wrong in any walk of life.
Look at it this way. In scholastic athletics, officials sometimes use this mantra in explaining to coaches/adults (who are usually also teachers in some way) why they can't act a certain way: if you wouldn't do it in the classroom, what makes you think you can do it here? Think about that. If a teacher wouldn't allow a student to behave inappropriately during class, why should that teacher think he/she can then act out on the playing field when school is over and he/she is now coaching a team?
To bring it full circle, when professional athletes realize that they are equal parts entertainer and athlete, maybe it will sink in a bit more. Fans don't come to watch you argue or get ejected. You get to play a game for a living...a real lucrative living. So grow up and play the game the right way.
Baseball player, umpire, coach, fan; professional musician; founder, President & CEO of The OSIP Foundation, Inc.