Last night the Boston Celtics played a poor game as they fell to the Suns 88-71 on the second night of a back to back in Phoenix. In case you missed it the Celtics did indeed try to get this changed as they flew from Boston to Portland (eastern time to pacific time) then had to fly from Portland to Phoenix (pacific to mountain time) and play a game the very next night after arriving at 4am. Before this reads as a "complaint" I'm just stating that the Suns are one of the last teams you want to play on the road in this situation simply because of their style of play, specifically meaning the pace. Does it bother me the Celtics did not play well? Absolutely. Did the travel help? No, but that is part of the NBA life, and more specifically part of the difficulty of the west coast trips for the east coast teams, especially a veteran team.
So with that being said, what is still bothering me is what Steve Javie did last night and the fact that the NBA will most likely do nothing about it.

Steve Javie's actions last night specifically in his handling of the Doc Rivers' ejection. Rivers didn't curse, nor did he tell Javie that he sucked, he simply said in plain English "It is not about you, it is about the game." He said it sternly and a number of times. And because Javie's ego was threatened because of it he chose to act like an amateur and eject Doc Rivers from the game. Glenn "Doc" Rivers who has given this league and the game of basketball years of service conducting himself with nothing but class as a player, broadcaster and CHAMPIONSHIP COACH. I'm sorry but I don't care if Steve Javie is supporting half the homeless in the United States with his paycheck he still hasn't meant anything near what Doc Rivers has meant to this league, and the greatest franchise in the history of the league. Is being a coach or player in the league both a result of hard work and at the same time a privilege? YES. So is being a referee. But NO ONE paying their hard earned money to buy a ticket or season tickets or NBA League pass is doing so to see Steve Javie or any official do their job. Your job as an official to be invisible. Your job as an official is to make sure the game is called as FAIRLY as possible. Your job as an official is handle yourself as a professional. Steve Javie didn't do any of those things last night. Instead he acted like another ego driven individual who sees himself as something bigger and more important that the people, teams and organizations who are the reason why he has a job as an official in the first place.

I would be remiss if I did not address the Kevin Garnett ejection later in the game. The Suns very easily could have lost that game last night as Michael Pietrus who did his best to awaken the Celtics early in the 4th quarter as he went through a very legal Garnett screen with his elbow and forearm up near Garnett's face got the Boston blood pumping as KG and Pietrus then went nose to nose before being separated. Pietrus for some reason had a lot to say and I guess now thinks he is a tough guy on the very soft Phoenix roster (Steve Nash is far from soft, there is just no one on that team I'd fear going to the rack if I was indeed an NBA player) Pietrus was given an appropriate technical foul. A few possessions later with the Celtics down 11 they forced a turnover, the tide was turning, you could feel the momentum swinging to the now pissed off Celtics as Marquis Daniels pushed the ball up the court, but instead of looking for a teammate he decided to attack the paint where Vince Carter was happily waiting to take the charge. As soon as that whistle blew I knew the game was over. The momentum had abruptly stopped. I just didn't know what would happen next. A few possessions later Channing Frye caught the basketball at the three point line and launched a three. Kevin Garnett closed out on the play and in the process gave Frye a tap in the groin. Garnett also had his foot in the area where Frye would be coming down after shooting the basketball.  The whistle blew and Frye fell, then Frye got up and tried to go after Garnett with finger pointing and yelling, as Garnett just stood there insisting he was contesting the shot. Was it a foul on KG? YES. Was the shot in the groin on the dirty side, YES. Has that been going on for decades at the high school, college and pro level? YES. But after reviewing the play and the scuffle situation Garnett was not looking to fight Frye, though I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't like to see him tear Frye apart limb by limb at center court. All KG kept stating was that he was contesting the shot, that is all.
To then go back to the replay and choose to eject Garnett is almost as baffling as the decision to do the same earlier to Rivers. But when you have someone like Javie making the calls I guess anything is bound to happen.

We can only hope that the NBA takes a look at this and realizes something needs to change, and not from where Doc Rivers is sitting.

The Coach 1/29/2011 03:53:00 PM Edit
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9 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is a new book out called "Scorecasting". It talks about home-court advantage and momentum, etc. The NBA should not take a look at this. Social psychology plays a huge role in every sport and this book statistically backs up why things like this happen, well, not exactly like this situation but the bigger picture in every sport.

  2. DH says:

    Home court advantage is one thing, but for a ref to eject both a coach and a player without good reason is ridiculous. I am OK with calls going a certain way in a team's home court, but what we saw last night was a disgrace to the sport.

    I was really livid last night. Calmed down a bit today. But I still want to start the website firestevejavie.com :)

  3. Bohemian says:

    Awesome article, and couldn't agree more coach.

  4. The Coach says:

    I am debating whether to rally all our troops, meaning online, social networking hoop heads to go after Javie to the point where people start to talk, I am back and forth on whether anything could come of it. Power to the coaches and players!

  5. Banner 18 says:

    Coach, you should receive some type of grand prize or award for this. Seriously. No one could have addressed this topic ANY better. Im still pissed about that fuckin game. Only way i will get over it is if the C's destroy LA tomorrow.

    And @DH, not only should there be a 'fire Javie' site, but there should be one for Delaney and all of the other fucked up refs in the game. Oh, there should be a 'fire Stern' site as well..His 'commissioning' skills are SHIT.

    I hope they removed these techs/fines from Doc and Kevin..they were absolutely uncalled for.

  6. DH says:

    Who was the ref that awarded 5 technicals in 10 seconds during the Timberwolves - Spurs game a few weeks ago? It's stuff like this that really enrages me. Doc hit the nail on the head when he said "It's not about you, it's about the game," and he got ejected for speaking the truth.

    I am a web designer so if you guys think it would actually make a difference if we make a website to call attention to these issues, I am game.

  7. Three Toe says:

    Awesome stuff man! Enjoyed reading this one, and I totally agree!

  8. Not to even mention that it is being announced now that scumbag Joey Crawford, the corrupt piece of crap which he is....will be one of the refs in today's game vs the Lakers.
    He, and our other friend Marat Kogut, (who called the Christmas game which blanketed Shaq with bogus early fouls) will also be calling today's game.
    The front office has defiantly determined that "THEY" will have more to say about the outcome of this screwed up game than the players.
    I don't even know why we waste our time watching this rigged travesty.

  9. Of course, Joey Crawford is the same slimbag who essentially gave Game 7 of the Finals to the Lakers by calling every touch foul that he could imagine against us: handing a 20 F/T differential to the Fakers; thus the game.
    Somehow, the ends up back on the court against us again today.
    Something needs to be done about this hijacking of the sport.
    Whatever anyone comes up with...I'm in.
    Enough is Enough.

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