Enough of the Nonsense

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.