Where’s the outrage?

6 02 2004

Ten things we learned this week in the NBA

Mike Kahn
By Mike Kahn
SportsLine.com Executive Editor
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SEATTLE — The week before the All-Star break and nothing could have been more infuriating than to see the horrible way in which a veteran NBA official mistreated an entire team Monday night …1. Item: Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles was fined $7,500 for saying the following: “Jess Kersey turned his back on me right from the beginning of the game. I’m not sure why. We weren’t even getting on him at all at that time. He spent most of the game not even acknowledging any of the questions we had or anything else. And really, he was a big baby out there, and it’s really a shame for a guy of his experience to be that way.

The NBA has its reasons for keeping LeBron James from the real All-Star Game.


The NBA has its reasons for keeping LeBron James from the real All-Star Game. (AP)


What it really means: The NBA still doesn’t understand how much certain officials undermine the integrity of games. Kersey refused to discuss anything with Skiles throughout the game and ejected young 7-foot center Tyson Chandler with a second technical foul that was nearly as dubious as the first one.

Then, in the waning moments of the game, Skiles was wrongly informed of his timeout situation and was tagged with a technical foul as well. Even then, Kersey didn’t explain it to him. Kersey and the Bulls locked horns early in the year when he essentially cussed out rookie Kirk Hinrich for complaining about the lack of respect. Hinrich then told Bulls general manager John Paxson, who put in the requisite call to executive vice president Stu Jackson.

Jackson chastised Kersey for it, and the next time Kersey did a Bulls game, he approached Hinrich with, “So, you had to go tell your general manager on me?”

Let’s face it, Kersey is well past his prime anyway. For him to carry grudges into games with the Bulls not only puts into question the subject of suspension, but the fairness of any game he officiates. And the NBA can ill afford any such status.

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