Wednesday , May , 05 , 2010 J.N.

Dwight Howard crying over the Zebras.

"I’m not looking to say anything to get myself in trouble with the league, but I just don’t see other star players getting called for fouls the way I get them," Howard wrote. "No star player in the league is outta games the way I am."

Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 for writing that on his blog. NBA Commissioner David Stern issued a warning to players that he’ll make sure to cause havoc if they keep up the criticism. Some would say that this is not a big deal. Others will try to sweep it under the rug and call it a day.  

The referees get their fair share of criticism. Do they really? Compared to the regular season, the zebras become more scrutinized with the calls usually around playoff time. They should be. It is the playoffs. It is a sensitive time. Money and pride are on the line. A championship, history, and an opportunity to leave a legacy are on the line.

There are tons of missed and bad calls from officials. They’re human after all. If they were robots then that would be another story involving Tim Duncan and Mister Roboto. But alas, they’re not. Here is a recent call that really boggles the mind.

Exhibit A features Steve Nash and Marcus Camby.

Now you tell me, NBA. This was very bizarre.  The past accusations rear their ugly heads again. Am I crazy? This led me to Tim Donaghy’s “Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA.” I have placed this on the backburner for awhile. Some of the excerpts are eye opening to say the least about the process and the referees themselves. He was dismissed because his background was already fishy. Then again, most people called Jose Canseco a liar.

Conseco was not lying was he?

Dwight Howard should be used to the fouls by now. Stop fouling so much. Man up and eliminate your sense of entitlement. This is nothing new or surprising. The NBA fined him for protection; to protect their image. Note to Howard – anything on the Internet is considered public domain including blogs and message boards. He is getting paid tons of luchini. Commenting about the referees is biting the hand that feeds you.

The NBA has the right to punish him. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Remember that there is freedom of speech for ordinary citizens. Howard is an employee. The NBA is a private organization. They can do whatever they want. Dwight Howard and common folks do not have freedom from punishment. Howard commented on a private organization where he is an employee. The NBA is not a government.

My workplace can easily fire, or punish, me if I commented in a negative light about them somewhere online. This goes for everyone.

The problem is this is a sharp dual sword. Both parties are doing equal damage to each other. Past players and coaches who complained have been fined. More complaining will not remedy this.

Despite the fact that Howard wrote on his personal blog (which is considered public domain) makes me wonder about the line. Where does it end? If Kevin Durant tweeted that the refs were terrible then he will be fined as well. That’s why Twitter and NBA players do not mix. If a player told another player that the refs were bad then another official told Stern about this, do they get fined, too?

The NBA is not rigged like many people love to exaggerate. They cannot decide on the outcome beforehand like the WWE. That is absolutely ridiculous and absurd. We love the NBA. I love the NBA. The referees cannot control the ball going in or out of the hoop.

However, is there some manipulation from the zebras? You tell me. Tim Donaghy shed some light on that. Hey, I did not write the book. He did.

I’m just worried that when people from the NBA catch wind of this article, they will hunt me down. Tell my family and future wife that I loved them all.

What do you make of this referee thing? Where is the accountability?

[image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jetbody/3620749470/]

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