Should Paul Pierce have been ejected for a ‘verbal taunt’?
Following is the transcript of an interview with crew chief Dan Crawford conducted by designated pool reporter Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press explaining what the Celtics’ Paul Pierce did to warrant a second technical foul, resulting in his ejection from the Heat’s 99-90 victory over the Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals:
Q: What did Paul Pierce do to merit the 2nd technical with 7:00 remaining?
Crawford: "It’s what we call a verbal taunt. He directed profanity towards (Dwyane) Wade. And in the rulebook, that is a verbal taunt. And it just so happened to be Pierce’s second technical foul."
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: A verbal taunt?
Referee Danny Crawford threw the Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce out of game one of their second round series against the Miami Heat for swearing at Dwyane Wade.
According to the rule book, swearing at an opponent is a verbal taunt and results in an automatic technical foul. This was Pierce’s second technical, which meant his night was over.
Perhaps Crawford didn’t realize that swearing at an opponent is the most unenforced rule in the NBA –other than travelling, of course.
Many players have mouths worse than truck drivers, gangasta rappers, and Andrew Dice Clay. They are rarely, if ever, punished.
Why use this moment to enforce an obscure rule and eject Pierce, the Celtics’ top scorer and a former playoff MVP, from game one?
It would have been better for Crawford to exercise discretion and let Pierce off with a stern warning. Players should decide games, not referees.This controversial ejection alters an entire series.
To be fair, the Heat probably would have won even if Pierce hadn’t got ejected. We’ll never know for sure, though. And this is the problem.
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