NBA Players vs. Refs: Who’s to Blame?

Basketball Court

Ejections, technical fouls, disrespect….OH MY!
There are many topics that have been the talk of the NBA this season.
The surging Houston Rockets and whether or not they are a legit threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference this year, the much anticipated rookie season of Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, or whether or not the Cavaliers will be able to get their struggling defense together and make another run at the Finals for a fourth straight season.
No matter how much these topics have been discussed, it is undeniable that one of the hottest topics this season, and especially lately, has been the rising tension between NBA players and the referees.This season has seen ejections and technical fouls happen more frequently than any other season in recent history.
Just to give an idea of how bad it has been, Draymond Green of the Warriors leads the league with 11 technicals, Kevin Durant has been ejected three times, and Lebron James received the first ejection of his entire career in what is his fifteenth season. Pelican star Anthony Davis was also ejected for the first time in his career.
No image describes the tensions between the refs and the players better than the image of Warriors guard, Shaun Livingston in a head butting match with one of the refs after he was ejected.
The intensity level and frequency of these ejections seems to be growing. There have been many ejections that both fans and sport analysts have considered very questionable. The slightest wrong word or move this year has seemed to lead to an ejection.
The real questions here are who is at fault and what can be done about it. The answer depends on the situation because there have been situations where the refs were seemingly at fault, and other times when the players should have probably backed off.
No doubt this season more than ever, players have argued the slightest calls that haven’t gone their way. This has led to many referees having a shorter fuse with the players.
As far as a solution to the problem, the league is already on top of that. A meeting will be held on Feb. 17, in Los Angeles at All Star weekend. The meeting will consist of three players and three referees who at this point are nameless. They will discuss potential solutions to this problem.
At the end of the day, yes there is a human aspect of the game, but a line needs to be drawn by the league that will maintain a high standard of respect between the players and officials, and ultimately a high standard of respect for the game itself.

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