Cops without guns is what I call them. As for what I think about cops... Do you have a couple of years? This blog really wasn't planned, but then I saw Tim Donaghy's interview. I think that interview garnered the same reaction out of me as I would have if I saw Oprah transfigure on TV, summon her spacecraft in some inaudible extraterrestrial tongue and fly off with fellow large-headed, big-eyed kinsmen. I hate refs. Always have. Now, before I go on, there are some refs who are very cool. Problem is being cool isn't good enough. In my humble opinion, a ref needs three essential attributes to be a good ref: 1. He must be "cool". In other words, just no matter his personal feeling toward any player; 2. He must know what he's doing; and 3. He must not care who wins. And in the case of athletic competition, 2 out of 3 is very, very bad.
In basketball, I had the same problem Rasheed Wallace has. I cared too much about unjust cruelty carried out by church rats in positions of power. Church rats who still carry out their personal vendetta on that big guy on the football team that took his lunch money when he was a lowly nerd in high school.
"I got an idea! By golly I'll be a cop! Or even better a ref! Yeah, that's it. Then I'll pay him back for taking my lunch money years ago and taking my wife today. That'll show him."
Every time I felt I saw bias, I simply couldn't control myself. For me it was incomprehensible that a human being would see what he knew was true and hide it simply because he didn't like me, any player, any team or any coach. When my coach would tell me that refs are human and they talk, I would think to myself, "How could he really do that? It's just not right." I felt that with utmost conviction simply because I would never do it. Example? As you can probably guess by now if you've kept track, I can't stand Damon Jones. I have no tolerance to even hear him speak. But will I ever lie about his basketball ability because I don't like him? Never. He can shoot the piss out of it and is smart as a whip and about as distracting as one. To supress truth due to one's own bias and/or selfishness is cruelty with origins bordering the demonic. Call me whatever you want, I'll be that. Just don't call me cruel.
If a player is lacking self control, by all means hit him with a technical foul, a 15-yard personal foul, a red card, 15 minutes in the box, toss him, whatever! But if a ref makes one call, one, and that call was made unjustly because he didn't like the player or to avenge something the player did, you are affecting that player's love of a childhood fantasy or even worse that player's livelihood. How many players have you seen make a career on one play? To me, I don't care two shakes about Tim Donaghy betting on games. What bothered me was what he said about sending messages to players for something that happened in a game last week. Unreal. Players have always known that it happens on every level. However, hearing it from an NBA ref's mouth and confirming it is a large pill to swallow. The simple explanation that refs are human is not good enough. When you are in a position of power affecting people's lives, you are held at a higher standard. Therefore those nimrods' punishments will be worse than just an everyday nimrod.
Again, I stress, there are some really, really cool refs. Like I can tell you this: Spanish refs are for the most part great. I'd say 90 percent of them are cool. I know everyone will say I'm just being bias because I love Spain... So what? No, seriously though. I attribute how they treat the game to the fact many of them are ex-players. That and... 1. They are just and if a ref is angry with a player, a simple handshake before the game squashes it all. 2. They don't care who wins. And 3. They know what they are doing. Again, they are ex-players. Even though, in the States, referees make these assinine claims about having to be some referee school grad to know how to ref. Whatever. I'm sure some little schooling has to go into it, but not how it's made out to be here in the United States.
If it was so freaking complicated, how does a ref start today and end up in the NBA in two years? Say what you want, the refs that pay 10 years dues know what I'm talking about. I played, I know the tricks just like every other player and with very little learning all ex-players would be better refs than refs.
Every time I was in vet camp with an NBA team, that same little ref would come in to talk to the team about points of emphasis this year. I swear, he couldn't have been much taller than Frodo. I would always start laughing histerically when I saw him. The first time he walked in the first thing that came to mind was, "coochie coochie coo, aww isn't he just cute," and they told me he was a real ref and I thought they were just messing with me. I realized he really was a ref when I actually saw him reffing a game I was in! I asked myself, "How the hell can he possibly see a foul any higher than my navel or even get those little legs to move fast enough to catch a fast break?" Sure, I'm exaggerating... But just a little. He's tiny. 5-foot-5 max. Fact is, more ex-players should be refs but ex-players are simply to cool to want to biznitch.
Being a ref hater gives me little or no credibility, I know. But I don't need cred in a blog... Just a screen and an opinion. I've had more T's than China (Get it? China has a plethora of delectable teas.) I broke a record in Korea. China? I've had so many there they just stopped calling them because they saw it didn't change anything. I can even say technical foul in Chinese. I think at one point they were calling me by the name technical foul. "Ji shi fan gui! Ni xer feng la! Wotao!"
Everyone has his/her reason as to why and so do I. Strangely enough, I never received one T in the ACB. Not one. I had no complaints. The refs there were cool, didn't care who won and knew what they were doing. In every other country I played in, there was maximum two out of those three. But this isn't about me, it's about those jerk off refs. Just an emphatic, massive, massive reminder... Zach Zarba, Leroy Collins, David Guthrie, Eli "E-Money" Roe, Eric Lewis, Jess Kersey and Tony Brown, all cool as ice. Love them. They respect the game and even more essential, they respect themselves. Those guys, you can't even anger. Leroy, for example, you can chastise and yell at. His reaction? "Screw you very much. Take this tech and keep it movin'. Want another, I'll gladly accommodate." The rest of you, I'm sure you're cool off the court but on the court... Bullocks to the lot of you. Bullocks!
This whole Donaghy thing couldn't have come at a worse time personally. It makes one question even playing this sport. Please, if you haven't seen it and you're an NBA fan, don't watch it. Or do watch it. It probably wont affect you. But as a player, ex-player or whatever, it makes you question why playing anything other than pick up is even really basketball. I think I'll take up chess. Almost done, just had to throw in a little injunction. To all three of you cool refs... Sorry. To the rest of you ass-munchers... Eat glass.