Monday, March 12, 2007

Ben Franklin doesn't know 'Sheed

Benjamin Franklin once said, "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Truer words have never been spoken. But that's neither here nor there, as I just love the quote...

But something happened with the Pistons Friday that reminded me of another of Benjamin Franklin's well known quotes.

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

We can now add to that quote.

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes and Rasheed Wallace being suspended for his technical fouls."

"Ball don't lie!" translated from Sheedish: Dear sir, I beg to differ with your interpretation of the events that just transpired!

With the new rules put in place this season, we all knew the NBA had placed a bullseye on 'Sheed's back, and it was just a matter of time before he reached the magic number of 16 technicals. Number 16 was called on Wallace for saying, of all things, at no one in particular after a missed free throw, "Ball don't lie!"

Definitely "T" worthy, huh?

Rasheed sitting didn't hurt the Pistons...this time. Jason Maxiel more than held his own in a victory against the Clippers Sunday night. Unfortunately, 'Sheed's "Enthusiasm" will probably cause the NBA's most prominent target to sit another game or 2 before the end of the season.

Losing 'Sheed could end up costing the Pistons dearly when it comes to playoff seeding. Because, as we all know, as goes 'Sheed, so goes the Pistons.

Personally, 'Sheed's blow ups doesn't bother me much, as he needs to play that way to be at his most effective. What his suspension does bring light upon is the unmitigated bias of NBA refs.

Refereeing in the NBA is uniformly awful, and has been for years. If anything, it's getting worse. The phantom foul calls, the favoritism shown to certain "cough" Dwayne Wade "cough" players, refs deciding the outcome of games rather than the teams on the court, when looked at in it's totality, brings the NBA's integrity down to the level of a farcical Harlem Globetrotters - Washington Generals exhibition.

There is a blatant bias shown towards certain players by the NBA's refereeing crews. The fans know it, the media knows it, players know it, and I'm sure the NBA knows it by their refusal to even acknowledge it.

Is Rasheed Wallace an angel? Not by any means. He brought much of this upon himself. But you could easily make a case that at least half of the T's called on Wallace were undeserved. Wallace is being targeted more so for his previous actions as a Trailblazer, than as a Piston.

The NBA refs have used the new rule as a weapon. What once would have brought a warning, or even shrugged off as the emotional ravings of the slightly deranged, now brought an immediate technical foul from combative refs. It was as if NBA officials were just waiting for the first outburst, and rather than let it roll off their backs, they came back firing T's indiscriminately, left and right, fairness be damned.

NBA officiating, pure and simple, is a joke. A heavily biased joke. I hate to paint 'Sheed as a victim, as he is not exactly innocent. But in this case, the NBA referee's actions have been louder than 'Sheeds words.

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