Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray found out the hard way Saturday night about getting on an official’s bad side. During Atlanta’s 114-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Murray was given a technical foul during a timeout while sitting on the sideline. Apparently, NBA referees have resorted to handing out techs for not engaging with them. That seems like the case here and it’s just another example of a rogue ref (Tony Brothers) abusing their power.

Usually, we see players get T’d up for talking too much or chasing officials down to argue their case. Said official may give the players a warning and, depending on their track record, if he annoys the ref enough then a tech is awarded. There could be more to this incident with Murray, but just based on what we know, this technical foul was absolutely ludicrous. Murray did the opposite of most players and decided to essentially ignore Brothers by not engaging and still got T’d up.

Then if Murray voices his opinion publicly about the call or blasts the officiating in that game, he’ll be fined. NBA referees have too much power and that’s the bottom line. Officials have too much leeway when it comes to their authority. It’s been said many times, but nobody in that arena is there to watch these refs show out. Officials have never been the draw enticing people to buy tickets and they never will be. If they aren’t handing out unwarranted techs, they’re missing blatant calls two feet away from the action. Just ask Monty Williams about that.

When it comes down to it, we need to go to the top of the food chain concerning this issue. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver could easily step in and make changes. Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas mentions trash talk (or taunting) and that players will get techs for glaring at one another or talking smack following a play. The league is so scared of another “Malice at the Palace,” nearly 20 years later they’ve continued to allow their officials to give out techs for the silliest reasons. It’s time to stop making excuses and get this problem cleaned up.

Murray’s tech on Saturday night was one of the most egregious calls of the season. Again, there could always be more to the story, but it was seemingly unnecessary. Players aren’t obligated to engage with officials on the sideline during timeouts. If they are, then that’s news to most. Something needs to be done about officiating in most professional sports, but these NBA officials are literally the worst. They continue to interject themselves stealing the spotlight, making the game about them. If they’d just do their jobs the world of hoops would be a much better place.


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