Boston Celtics: referees

Diplomatic Doc: Refs have brutal job

June, 4, 2012
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesCeltics point guard Rajon Rondo with the officials before Sunday's Game 4 in Boston.
After superstars Paul Pierce and LeBron James both fouled out during overtime of Sunday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, the officiating -- already in the spotlight at times this series -- got thrust to the forefront again.

But Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who has vented at times this series about technical fouls and calls against his team, did his best to be diplomatic when asked about the officiating during a conference call on Monday, stressing that officials have a very difficult job, particularly with the two teams on the floor at this stage of the postseason.

"I think it’s a hard game," Rivers said. "I said that after Game 1 and Game 2, and Game 3 and Game 4. It’s a physical series. We are physical; Miami is athletic and physical. Honestly, I thought the calls down the stretch of (Game 4), they could have gone either way -- there could have been no calls, could have went one way -- just watching it on tape, I just thought those are tough calls. The team that gets one, the other team doesn't like it. That’s just the way it is. Listen, I complain as much as anybody, but, overall, I do understand it’s a brutal job. It’s a brutal job to referee this series."

Rajon Rondo raised some eyebrows with some ref-related comments during a halftime interview on ESPN. When asked what holes he was exploiting in the Heat defense as part of Boston's offensive outburst, Rondo answered, "Them complaining and crying to the referees in transition."

After the game, Rondo didn't retreat, noting, "What I said was true. I don't take back what I said. That's what it is."

Asked about Rondo's comments and whether the Celtics see the Heat complaining to officials when they watch film, Rivers tiptoed around the subject on Monday.

“We watch a lot of film, I’ll just stop there," he said. "Other than that, I don't make comments on that. I mean, Rondo is very emotional, we like him to be intense. Obviously, if that motivates anybody else, that motivates anybody else. But if you need motivation at this point, there's something wrong anyway. As far as what he said, I’ll leave that alone. I’ll just leave it there.”

In Miami, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra downplayed Rondo's comments, calling it "normal playoff chatter."

Asked if there was any validity to what Rondo said, Spoelstra added, "I could really care less -- couldn't care less about what another player has to say about our team. The deeper you get into a competitive series, the more people (say), the more noise there tends to be."

Asked how his team had managed when they didn't get calls, Spoelstra tried to focus on the improvement from past seasons.

"I think we've managed that part of the game better than we have in the past," Spoelstra said. "I think, particularly in this playoff run, we've been able to focus on things that we can control. And that's not one of them. But if you have been around our team, I think you've seen a lot of progress, particularly from last year."

Rivers: Tech was 'worst I've ever had'

May, 29, 2012
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesDoc Rivers earned one of Boston's five technicals during Monday's Game 1 loss.
MIAMI -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers, tagged with one of five technical fouls assessed against his team in Monday's Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat, let off some steam during his postgame press conference and will likely be donating some money to the league for venting.

Rivers earned his technical late in the second quarter for barking about a lack of a foul call after Rajon Rondo converted a driving layup in traffic. Television replays appear to show Rivers simply screaming, "C'mon Eddie," at referee Ed Malloy as the action moves back upcourt. A moment later, Malloy stopped the action and tagged Rivers with the technical.

"I know mine wasn't (deserved). I can tell you that much," said Rivers, whose team got hit with three individual technicals, a delay of game, and an illegal defense call. "I don't know how long I've been in this league, but that has to rank as the worst I've ever had. I would have loved to earn it.

"We should never get them anyway. I told our guys that. But everybody has to keep their composure. Not just the players and coaches."

Rivers' technical was the fourth of the night for Boston. This after typically mild-mannered Ray Allen got a technical from referee Danny Crawford with 10:22 to play in the second quarter. A little more than three minutes later, Crawford assessed a technical to Boston for delay of game when Kevin Garnett batted the ball away after a make.

Midway through the third quarter, Malloy gave Rondo the team's final technical for shoving Shane Battier when the two got tangled under the Boston basket with 5:06 to play in the frame.

Asked if the technical fouls worked against Boston in the first half, Rondo brushed it off. Despite the calls against them, Boston erupted for 35 points, its biggest offensive outburst of the postseason.

"We just got (the technicals)," he said. "I don't know how many we got, but that's just how it was called."

Here's ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith's take on all the technicals:

Referee assignment for Game 1

May, 28, 2012

MIAMI -- Tonight's officials for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals:
Dan Crawford, Ed Malloy, Jason Phillips (alternate: Bill Spooner)

It's almost an identical crew to the one that worked Game 1 of Celtics-Heat last year in the conference semifinals when Paul Pierce got ejected by Malloy for two technicals in the span of 59 seconds.

Game 6 referee assignment

May, 10, 2012

The referee assignment for Game 6 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks: Derrick Stafford, Bill Kennedy, and Eric Lewis.

Rivers and Kennedy landed in the headlines during the 2009 season after Kennedy gave Rivers the gate in a game against the Chicago Bulls. Rivers was fined $25,000 and Kennedy was also fined for the incident.

Said Rivers of Kennedy in a postgame rant: "The technical on which I got thrown out was the most unprofessional technical by a ref I've ever had. He stood there and goaded me and goaded me and stared at me. Look at the film. I actually walked away. He asked me, 'Where do you want the ball?' And I said, 'Ask them,' talking about my players. That's my right to say that, and he walked away... He stood there and stared me down and stared me down and goaded me until I turned around and said, 'What?' That's when I got thrown out of the game. In a [5-point] game? Think about that."

Referee assignment for Game 2

May, 1, 2012

ATLANTA -- After referee Marc Davis became a central figure in this series with Rajon Rondo's BumpGate during Sunday's Game 1, here's a look at the referee assignments for Game 2: Scott Foster, Ed Malloy, Scott Wall.

It's a veteran crew with 45 years of experience between the three officials. The Celtics and Malloy have had their moments (he was on the crew for both Game 1 of the 2010 first-round series in which Kevin Garnett was ejected and tossed Paul Pierce from Game 1 of a 2011 conference semifinal series against the Heat).

Game 3 referee assignment

May, 7, 2011
Mark L. Baer/US PresswireCeltics coach Doc Rivers has been fined for incidents with two of the three officials in Game 3.
Here's the referee assignment for Saturday's Game 3 between the Celtics and Heat: Steve Javie, Bob Delaney, and Bill Kennedy (Michael Smith is the alternate).

Forgive Celtics fans if they roll their eyes at that lineup. Doc Rivers and his players have a recent history with all three game officials and, while those past issues are unlikely to affect Saturday's game, it's worth a quick recap of those incidents:

* Javie tossed Rivers from a forgettable loss in Phoenix in January (the same game Kevin Garnett got ejected from for his low blow on Channing Frye). Rivers was fined $15,000 for not leaving the court in a timely manner.

Said Rivers of Javie: "He actually came into our huddle. We were standing there, he came up to us. I'll tell you exactly what was said. He said, 'You guys are complaining way too much.' And I said, 'Well, let's make the right calls.' And his answer back was, 'I'll make a call for you.' And that's how I got the tech... I didn't have any choice words for him. I didn't say a word. I didn't even swear then. You know what I said? 'It's about the game. It's not about one individual.' That's all I said, over and over again."

* Delaney drew the ire of Shaquille O'Neal in a Christmas Day matchup against Orlando in which the Big Shamrock fouled out in only 13 minutes of play during a nationally televised battle. O'Neal was fined $35,000 for his comments on the officiating.

Said Shaq of Delaney: "I guess they came out to see No. 26 [Delaney's uniform number] today. He was a great player out there today... [Fans] paid all that money to watch No. 26 play. If I was a fan, I would be pissed. You pay all that money for good seats, you have two of the best guys in the [NBA] sitting on the bench, out of the game. That is what happens when you have control freaks out there."

* Rivers and Kennedy landed in the headlines during the 2008-09 season after Kennedy gave Rivers the gate in a game against the Chicago Bulls. Rivers was fined $25,000 and Kennedy was also fined for the incident.

Said Rivers of Kennedy: "The technical on which I got thrown out was the most unprofessional technical by a ref I've ever had. He stood there and goaded me and goaded me and stared at me. Look at the film. I actually walked away. He asked me, 'Where do you want the ball?' And I said, 'Ask them,' talking about my players. That's my right to say that, and he walked away... He stood there and stared me down and stared me down and goaded me until I turned around and said, 'What?' That's when I got thrown out of the game. In a [5-point] game? Think about that."

C's run afoul with refs

October, 14, 2010

NEW YORK -- Boston Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal talks in the sort of whisper-soft hush that makes you wonder whether his kids make it through even one bedtime story before their eyelids slam shut.

And it was with what O'Neal would call his "soft bedroom voice" that he approached referee Zach Zarba for an explanation about the personal foul he had received trying to haul in a rebound over Knicks rookie Timofey Mozgov late in the second quarter of Boston's 104-101 preseason triumph Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Zarba instructed O'Neal to walk away. The veteran of 14 NBA seasons said he then simply asked whether he could have a conversation about the call and received a technical foul for his troubles, setting off fireworks that resulted in Kevin Garnett's getting tagged with a pair of technicals by second-year referee Kane Fitzgerald farther down the court, earning KG an automatic ejection with 4:39 to play in the first half.

Garnett was not available for comment after the game.

"I asked, 'I can't talk right now?'" O'Neal said, mimicking his gentle tone and demeanor. "Just like that, the soft bedroom voice …

"But he gave me a tech. That's too fast. That's way too fast. That's telling guys that they can't ask refs what they did. You're basically taking emotions out of the game.

"You're talking about two technicals on Kevin in a matter of seconds. You gotta be able to have an opportunity to go, 'OK, back away, I got one already, I can't get thrown out.' But to give them that quick?"

Click HERE to read the full story.

Two refs? Probably good for 'Sheed

December, 20, 2009
BOSTON -- Due to the snowstorm that has caused havoc with the transportation system along the East Coast, referee Leon Wood is unavailable for the Celtics-Timberwolves game, leaving a two-man crew for Sunday night's tilt.

Asked if that bodes well for Rasheed Wallace, who picked up his ninth and 10th technical fouls of the season and was ejected from Friday's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked, "It may help. That's one less person to talk to."

But Rivers thought a two-man crew might actually be a nice change.

"I enjoyed [the old two-man crews during his playing days]," said Rivers. "There were less rules, too, but the refs just reffed the game. Now they have so many things to call, it makes it difficult. With the third ref, one ref might see something, but doesn't want to make the call because it's the other guy's. With two guys, they just call what they see. They don't worry about stepping on each other's toes. Though it might be difficult because they're not used to it now."

Rivers was asked if he'd support a league in which players called all their own fouls.

"It would be terrific," said Rivers. "The game would be about 30-32. Stars would call a foul on every play, just like they do in the summer. If you watch a summer pickup game with any of the stars, whenever they miss, it's automatically a foul. It doesn't matter if it's a foul or not, they just wait out of bounds until the other team sees it and throws them the ball. So, no, give me the refs."



Isaiah Thomas
19.7 5.0 0.6 26.7
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsE. Turner 5.1
StealsM. Smart 1.4
BlocksT. Zeller 0.7