The NBA’s guidelines for interaction between players and referees are softer than scrambled eggs — though still not as bad as the NFL’s roughing-the-passer calls. In a sport where you run up and down the court dozens of times a game, one simple brush with an NBA official can become the basis for a suspension.
One Celtics player got the stiff end of this rule.
Grant Williams’ Bad Break
The NBA announced Wednesday that Boston Celtics guard and former Tennessee MBB player Grant Williams has been suspended for Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers as a result of his ejection from Monday’s game against the Bulls.
Williams was ejected after he had a small brush with an official as he got up from a blocking foul, stumbling into the ref. As he walked toward the tunnel, Williams threw some expletives in the official’s direction.
The NBA Communications’ Twitter account made the announcement:
“Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams has been suspended one game without pay for recklessly making contact with and directing inappropriate language toward a game official, it was announced today by Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations.
“The contact, for which Williams was assessed a technical foul and ejected, occurred with 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter of Boston’s 120-102 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 24 at United Center.”
NBA Twitter disagreed with the call, saying the officiating crew was having a power trip that game and essentially gave Williams a reason to be frustrated after getting stiffed throughout the game.
Officials also weren’t too kind with Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla who received a double-tech in the third quarter (minutes before Williams’ ejection) and was booted from the game.
NBA crew chief Marc Davis shed light on the decision to boot Williams.
“After it is correctly judged a blocking foul on Williams, he jumps up and approaches official [Cheryl] Flores and makes intentional physical contact with her and he is ejected as per rule for this sportsmanship act,” Davis commented.
Coincidental calls at United Center … Time for this officiating crew to hit the bench.