I don’t have cable, so I have watched the NBA playoffs sparingly this year.
I have boycotted of ESPN’s broadcasts, and, actually, I believe I have turned out to be a better person since mid-April. Hubie Brown, Mark Jackson, Mike Tirico, and even now Mike Breen, just drive me crazy.
But that’s not what this article is about. This article is about the “kick” Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson delivering to LeBron James’ minion, pint-sized point guard Matthew Dellavedova in last night’s game, which Cleveland won.
First, I would like to say the NBA is soft. I think it’s the consensus opinion among basketball fans. The referees have an extremely tough job and following the rules to a T only makes their job easier. Whatever happened to using “discretion?” Is that a thing of the past?
Gibson kicked Dellavedova in the butt. In the BUTT! He didn’t kick him in the head or the chest. He didn’t stomp on Dellavedova’s leg, back or ankle. He kicked him in the butt. Actually, I don’t know if it can even be warranted as a kick.
But it gets better.
As TNT showed the instant replay, Dellavedova locked his legs around Gibson’s ankle, prompting Gibson to shake or “kick” his leg loose. Furthermore, to me, it looked like Gibson barely connected with his kick.
Of course, when the replay is shown inside Quicken Loans Arena and the entire crowd is calling for Gibson’s head (in this case, an ejection). I don’t think an ejection was necessary, but any time Joey Crawford is officiating, he wants to be the “guy.”
It’s just poor officiating, and it’s unfortunate that it has come to this, especially in the playoffs. If anything, it should have been a technical foul and nothing more.
Worst of all, Dellavedova didn’t even get punished. No foul, no tech, nothing. That’s something I don’t understand.
As the Bulls face 3-2 hole, they’ll be without Gibson and, possibly, Pau Gasol for a third straight game in Game 6.