In case you missed it, Sheed is vowing to appeal the $30,000 fine the league hit him with for criticizing the officials after Friday’s game against the Raptors.
Here’s what Sheed said about the fine, via ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg:
“I’m definitely going to appeal that. I mean, what did I say wrong? You know, if they don’t want … No, I ain’t going to do that,” Wallace said to reporters before stopping in mid-sentence and smiling before departing.
And, for the record, here are the comments that got Sheed in trouble:
On Ed Malloy’s decision to T him up (via the Globe):
“I didn’t use no profanity, I just said, ‘He’s a flopper,’ ’’ Wallace said after Boston’s 116-113 victory at TD Garden. “And [Malloy] gave me a tech for that. The league should make that a rule – flopping.”
On Hedo Turkoglu and flopping in general (via ESPN Boston):
“They’ve got to know that he’s a damn flopper. That’s all Turkododo do. Flopping shouldn’t get you nowhere. He acts like I shot him.
“That’s not basketball, man. That’s not defense. That’s garbage, what it is. I’m glad I don’t have too much of it left.”
And on Pierce’s technical for taunting a prone Chris Bosh:
“They set rules on us to the point where you’re taunting. When Paul dunked it and then, Paul didn’t say nothing, he just looked at him. Let The Golden Child do that or one of the NBA [Basketball] Without Borders kids do that and it’s all fine and dandy.’’
So: $30,000 for that. Did Sheed really get shafted?
That depends on whether you think it’s fair for the NBA to fine someone more because of their prior record. But thanks to this site (hat tip: Matt McHale of the outstanding Bulls blog By the Horns), we can at least see where Sheed’s fine fits in with other player fines for similar incidents. The site (which I had not known about before) appears to list all discretionary league fines; I fact-checked a bunch of random ones and the site’s information was correct every time. It could be missing a few fines, but none that I’m aware of.
In any case, we can say this definitively: The $30,000 fine on Sheed is the biggest fine given to a player solely for post-game comments directed at the officiating since the start of the 2006-07 season. (According to the rule book, the commissioner has sole discretion to fine any player who receives a technical foul regardless of whether that player is ejected; the maximum fine is $50,000. I couldn’t find anything in the rule book about players criticizing officials, but I may have missed it).
The league has come down more harshly on a couple of players, but those guys did more than verbally criticize the officials after a game.
Three examples of steeper fines:
1) The league fined Stephen Jackson $50,000 for yelling at officials and failing to leave the court in orderly fashion after the refs tossed him during Game 2 of the Warriors famous first-round playoff series against Golden State in 2007.
2) The league suspended Darrell Armstrong (then with the Pacers) one game for his actions after an ejection in Feb. 2007. Armstrong kept hounding a referee until his teammates restrained him, according to published reports. After the game, he accused the officials of treating the Pacers unfairly because of residual anti-Pacer sentiment from the Malice in the Palace.
3) The league suspended Zach Randolph one game for throwing his head band at a ref. (Editor’s note: Awesome).
Those actions both go well beyond what Sheed did on Friday. He didn’t go after a referee, he didn’t make an on-court scene and he didn’t even get ejected.
So let’s look at fines for conduct more similar to Sheed’s flop rant:
• Nov. ’09: League fines Dwight Howard $15,000 for writing the following on his blog after a game:
“It was crazy. They called me for a charge on a flop, a push off when the defender was on me and two fouls on blocked shots.”
Howard also wrote that he hadn’t played “that little in a game since I was 10 years old in pee-wee ball.” He said, “What really bothers me is they are letting guys hammer me at one end of the floor, yet I’m being called for everything.”
• March ’09: League fines Denver’s Linas Kleiza $25,000 for undisclosed “verbal abuse” of officials during a game.
• November ’08: League fines Kenyon Martin $20,000 for “verbal abuse” of Joe Crawford and failing to leave the court in a timely fashion after being ejected. Per USA Today:
Denver Nuggets power forward Kenyon Martin was fined $20,000 by the league Saturday for verbal abuse of a referee and failure to leave in a timely fashion after his ejection in a loss at Cleveland last week. Martin screamed obscenities at referee Joey Crawford before he was grabbed by Nuggets coach George Karl and escorted off.
• May ’08: League fines Rasheed Wallace (hey!) $25,000 for criticizing officials after Detroit’s Game 5 loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals.
If you don’t want to watch that video, here’s a bit what Sheed said, via ESPN.com:
“The cats are flopping all over the floor and they’re calling that,” Wallace said. “That ain’t basketball out there. It’s all entertainment. You all should know that.”
Note: I guess Sheed thinks basically everyone in the league is a flopper?
• January ’07: League fines Allen Iverson $25,000 for hinting that Steve Javie sort of doesn’t like him. Per Reuters (yes, Reuters!):
“This was the perfect game for him to try to make me look bad,” Iverson told reporters after the game.
“His (Javie’s) fuse is real short,” Iverson said. “I should have known that I couldn’t say anything to him.
“I’ve felt that it’s been personal between me and him ever since I got in the league.”
• December ’06: League fines Jason Kidd $20,000 for saying officials “screwed” the Nets and referring to the officials as “three blind mice.”
These incidents compare most closely with what Sheed did against Toronto, and none of these players (including Sheed himself) were fined more than $25,000.
What about coaches? The league apparently feels comfortable hitting them with larger penalties:
• Oct. ’09: The league fines Stan Van Gundy $35,000 for criticizing replacement refs;
• Oct. ’09: The league fines Lionel Hollins $25,000 for doing the same thing;
• June ’09: League fines Phil Jackson $25,000 for labeling some calls “bogus” during Game 4 of the NBA FInals.
• March ’09: League fines Doc Rivers $25,000 for criticizing referee Bill Kennedy (who was also fined for baiting Doc into what Rivers called “the most unprofessional technical by a ref I’ve ever had”).
• May ’09: League fines Phil Jackson $25,000 and the Lakers $25,000 (so $50K total) for Jackson’s criticism of officials after Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against Denver.
• March ’07: League fines Phil Jackson $50,000 and the Lakers $50,000 (so $100,000 total) for Jackson’s claim that the league was engaged in a “witch hunt” against Kobe Bryant. Ahem.
Again: There’s no question that based on this list, the league is treating Sheed about $5,000 differently than they have treated most players. (And again, if this list is faulty for whatever reason, please let me know).
But one could argue that such differential treatment is what you deserve when you complain endlessly about everything.