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Did Sheed Get a Raw Deal?

 

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.

  • Conall Mac Michael

    Maybe its just me but the idea that people can’t criticize refs actions is absolutely ridiculous. There should be a outlet in place for criticism of refs, just like there is for coaches and players. I understand you can’t let players go on endless, and often completely incoherent, rants. But fining Phil Jackson 25gs for saying a few calls were ‘bogus’ is insane. The NBA is probably the most paranoid sports organization in the world and for an outsider looking in this is plainly obvious. I don’t want to get carried away here but shutting people up is exactly what police states do, the NBA shouldn’t be perpetuating this image. Returning to the actual piece, of course Sheed is getting shafted here. What should be looked at here is Sheed slaggin Hedo by rippin this piss outta his name.

  • http://Aol.com Matt

    Stern is becoming a dictator! Adolf stern! Crazy old man. Pick your battles and choose your poision. Your going to loose respect of the players and coaches and owners in this league. This is just one more thing I dislike you for .

  • http://Aol.com Matt

    What ever happen too free speach? Who is the NBA to say that players, coaches or owners can’t say what they want about whom ever? Seriously this is like china or Korea or any other communist/dictatorship!

  • Cptn Bubbles

    I would like to see accountability for the refs. It would be great if there were stats for the refs. We expect imperfection, but we aim for improvement. The reward for the best refs would be mo money & the right to do playoff games & the finals. Positive reinforcement. Bad refs would be sent back down to the D leagues or just let go. Refs now seem to be like judges with no way to get rid of them should they prove corrupt etc. Some refs have way too much ego which hurts the beauty of the game. There should be respect for the refs. but not worship.

    I agree with what Sheed is saying, but just about everybody flops a little, even Sheed? A flop here and there seems to be normal. The problem is with the OFF or Over Flopping Flopper. These are the hardcore flopsters. They are the bane of good basketball. There are well known floppers. You see them flop & reflop throughout games. These guys should be given a warning from the league office to clean it up or they will advise refs to make any questionable or 50/50 call against the serial flopper. Once the flopper sees himself in foul trouble there should be a change in his con artist tactics. Flopping is like perpetuating a fraud. It should be illegal. How about a flagrant flopping call? Two shots and the ball plus the flopper has to wear a sign that says ‘Kick Me if you hate floppers’ with free kicks allowed for the rest of the game.

    Taunting, posturing, & most commonplace, riffraff fouls are allowed for some of the nba’s darlings. Not sure how you’re gonna stop that unless you had objective reviews of the refs & their calls.

    Sheed reminds me of Barkley. You can see why reporters seek them out. I enjoyed his dunk last game even though he got fouled. I also enjoy just how frustrated the other team gets when he is down there in the paint. I know he gets fouled down there a lot, but he is still making shots & looks pretty slick around the rim. If he would take all of that anger for the ref. & let it loose on the other team, he would be averaging a double double & 1.7 shattered backboards per game.

  • Mitch

    Refs are complete d-bags, and you can fine me 30,000 for that..but no way in hell i am paying. screw all the corrupt refs in the NBA, they are just jealous they don’t have the talent to play

  • Tom

    Every charge/blocking foul can be called a flop.

  • strips

    eh heh heh…”Turkododo”…eh heh heh

  • kerem

    +1 for the “these-fines-are-crazy-the-refs-suck” camp

  • NBAisjustfine

    All Rasheed ever does is complain, and everyone knows it. Every NBA fan from Portland to Detroit to Boston knows it. They treat him differently because he won’t be quiet, ever. Rasheed needs to realize he has to suck it up sometimes… and that he’s not always the voice of truth saying what’s wrong with the nba and all it is is ‘entertainment.’ C’mon, they pay you to go out and play. If a bad call comes, everything will be alright.

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