Nobody can stop him from getting T’d up, that is. He got his 8th last night, meaning he’s halfway to a one-game suspension. But the suspensions don’t stop there—after the 16th T, a player is suspended one game for every other technical going forward (i.e. technicals #18, #20, #22, etc.).
The C’s are obviously aware of the problem, but they talk about Sheed like parents talking about a kid who keeps getting detention for passing notes in class. Via the Herald’s notebook:
“I’m concerned,” Rivers said. “There’s nothing I’m going to do about it, I can tell you that. I can talk to him until I’m blue, and I’m sure Larry (Brown, his former coach) has done that, as well.
“At this rate clearly he’s going to come to that number and then he’s going to get suspended, and we don’t want to lose him for games. But listen, his teammates are on him, we talk to him about it. But at the end of the day he’s going to have to solve that on his own.”
And Rivers again, in the AP:
“But at the end of the day, he’s going to have to solve that on his own. Rasheed has a reputation, and he’s earned it.”
That last line is the key. Sheed has been playing the martyr for years now, saying the refs single him out and itch to whistle him for technical fouls because of his prior record. And he’s right. It’s not fair, but it’s a reality he has to adjust to, and, unfortunately, he’s proven completely incapable of making that adjustment.
In one of my former jobs, I covered crime and courts for a newspaper. I got to know a bunch of ex-cons, and nearly all of them complained that police kept a closer eye on them after they were released from prison. It was almost as if the cops were waiting for them to slip up, or, in some cases, even baiting them into confrontations by taunting them from squad cars or approaching them on street corners. It was unfair, they said.
And in a lot of cases, the ex-cons were right. It was unfair. And a lot of them were re-arrested for things like “interfering with police” (i.e. talking back or refusing to cooperate) or carrying marijuana, even as local college kids got away with similar drug use every day.
This enhanced attention from cops is one of many, many reasons the odds are stacked against any ex-con turning his or her life around. But some did. And those who did usually made drastic changes to their routine so as to simply avoid the police. They stopped hanging out with their old friends. They went to bed early and stayed away from the street corners where police used to find them. They took overnight jobs to keep themselves out of trouble. Some just moved out of town.
Is it fair that these people had to make such dramatic changes to their routine to avoid enhanced police scrutiny? Probably not. But it’s reality.
Sheed is like one of these ex-cons. And the cycle won’t stop until he changes, whether or not that’s fair.