Stop whining!

Stop whining!
June 24
05:50 2022

I have had all I can take from these NBA players this season. There have always been players who complain to the referees about calls, but it seems like players nowadays complain about every single little thing and that is really annoying to watch.

During the NBA finals, it seems like every dead ball there is a player complaining to the refs about something. It bothers me that players from both the Warriors and the Celtics are whining this much to the refs. If I am going to be honest, the Celtics have been guilty of this much more than the Warriors and their coach, Ime Udoka, somewhat agreed.

“I think we’re complaining at times too much throughout the game,” Udoka said via Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “Late game may not be any different than first, second or third quarter. Something we need to block out and be better at overall.”

To expand on what Udoka said, I don’t think Boston is complaining too much at times; I feel they are complaining too much all the time. I feel that complaining is taking them out of their game and could be part of the reason they lost game five of the series. Worrying too much about referee calls has to take away from your mental focus of the game.

After Golden State took a 3-2 lead in the series, Klay Thompson addressed the referees to reporters saying, “I don’t think we focus on it too much, to be honest. We have a next-play mentality. We’re just worried about getting a great shot up in those moments, not what the other team is talking about.

“Basketball is a very continuous game,” he added. “If you’re out there talking to the officials the whole night, you might get in your own way.”

This constant complaining is the way of the NBA now, unfortunately. It’s not only the superstars who are doing it, role players and end-of-the-bench guys are complaining as well. Growing up in the ‘90s, I didn’t see this level of complaining from players as I do now, but not everyone agrees with me.

“Michael Jordan didn’t complain to the officials?” asked ESPN’s JJ Redick on First Take last week. “Larry Bird didn’t complain? Come on guys. This nostalgia that you have for the ‘80s and ‘90s – like, a great era of basketball. It’s awesome, but it’s at the expense of our generation of players, and it has been for the last 15 years. And it’s annoying. You know it’s true.”

No, JJ, it’s not true. Players in the ‘80s and ‘90s did complain to the refs; however, it was not on the level of today’s players. I also think players of that era talked to the referees to make them aware of what the opposing team was doing rather than complaining about every single whistle like today’s players are. And with all of the flopping that goes on in every NBA game, who knows what is a foul and what isn’t. Basketball isn’t acting, but many of these players act as if they have been hit by a sledge hammer just to draw a foul call and it’s wack.

I think all that complaining by today’s players has trickled down to the youth level because they see their idols doing it so much on television. Because I am a youth basketball official, I have firsthand knowledge of the level of complaining these young players do each game. It’s only natural for them to not only emulate the moves they see the players make, but also how they react to calls from the refs.

It’s getting out of control on the youth level as well. It seems kids now cry and complain about any contact that is made by a defender and the defensive players complain about being called for fouls as well. Referees are getting it from both sides. The main culprit is many of the players don’t know the rules of the game, but they also feel more comfortable than ever to complain and yell at referees.

The part that many won’t believe is that it’s the boys that are doing 90% percent of the complaining. Girls don’t complain nearly as much as the boys do and oftentimes they play more physical than the boys. I seriously think the boys watch the NBA players and think they can do the same thing on the high school level.

Honestly, I don’t understand it. Growing up in the ‘90s and playing basketball in the park or open gyms, there was fouling but most of the guys just played through the minimal contact. It’s basketball, so of course you are going to get touched on your wrist, or make contact while driving to the basket, but you play through it. I hate to say it, but today’s players are just Soft, with a capital S.

I hate to say it but it’s only going to get worse from here. LeBron James, Marcus Smart, Luka Doncic, Draymond Green and others have made flopping and complaining an artform in today’s NBA, so kids are going to continue to imitate that. 

And I know it has nothing to do with this column, but Draymond Green is NOT a hall of famer. It’s my column and I can write what I want, so sue me. 


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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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