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Layups: The NBA Finals… of Complaining, That Is

Posted by Neil Paine on June 15, 2010

Our friend David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal has a great piece today on the biggest complainers of the Finals so far:

"In the first five games of the Finals—which continue Tuesday with Game 6 in Los Angeles—the Celtics screamed, threw up their arms or spun around in disgust (or all three) after 48% of the fouls they were called for, according to an analysis by The Count. We looked at every foul in the series that wasn't intentional, tracked the observable reactions and gave extra weight to the more blatant complaints. The Lakers expressed displeasure about 36% of the time, even though Kobe Bryant disputed half of his while Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce only bickered about one-third of theirs."

Ray Allen's 3-point marksmanship (in Game 2, at least) has only been exceeded by his whining -- Mr. Shuttlesworth took issue with 73% of the calls that went against him, easily the highest rate in the series. On a team with Kendrick Perkins (68% whine rate) and legendary complainer Rasheed Wallace (65%), Allen's feat is truly impressive. On the Laker side, Kobe and Pau Gasol both moaned about 50% of the whistles against them.

In fairness, with so much on the line, it's hard to blame the players for getting caught up in the emotion of the moment and complaining about calls. And sometimes officials clearly make mistakes, that much is certain. But there's no way the ref was wrong on 50+% of the calls that went against you. In my opinion, some of these guys just need to shut up and play.

(Hat tip: TrueHoop.)

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3 Responses to “Layups: The NBA Finals… of Complaining, That Is”

  1. Jason J Says:

    "Mr. Shuttlesworth took issue with 73% of the calls that went against him, easily the highest rate in the series."

    And Derek Fisher flops on 97% of plays with contact, to the point that JVG was pretty furious about while announcing game 5, so it's kind of hard to be too down on Allen. If a player is holding you all game and then jerking his head like he took a jab from Chuck Liddell when you raise your arms to break free... like Van Gundy said, Fish has been doing it for years.

    Then on the other end, I can think of a number of phantom fouls that Allen picked up trying to cover Kobe including a clean block on a three pointer Bryant took and a play in the paint where there was no contact at all. Which is fine. That happens all the time, but you could see how a guy would get frustrated when he's consistently being whistled at both ends for calls that range from questionable to blatant deception by Fisher.

  2. Neil Paine Says:

    Ha, yeah, good point on Fisher. He only complains 38% of the time, probably because he knows how fortunate he's been on the dozens of other calls that he tricked the refs into giving him.

  3. Matthew Says:

    Haha, Jason J... "If a player is holding you all game and then jerking his head like he took a jab from Chuck Liddell when you raise your arms to break free."

    If you didn't say you were talking About Fish here, I would be 100% you were talking about R. Allen. Because he does that to Kobe. and so does the other Allen. So

    And you can't hit a player on his elbow when he shoots, I thought that was common knowledge? Well, obviously not to Bostonians, who apparently are in unison with their team's coach, the players and even the major. In their ongoing whining of course.