image from ftw.usatoday.com
In case you haven’t noticed, the Clippers and Warriors are forming one of the more intense rivalries in the NBA. If you don’t think it’s a rivalry, just watch last night’s game, and I think you’ll walk away agreeing that this is a really intense rivalry. Last night, things got more than chippy between the two teams, and as a result Blake Griffin got ejected after “retaliating” to a flagrant foul by Warriors forward Draymond Green and a grab of his jersey by Warriors center Andrew Bogut. I put retaliating in quotes because I don’t personally think Blake Griffin was retaliating or doing anything that warranted two technical fouls on him and a subsequent ejection. The NBA agrees with this assessment and released a statement today on what happened last night:
“After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game. A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him.”
It’s good that the NBA hopped on this right away and addressed the errors made by the officiating crew. Otherwise, calling up guys from the D-League to harass star players and get them tossed would suddenly be viable option and strategy for opposing teams to make. By releasing this statement, the NBA is not only discouraging teams from doing this sort of action, but more importantly, they are telling officials to not take the bait and eject players on these grounds. Hopefully officials will listen to these words and officiate better when future incidents of this nature happen. As fans we want to see the games decided by basketball plays and not bush-league tactics that were put on display by the Warriors.
—Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord