GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By EMMA CHANG
“I did not throw my mouthpiece at the referee, I [have] better aim than that. I threw it out of frustration,” Stephen Curry told ESPN on Oct. 21st, as he addressed the reason behind his recent suspension.
On Saturday, Oct. 21st, Golden State Warriors players Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were removed from their game against the Memphis Grizzlies. With only forty-three seconds left in the fourth quarter, Curry was shoved forward by point guard Mike Conley. Referee Scott Wall did not call a foul, leading a frustrated Curry to throw his mouthpiece. In consequence, he was suspended from the rest of the game and received a $50,000 fine from the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Following Curry’s ejection, teammate Kevin Durant conveyed his opposition to Wall, agreeing with Curry after seeing Conley’s explicit foul. However, the audience did not share his opinion, causing Durant to flash his ring at them. Therefore, in addition to his suspension, Durant’s actions led to the Warriors’ loss.
Time and time again, the NBA’s procedures have proven to unjustly punish players in an attempt to control them. For example, as seen in various recaps of the play, Curry can clearly be seen being pushed by Conley. Since the referee failed to call the foul, Curry instinctively acted on his frustration. As seen from Curry’s experience, any player’s objection to a referee’s call leads to suspension due to unfair game regulations.
In addition, Durant addressed the press about his alleged hateful gestures to the audience, saying that he used the ring finger as he supported what he believed was right. However, according to NBA standards, any player who acts in a way they deem inappropriate will receive a “fitting” consequence, regardless of their intentions.
Despite Curry’s and Durant’s harmless disregard for game regulations, both are being underhanded by the NBA, as it is not unusual for players and team officials to be unfairly suspended for misconduct.
For instance, Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr was expelled from a game against the Sacramento Kings. on Feb. 4th. He was unable to contain his anger after forward Draymond Green received an unwarranted technical for arguing a call. Consequently, he was removed from the game, resulting in another loss for the Warriors.
Similar to Durant, Kerr received an unmerited expulsion from the game for standing up for his teammate, again demonstrating how the NBA undermines their people. This reflects badly on the league as the number of unreasonably punished NBA members continues to grow.
The league should strive to avoid instances where they are forced to remove players from games based on harmless and small actions. In some cases, a referee could prove to be incorrect, but with current regulations, players are still faced with extreme consequences.
Nevertheless, a referee’s call is comparable to the law in the game of basketball. Many players and officials will still find themselves being underhanded by the NBA with unwarranted consequences. Ultimately, it seems they will continue to experience unjust repercussions for supporting their beliefs. If procedures continue to compromise the ideals of players and officials, there are only worse outcomes in store for the NBA’s future.