The Top 5 Referee Blow-Ups in NBA History

By: 05.29.12

You don’t have to have coached as long as Doc Rivers to know the simple rule for NBA officiating. If you criticize it, you’ll be fined by the league office. Everyone knows it, and every violator does it for effect. Can I get the refs’ attention before the next game? If I get popped for $25,000 or $35,000 for a comment, will that buy me some time in the refs’ ear next time out?

Rivers had four reasons to blast referees after Monday’s Game 1 loss to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals. Four big, obvious reasons, with technicals given to Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rivers himself. They were ghost like Swayze. One of my referee barometers is hearing what ESPN’s Mike Breen think about each call. A longtime referee, he’s usually playing Referee’s Advocate (a first-cousin to Devil’s Advocate) on the broadcast. None of the three warranted a defense for the officials on Monday, however. Do you see any in these three that deserve a tech?

The simple formula will likely kick in tomorrow after Rivers called his own T “the worst I’ve ever had.”

“I know mine wasn’t (deserved). I can tell you that much. I don’t know how long I’ve been in this league, but that has to rank as the worst I’ve ever had. I would have loved to earn it.”

Those, by Danny Crawford, Marc Davis and Ed Malloy, weren’t even the worst of the playoffs — and they all belong to Davis. The first and most laughable was T’ing up the Clippers’ Reggie Evans for high fiving. That’s like giving a traffic ticket for driving with one hand. Second, he just threw out a fan in the Sixers-Bulls series.

Davis was also involved in a bump-and-toss with Rondo in the first round against Atlanta.

The standard fine is about $25,000 for a garden-variety criticism of referees, but that’s fairly common. Jason Kidd, DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Rose each got those fines this season for their comments. They’re hardly, however, the best blow-ups on a referee in the NBA. Hit the jump to see the top five.

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