The horn had just sounded at the Barclays Center and Julius Randle was already positioned next to the refereeing trio to convey his discontent. Before, the Knicks player had already been accused of a technical foul due to the vehemence of his protests. Far from cooling the spirits of defeat in front of his neighbors after going through the showers, the press conference turned out to be an incentive for the pissed off of the power forward and his coach Tom Thibodeau. «Ask them [los árbitros]. I don’t know what they have seen or where they are looking, ”Randle began after insinuating that he did not want to talk about the refereeing.
Reigning Most Improved Player in the NBA argued that his physical strength caused the referees to be permissive with their defenders. «As I am stronger, some fouls that should be whistled stop whistling. It piss me off”. On the other side, James Harden had a sensitivity match with the whistle that he had not enjoyed for a long time. This season he goes to the free throw line fewer times than in any year since leaving Oklahoma. Yesterday he started the game averaging 6.8 pitches per night and ended the first half with ten of them under his belt.
Thibodeau was not as restrained as his pupil and showed obvious frustration in this regard. “Julius was attacking the rim very hard and only two free throws were awarded to him. I’ll watch the tape, but something’s not right. The technician was beginning to loosen, and, like Randle, he wanted to question how the actions on him were arbitrated. «If you slap a player, I don’t care who he is, it’s going to affect him. And I don’t want to focus on them, I just want to keep playing hard. I do not pretend to have to get angry so that my techniques influence how they see the game. Thibs ended with a lapidary speech. «I don’t care how he is refereed. You can admit more or less contact. But it has to be the same arbitration for both.
The NBA usually punishes these types of statements with financial fines between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000. Randle and Thibodeau will most likely have to scratch their pockets very soon.
(Cover photo by Seth Wenig – Pool / Getty Images)