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Referee DeRosa tossed the ball at a fan in Orlando. Then had him ejected. Nice.

May 19, 2010, 3:29 PM EDT

As if the referees weren’t in enough trouble for game two of the Celtics/Magic series — the terrible charging call on JJ Redick when the game was in doubt, or the nine straight calls against the Celtics earlier in the fourth quarter — there comes this, from the Associated Press:

(Joe) DeRosa was walking to the scorer’s table to get the warm-up jackets for his crew, a common practice before the trio of referees leave the floor at intermission. A fan behind the table approached DeRosa, gesturing with his arms and appearing to be shouting at the veteran official.

DeRosa flipped the game ball to the fan, who tossed it back. DeRosa then motioned for the man to be ejected by security.

Nice.

This is all being investigated by the league. However, we climb all over players when they can’t rise above taunts and words — of fans or other players — and we need to expect at least that much from the referees. It’s a hard job, a thankless one. But to quote the Super Chicken theme song — you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

Got to be bigger than this, refs. Rise above.

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