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As expected, Zach Randolph gets $25,000 fine for saying refs favored Harden, Rockets

Dec 27, 2013, 2:47 PM EDT

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES VS. HOUSTON ROCKETS Getty Images

“It’s obvious. It was the refs tonight. I mean, eight against five. I mean, the game was, in the second half, (James Harden) is shooting a free throw every time. We out there playing hard. They dictating the game. It can’t be like that, man. We’re out here playing, too.  It was a horrible game they reffed tonight, awful. They dictated the game – plain, point, simple. They dictated the game.”

As those words came out of Zach Randolph‘s mouth Thursday night you knew a fine was coming from the league.

It did officially Friday afternoon, Randolph was hit with a $25,000 for criticizing the officials.

Harden got to the line 25 times in that game. Our own Dan Feldman went back and watched the fouls and found there were a few bad calls, and a few borderline ones that went the Rockets way, but it was not as bad as the Grizzlies claimed.

But Harden was the more aggressive player and Memphis is a physical team on defense. This isn’t some huge surprise. In pretty much every level of basketball the calls will go to the player being the more aggressive, the one attacking. That’s Harden’s game and with no Marc Gasol in the Memphis paint Harden was able to take advantage.

  1. hannsta - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Zach Randolph attacks like no other, “entry level basketball” says he should shoot as many free throws as Harden. Or at least within a reasonable margin.

  2. MLBlogsbig3bosox - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    The League: “Oh you’re complaining? Perfect. Stop by whenever you can so you pay a 1,000 bucks for each Harden free throw attempt.”

  3. boscoesworld - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    This is a surprise? The refs are only the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to favoring stars. It starts with the commish of course but the worst offender, the media. Seriously, think of how many teams get shown on TV. Maybe six in a year? Heat, Spurs, Lakers, Knicks, Rockets, Thunder and one more throw in team, whoever is hot that year. The league is unwatchable unless of course you root for one of those teams

    • raycharlesj - Dec 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      If that were true, I don’t know how I have already watched the Grizzlies,Warriors, Clippers, Bobcats, Toronto, Both New York teams, Lakers, Detroit, Philly, New Orleans, the Suns, The teams you mentioned, and the Sacramento Kings, and Orlando!!! with just a basic cable package no NBA TV deals I must be fortunate.

  4. cheathamhouse1 - Dec 27, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    $25,000.00!!! Darn son…

  5. lhollis74 - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    Let me first start by saying the nba is the only of the four pro sports in North America that doesn’t have an outside agency regulating its officials. Secondly, the league fines players because just like anything else, lies are exposed as such, it is the truth that stern and his cronies are deathly afraid of, so for that reason the players must be kept silent. If you’ve ever done research on the film industry and their relationship with studios and and actors, you will see the nba(and also the nfl) follow the same business model. It is extremely important that fans show up to the arena, the owners impress that importance upon David Stern. Hypothetically, how much does a family shell out for a single game(parking, snacks, etc.)? Multiply that by the number of people who attend these games. If home team wins trip to the arena is considered a great time with no disappointing end, family and kids eager to repeat experience. Home team loses, lots of money spent, disappointment all around, not so eager to repeat. If you really pay attention, you will notice two distinct things an experienced referee crew will do, the first I noticed was how late in the 3rd quarter and early in the 4th the visiting team gets a majority of calls so the home team can get majority of calls during the 4th. Win or lose crowd will be in a frenzy, excited and leaving the arena amped. The other thing I’ve noticed, is the types of fouls called at certain intervals, you know, bad screens, holding calls versus shooting fouls. If an official is worth his salt, he will ensure the visiting team is in the penalty early enough to help the home team down the stretch if they need it. In the end if the refs call the game in the way the owners and Stern prefer, the foul calls will appear to be even in the stat sheet but the home team will have shot more free throws.
    I must add that I am very objective and I’ve seen this both benefit and be detrimental to my team. I’ve also watched games with no rooting interest whatsoever and been in utter disbelief at what I was seeing. Remember, this is not “sports”, but “sports entertainment”!

  6. emthomasjr - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    So if we consider “a few” to be “2-3,” you’re saying that 4-6 bad calls that could have meant 2 fewer points per possession for the Rockets and an additional 2-3 poins per possession for the Grizzlies is “really not that bad?” At the end of the day the Grizzlies are hurt and missed too many shots resulting in the primary reason for the loss, not the officiating. However, this article admits to the fact that questionable calls may have contributed to as much as a 12-18 point differential in the game outcome. Even if we just say that 4-6 possessions had biased outcomes, this is still a problem in a 3 possession game!

    Lastly, for Memphis being a “physical” team, the fact of the matter is that the Grizzlies are in the lower 1/3rd of the League in opponent FTA’s at 22 per game. It happens, but this was clearly an aberration, seeing as how Harden himself had more FTA’s himself than Grizzlies’ opponents average for the season.

    Just one game. The Grizzlies will grind on. Hopefully we get back healthy quickly and get back competitive on a nightly basis!

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