LeBron James was called for a confusing technical foul during last night’s Heat – Bobcats game. LeBron went barreling down the lane, as he is wont to do, and ran into Gerald Henderson, who was called for a blocking foul. Another referee came in from behind and immediately hit LeBron with a technical. What was the technical for? No one knows.
The best the announcers could figure was that the referee was calling LeBron for “flopping” since he sort of threw his arms up to sell the fact that he was in the act of shooting. The only problem is that while flopping is a new “point of emphasis” in the league this season, punishment for flopping comes from the league office after the game instead of from the referees on the floor.
Remember when the NBA decided to strictly enforce rules about “overt” player reactions? Then everyone started getting hit with technical fouls. While the NBA says they will take care of flopping through constant fines, the referees know flopping is discouraged by the league. Knowing what the league is looking for the exaggerated actions, the referees could find their own
Not that it matters. Point of emphasis or not, referees love wielding their power in the most pointless ways. Remember in the playoffs when Reggie Evans got hit with a technical for high-fiving? Telling the officials something is against the rules, but not giving them a specific way to combat it might lead to more problems. It should be both interesting and frustrating to see how this plays out as the regular season gets under way next week.