With their members no longer allowed to whine without feeling it in the wallet, the NBA’s players association is picking up the slack and threatening — get this — an unfair labor practice because league referees are calling too many technical fouls.
Someone, please ‘T’ up Billy Hunter. Who runs this union, Rasheed Wallace?
Yes, there have been a lot of technicals so far, about twice as many $1,000 love taps as this time last year. But once the players learn that stomping around, throwing headbands and making facial expressions normally reserved for contact with a soiled diaper no longer flies, the players will adapt.
That giggling sound you hear is Joe Johnson, averaging 27.8 points a game for the 3-1 Hawks who lead the Eastern Conference as the Suns struggle out of the gate.
Unfortunately, “Bizzaro World” won’t last in the NBA. The Knicks and Hawks aren’t playoff teams, and J.J. is succeeding only in making sure his team’s first-round pick in 2007 won’t be lottery protected (through the first three picks) to Phoenix.
• Arizona State 26, Washington State 19: A nice idea, but not the way “Champions Weekend” was supposed to play out. A season that started with ill-fated expectations is now reduced to talk of buy-outs, break-even bowls and battling Arizona for bragging rights.
Why pick ASU? Good question. The Cougars lost at home to Arizona. Fair enough?
• California 33, Arizona 17: The Wildcats had a nice upset win at Washington State last week, but steps up in class this time. Even with the home field, the Bears roll.
• Dallas 23, Cardinals 16: The Cowboys have changed quarterbacks, they’ve blown close games and their old coach is aging before our eyes. But they aren’t the Cardinals. Look for Terrell Owens to take a few catnaps in the Arizona end zone.
• More ammunition for those who view microfracture as a twoyear injury: Portland’s Zach Randolph is among the early scoring leaders after dropping 35 and 37 on the Clippers and Lakers in the last two games. This supports suspicions in the Suns camp that no matter how far Amaré Stoudemire comes this season, next year is the true barometer.
• Those calling for the University of Miami to not play Saturday following the shooting death of teammate Bryan Pata need to step off. Those closest to Pata, his teammates, want to play and honor his memory. No one should stand in their way.
• How much do you want to bet Joe Paterno still gets blind-sided by a quality-control coach in the Penn State press box this weekend?