Shut Up And Play

Posted by Fran Blinebury

Have the purple and gold crocodile tears stopped yet?  Has anyone found the shamrock green pacifier?

Two games into the NBA Finals and you can tell the latest incarnation of Lakers vs. Celtics must already be a doozie, because the coast-to-coast wailing from both sides is making for the most unpleasant loud noise heard since the Concorde was grounded and Rosie O’Donnell went off the air.

In Game 1 it was the Celtics who were hosed.  Poor Ray Allen was shackled to the bench with foul trouble almost before the national anthem was finished and, of course, that meant Boston never had a chance.

Never mind that the Celtics shot 36 free throws in the game to the 31 for the Lakers.

In Game 2 it was the Lakers who got the shaft.  Poor Kobe Bryant was whistled for five fouls and thus didn’t get to do whatever he pleased coming down the stretch and, of course, that meant L.A. never had a chance.

Never mind that by the middle of the third quarter the Lakers had a 34-14 advantage in free throws taken and wound up ahead 41-26 for the game.

Funny thing is none of the complainers from Boston bother to mention how the Celtics allowed the Lakers to control the paint like the Allies marching down the Champs Elysees and Pau Gasol to do whatever he pleased.  Funny thing is none of the complainers from L.A. bother to mention the complete defensive collapse of the final 5:21 and how Rajon Rondo was allowed to do whatever he pleased.

Why bother when it’s easier to put all the blame on the referees (an almost equal 57 fouls on the Celtics and 55 on the Lakers through two games, by the way) and conjure up conspiracies hiding behind every potted plant?

Here’s an idea for Game 3:  Shut up and play.


  1. Shaq says:

    What is up with the love fest with Lakers and kobe and the tv clowns
    they are on the lakers jock and kobe it is hard to listen
    Mark sucked as a player
    Van G sucked as a coach
    The media is on the Laker Jock like the Lakers are their daddy
    ” what a perfect shot”
    ” o he is unstoppable”
    BS on and On

  2. Shaq says:

    Game three they did find the Refs who hate the Celtics. If they want to give the champship to Jordan wantbe give it to him
    The so call greatest coach , coaches thought the media, cries about the refs talks to his players, and the the refs do call
    bs calls against the Celtics. I am done with this Bull Sh– NBA refing . Can’t wait for the NFL.

  3. in basketball there is no fair or unfair officiating..
    goodluck to the celtics, they really have a problem when playing in their court..nobody can stop the mighty KOBE…
    the pressure was all over them now that the lakers won the game 3..

    but yeah…the last two games has a pretty bad officiating..
    the refs are kinda unfair….

    >but MAX is right though..
    we cant just SHUT UP AND WATCH the game…thats pretty hard…
    its NBA…everything happens..

    GO LAKERS, though i really hoped for the cavaliers to get in the finals..>
    hoping james would accept the bulls offer…

  4. jaye says:

    i’m tired of the idea that has been spread and accepted as law that there is a different standard of officiating that should be had in the playoffs…. the term “playoff foul” makes me sick…. a foul is a foul…. regardless of the game… call the game correctly…

  5. sokre says:

    you are all talking about bad officiating in favor of Boston, but then you could talk more about favoring LA.Ray 5 fouls in 26 min,Kg 5 fouls in 23 min, Kobe 5 fouls in 34 min and artest 6 foul in 40 min.And you all know that calls that are called on guards are often not called on centers and power forwards because you should expect that there will be more fighting in the paint.But I agree that there should be less calls made and that they are slowing down the game and making it nonwatchable.And all those talking about KG being a thug and not playing fair, have you ever watched the games from 80’s or 90’s.It’called basketball not ballet.

  6. adam says:

    Agreed. Bad calls flew both ways and may have influenced each game somewhat but that is, unfortunately, the NBA. I can understand the frustrations of players on both teams though as they have to try to adjust their games based on what’s getting called and how. When it’s inconsistent it makes it hard for them to play their game.

    I would say knock of the ticky tack calls then. Get rid of at least 50% of the touch fouls and ghost fouls in games 1 and 2 and just let the teams freakin play. This should be an epic series that is actually fun to watch no matter which side you’re on. Watching every other play or more broken up with foul shots and strange turn overs just sucks the fun out of the finals.

  7. dave says:

    See which official has lil green clovers and other greens in their pockets for game 3….Lakers in 6 if they play the celtics…Please no color blind officials this time…thanks

  8. Max says:

    Wow! You’re one of those retards that needs a helmet aren’t you. It’s hard to “SHUT UP AND PLAY” when all the stars are on the bench. Allen game one, KG, Kobe and Lamar game 2 (all had 5 fouls at the end of the game). Plus, refs don’t only call fouls… at the end of the game KG threw it of bounds like he was pitching for the red socks. They called it Boston ball… new rule from 2008 is that refs can use video replay on an out of bounds call. They still called it for Boston when KG palmed the ball and dropped it out of bounds as he was pulling it in. Bogus call.

    It was a one possession game at that point and just seconds later fisher comes up with a clean steal with a chance to bring the game close again and they called him for lose ball foul… he didn’t even touch rondo. Refs took away all sorts of chances for both teams throughout the game but in the end they handed the game to Boston.

    Not to mention Perkins should be out a game because there was a time when a double tech should of been called and it wasn’t. You can’t say “Oh well your 7th tech will only come if you punch a baby in the face.” If double tech should have been dealt you don’t change the rule to help a team… that’s called cheating. Hard to “SHUT UP AND PLAY” when refs are taking over the game.

  9. dan says:

    lol. Calling kg and the celtics thugs is a slap in the face of real thugs. Lambeer and other nba players who played the game like men, not like a bunch of little emo’s, would have been banned and great series such as bulls vs pistons, new york vs miami would never have existed thanks to today’s rules.

    Sorry but these finals have shown what happens when you let a a bunch of christian, corporate jerk wads run the league. No emotion, terrible foul calls, and a lot of merchandise being shoved down our throats. The way this league is going don’t be surprised if players get a technical foul for cussing.

    • PJ says:

      Dan, you think that this has anything to do with Christian principles? For starters, the man in charge (Stern) is Jewish anyway, I believe. I think that you’re right in saying that the officiating is terrible and allows for whining and all that somesuch, but I wouldn’t say it’s ruining the finals or the league. That’s a pretty outlandish statement if you sit back and think about it.

      The players decide games, not the refs, and that hasn’t changed. Besides, I saw a ton of horrible calls toward Celtics too: blocks called fouls on both Paul Pierce and Big Baby, and everyone is focusing on one bad call toward the Lakers.

      Tell you what: if the Lakers had been winning handily, this wouldn’t have been a big deal, so winning is still entirely in the hands of the teams. Not to mention that the team with the worse attitude and manners toward refs is by far the Lakers, with the exception of Kobe, who is becoming, it seems to me, a better sport every season. So I’d say leave all the “thug” talk out of it. It’s misplaced. Kinda stupid actually.

      Go Celtics, though. I do hope anyway that Kobe wins another championship down the road.

  10. SPLIFOUT says:


  11. neutral says:

    Many bad calls made, both sides, please be fair guys, i just want to see a game that is fair and square.

  12. bevk says:

    Nice article that is what we were talking too while watching the game just shutup and play. But there is something I would like to suggest. If NBA improves even more and make some good changes it would be nice to watch. Make the same rule for everyone who argues about foul calls or make it a strict rule that even if the players stare at referees give them a technical. Either no enquiry or everyone can enquire. I am seeing discrepancies in giving technical fouls. Kobe argues a lot with the referees about his foul calls also Lebron. Both of them are pampered. Also ejecting super players out of games is becoming difficult for the officials. Dwight made horrible flagrant fouls. He would have been ejected before game3 against celtics but he was not. But if kendrick perkins shows little bit of emotion he is given double technicals. Hopefully officials will be aware that perk already has 6 technicals and he wont be given another one mainly because he dint deserve some of those.
    Simple way to avoid this is, make it like baseball/cricket. Have replys but dont allow players/coaches to argue.

  13. shutuplebron says:

    i’m pissed at the refs cause they call too many touch fouls, there is no flow to the game and all the stars are in foul trouble. there were two fouls on kobe and there was no contact, same at the boston’s end. i’m not being biased, they need to swallow their whistle and let these guys play a little.

    • Ed says:

      Guys, blame it on Phil Jackson. If he had not complained publicly about the Celts’ being too physical, the refs would not have been strict in calling fouls. Shoves and no-harm fouls should have been let-go. This is the Finals, remember? But Phil thought it would be to the Lakers advantage if the officiating were strict. It backfired to all, and to the displeasure of the watching public.

  14. pp34 says:

    series tied.
    now its time in bean town.
    go celtics.

  15. Eric says:


    They are calling too many fouls against both teams. A lot of the time there is no foul. People want to watch both teams play with all their best players. We have not seen that yet. Crucial players in both games have had to sit out due to terrible officiating. I look forward to seeing a game where both teams can have their best players on the floor and see who wins.

  16. Planeswalker says:

    @Jov, look again at the replay. Garnett may have touched the ball last, but it was Pau’s hands pushing KG’s hands outside. The refs sure could have called otherwise, but it was to their discretion that what made the ball out of bounds was Gasol and not KG. **obviously, they couldn’t call a foul on Gasol, thus their discretion? give it to Boston instead.

    • Jorge says:

      Huh? Even if you are correct, the player touching the ball (not hand) last goes against him…you odviously have never played ball !

  17. Planeswalker says:

    Oh c’mon… Game 2??? Garnett had much less minutes than Kobe!!! Even Davis, Perk, and Sheed were in foul trouble. I ain’t blaming the refs. I’m just sending a shout-out to the cry-babies in Lakerdom that the calls don’t favor Boston! Never did!

  18. Mark says:

    Some fouls do change the complexion of the game though wouldn’t you say?

  19. jov says:

    what i dont like to see is calls like the out of bounds play (in 4th qtr 2:00 mins) where the refs said gasol touched the ball last, they went to the replay (it was so clear garnet touched it last) but they gave the ball to the celtics anyway.

    Why bother looking at replays if you wont negate the previous call?

  20. Will says:

    I think Doc has found the gash in the armor of L.A. and with 3 games in Boston expect Paul Pierce and KG to step it up see people don’t understand that Boston has a team concept you can’t prepare for 1 player because every game its a different player who will step up even if KG or Paul don’t show up. I still believe Boston in 5 or 6 because Fisher is a liablity, Odom a no factor and Boston bench is better and wants it more then L.A.’s bench and I end with this. There will be more charges on Kobe and if no Kobe NO CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  21. Nick says:

    The total calls made on each team may have been fair. People aren’t complaining their teams have been unfairly treated, just Ray and Kobe. Ray was given 2 poor foul calls in game 1 and Kobe was given 2 in game 2. The offensive on Kobe against Ray was a terrible call as was the ‘blocking/pushing foul’ on Kobe against Rondo when all he did was stand up straight. They were also bad calls made against both teams, Fisher called when breathing near Ray and Big Baby when he had a legitimate block that should have been a no call.

    Both players foul troubles may or may not have changed the result or the series but it sure does ruin the spectacle of the game when 2 great players are sitting on the bench half the game through NO fault of their own. Even when they’re on the court, they can’t be as aggresive attacking or defending and you really did see Kobe a shadow of himself not being able to play the game to the best of his ability!

    Isn’t that what we want from the NBA finals, the best players and teams playing the best possible basketball? Although the officials don’t seem to think so…

  22. Ida says:

    The officiating was fairly even…The only fault I saw was the one even after an instant replay…it was the wrong call. I just think it’s coming down to getting ratings up and making money. This calls for a long series…Even after a hot shooting night from Ray and LAL still almost had this game…Id be surprised if the Lakers lost the series.

  23. SPURSGERMANY says:

    why is it that you you guys,sekou,garcia and co,dont see what is to be seen ,Lakers will not take this ring without putting a fight!!
    As a non-neutral guy, im behind the green brick wall, after CAVS;MAGIC bring on LAKERS, bunch of overrated teams

  24. SPURSGERMANY says:

    Well i did whine and complain throughout the first three quarters and until 5:21 in the 4th, because
    it seems like gasol,bynum were just falling down like potattoes bags everytime there was a contact!!
    But God sei dank we won it, watching the green wall brick is like watching our guys,SO GO CELTS, just finish them take two and make it 3-1before going back west

  25. lakersfan says:

    im not blaming da refs for our game 2 loss..we were horrible for da last 5 mins only 4 points and terrible D will lose u da game everytime.. but come on really how do da refs mess up da out of bounds situation huh?? i havent heard one journalists talk about that obvious blown call by da refs i mean damnnn refs looked at da replay and STILL GOT IT WRONG come on that ish has to fixed we cant have replay in use n still get calls wrong WTF that was da only complaint i have.. u cant even tell me im wrong.. lakers will win game 3 i hope..

  26. GoLakers says:

    errr, maybe Rondo was allowed to dominate the paint in the 4th because a guy named Kobe Bryant was guarding him and was playing with 5 fouls? Did anyone not see KB stand and watch helplessly as he gave up easy layups? You are agreeing that his post move bump on Ray (head on face accidental clash) and Rondo falling out of bound unaided was a foul in the finals?????????????

    I think the Refs are deciding games…I think David Stern wants a series …after all , it is good for the game and it is good for ratings = good for the $$$NBA$$$. If that is the case, the Refs better make sure the series heads back to LA!

  27. godspeedtotheuderdogs says:

    I think the whistle was used a little too much in both games 1 and 2 on both sides. No one really wants to watch key players of both teams tiptoeing on defense hoping not to get buried further into foul trouble. The finals is supposed to be about all out tough defense and hustle plays but the officials may have cheated the fans of seeing a true epic battle by calling some questionable calls on Ray Allen on game 1 and Kobe on game 2. I agree with some of the fouls no doubt, but there were some fouls like the foul called on Kobe after the rondo steal, and a few others which were questionable calls on both sides.

  28. youguysareidiots says:

    A few more interesting points to take in:

    – Why is Allen allowed to push off when going around picks, yet if Kobe attempts to gain position he is called for a whistle?

    – Why are Garnett/Davis/Wallace/Perkins allowed to move on nearly EVERY screen they set?

    – Why is it OK as a ref to say “a guy has 6 technical fouls so don’t call the 7th even is he is a complete disrespectful jerk to you?”

    – Why do we want to promote thuggery and bullying instead of real basketball?

    – Why do we not take advantage of a reply system that actually is supposed to work?

    – Why do we feel the need to “even things out”… if one team is notoriously more physical and continues to foul incessantly then it is quite reasonable to see a foul disparity and foul trouble for their team. The Lakers do not foul like the Celtics, not early in the season, not 2 years ago, not last year, not now and not next game.

    • chambers says:

      ‘why do we want to promote thuggery and bullying ?”
      you’re so one eyed it’s ridiculous. You’re resorting to saying the celtics are playing like thugs?
      Wtf is ron artest? wtf is Sasha vujicic? get your hand of it guy.
      How many gimmes does kobe get from the refs because he’s kobe? He gets away with travels, fouls.
      Notice how whenever kobe or fisher foul someone they ALWAYS complain to the refs ? I mean 100% of the time- watch next game when either of them get called for a foul.
      The fouls are almost exactly even in this series for both teams.
      All you guys saying that if it weren’t for allen coming alive they would’ve had no chance.
      Well if Allen had five attempts and missed four, they wouldve gotten paul peirce involved and he would’ve had more points, or they would’ve gone low to KG and perk alot more. There are so many variables- they just kept going to Ray coz he was on fire.
      The biggest problem i see going forward for the lakers is going to be Ray allen.
      If they stick fisher on him, he will destroy fisher on the picks and screens and get 20 shots per game.
      If they put kobe on him, kobe will lose so much energy chasing allen around that he won’t have the legs to save the game for the lakers like he does so often.
      The biggest problem for the celtics is their lack of starting five low post/rebounding power.
      If the lakers wanna win they have to contain ray allen and rondo and force paul peirce to shoot 30 points per game, and they have to abuse KG and perkins downlow on offense with gasol and bynum.

  29. JoJo says:

    Bad officiating is bad officiating. The refs have been horrible for both sides in both games. These are the FINALS. The best refs should be working these games, not a bunch of rec league scrubs who call rampant flops, and miss calls they can instant replay. The officiating has been horrible for both sides. Nothing worse than seeing refs determine games rather than the players on the floor. How much do these refs get paid??? Horrible article. Bad officiating is bad for the game, bad for the fans, and bad for the players.

  30. youguysareidiots says:

    Sorry I knock the ball out of bounds in a play with 119 seconds left in the game, which allows a clear view for the refs to have a reply, the announcers to state the obvious that it is Lakers ball, and the whole world to see a ONE possession game instead of a 2… oh and then I get bailed out by the refs and it’s my ball…and then I get to see my team get away with another one when Ron Artest does not foul, but instead fouls out on 2 miserable last fouls (when Pierce slips and Rondo loses the ball)… oh but that is fair? Give me a effin break. The Celtics, the “more physical” team, are really just a team that fouls EVERY play on Kobe (by holding, shoving, etc) and inside on Bynum/Gasol… ALL of the Celtics bigs should have fouled out and it is a shame that the refs attempted to keep it close by calling phantom calls on Kobe and Artest throughout. Celtics, the NBA and Celtics fans should be ashamed of themselves for even accepting a victory. That was a joke and it makes me want to cancel my pitiful season tickets to the WWE… I mean NBA.

  31. paul hogan says:

    Fran you have got to be kidding right??? Everyone on the planet (and fans of both teams) agree the refs have been absolutely abysmal. Im a HUGE Celtics fan but even I have to admit Kobe got screwed. 5 fouls on him with 3 being tottaly phantom. Ray Allen only playing something like 12 minutes in game 1. They are ruining the finals. This crap never happened when it was Bird and Magic going at it. I want the Celtics to win but I also want them to beat the lakers at their best. Neither team has been able to field there best squad. I want Celtics vs Lakers with the starting 5 going at it like it is supposed to be. The Officials are denying us a true championship series. Oh yes, and the fact that the Lakers had a 41-26 advantage in free throws only proves how bad it was. Thats an extra 15 points the Lakers could have had and that doesnt prove your point it refutes it. Both teams are getting screwed and are denied key players during this finals. So who is going to get the 5 quick fouls tommorow. You know someone will, I just hope its not Rhondo.

  32. Darrell says:

    Wow ,great article Sekou.I commend you for writing a piece that doesnt follow the herd mentality( not what everyone wants to hear),NBA fans are the worse at trying to find every reason(blaming refs) that their team lost except manning up and realizing they were not better on that particular night. Thanks for a refreshing change from a the typical BS .

  33. albert caushi says:

    what are you talking about Smith, whatever happened happened before 1:59 left in the fourth quarter, however that moment was the turning point of the game, whatever 5 fouls on kobe, he survived through it BUT IT WAS OUT ON GARNETT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GARNETT!!!!!! CLEARLY EVEN A BLIND PERSON CAN SEE!!! thats it, i dont even care anymoreif lakers lose because we dont lose to celtics, we lose to REFS!!!!!!

    • SM says:

      Um sir you really need to stop the whining and complaining. I agree the ball was clearly out on the Celtics but that is not what lost the game for the Lakers. I guess Rondo’s block of Fischer’s shot, Rondo’s strip of Kobe from behind, and the Lakers inability to score or get stops in that final stretch had nothing to do with their loss. The game ended on a 14-3 run by the Celtics and they didn’t even score on that possession when they got the ball. Its easy to place blame on someone other than yourself. The Celtics had more points in the paint, a higher shooting percentage, more rebounds, and we can’t forget the 3-point game although I know the Lakers fans would love to nigate what Ray Allen did. All those things added together equals a Celtics win over the Lakers. So please sir stop your crying the Lakers got beat in the key aspects of the game (rebounds, points in the paint, etc). The same thing happened in game 1 the Lakers outrebounded and hammered the Celtics in the paint and guess what they won fair and square.

      • Jorge says:

        Umm SM, Albert may not have written it as eloquently as you did, but since you have all the answers, what exactly did the refs see when they watched the video of KG hitting the ball out of bounce? What happeneded after that was not relevant.

        Rondo raking the ball from behind kobe…was a foul.

        Rondo “stealing” the ball from Kobe and then falling out of bounds was called a steal and then a foul on Kobe. The “steal” was a foul and there was NO foul on Kobe.

        As a former ball-player myself, its not the quantity of fouls, but the timing and who they’re called on. Fouls stop momentum, allows “a great” defense to set up, stops fast breaks…etc.

        With all the stats you threw out in your rebutal, the game was still close and on the line. So, I don’t think he’s whining and complaining. I think he’s stating the odvious which everyone that was watching saw with their own eyes. I’m not a Laker fan…just someone that really finds it hard to ignore the truth.

  34. wowie says:

    Well said!! If they want to be champs, they better start acting like one!! NO EXCUSES!!! SHUT UP AND PLAY!!!

  35. Oh Come on Mr. Smith. Complaining about officials in sports is as old as sports itself. How else do we placate ourselves when our team loses? We blame the officials. Of course this comment is meant with tongue in cheek, because in fact you got it right again. I always enjoy your posts…Thank’s.

    • youguysareidiots says:

      The fact of the matter is the entire first half the Celtics caught on fire and it STILL wasn’t enough to hold off the superior Lakers squad…they had to 100% rely on the refs getting Kobe/Artest in foul trouble w/ nonsense. The funny thing is Garnett could have had 3 or 4 ADDITIONAL fouls and Kobe/Artest each 2 or 3 LESS. The same w/ Wallace, Davis, etc. They are thugs and if you enjoy watching them and following them simply because they where green and you’ve been a fan for 40 years then I pity you because that is not what Russell, Cousy, or Havilcek were about…and those were real ball players. These thugs belong on the street courts with the Nuggets Anthony, Smith, Anderson, and others… not the NBA, not with that kind of attitude or game. Garnett is a terrible example for the youth, and any real basketball fan as are most of his teammates.

  36. Chilax says:

    this is a good article, Sekou. a lot of laker fans have been whining and complaining that lakers loose game 2 because of ref calls. i also don’t like it when celtics fans whine about ref calls when celtics loose. the refs are just moderators, it’s the players who will make their team win or loose.

    good you published this article, Sekou.

    however, i like you only for this article. i hate you when you predicted that LA will win the series because i’m a celtics fan. though i respect your opinion because all of us are entitled to our opinions. 🙂

    now for all the fans who will be watching Game 3, stop whining and complaining. the next 3 games will be in Boston so just SHUT UP AND WATCH.

  37. Jon says:

    EXACTLY. 100% right on the money. Thank you for stating the not-so-obvious to the not-so-informed.

  38. ZULU says:

    I am done crying . I calling for all out war’cause Paul Pierce hasn’t gotten loose yet ( thanks R.A.). Their is a cure for Ray-Ray. Someone has to put him on his posterior in a non-flagarant manner of course. The only pass I will give the officiating trio from G-2 is that they are color blind in a society where color is ………. Pau & Kevin G’s hands. Red A. had to start smoking a stogie at that point.

    • Kevin & Paul will heat things up once they get back to the garden. This Celtics team is far different from any other NBA teams. You never know who is going to come up big. Game 2 was Ray & Rajon, game 3 will be Kevin & Paul. But however it shakes out on this 3 game home set, the Lakers are going to continue to have major problems trying to contain Rondo and the Celtics bench. Rondos rebounding leads to fast breaks, and fast breaks lead to wins. Rondo is going to do even bigger things before it’s all said and done, and I think he will lead the Celts to number 18, and be named the finals MVP. But, thats just me.