Word of advice for NBA referees about Avery Bradley


It's clear that you NBA referees do not understand what Avery Bradley is capable of doing on defense. And truth be told, it's not easy to see in real time. You probably think it's impossible for anybody to so thoroughly harass an opposing point guard without fouling him in the backcourt -- where you know very well that the defensive player isn't allowed to lay a hand on the guy bringing the ball up.

But you must also know, by now, that it IS possible, and that Bradley does this routinely. That's his game. He sticks to opponents like literal glue. He's so quick, that even when his opponent gets by him (because Bradley's been picked off -- the only way that ever happens), Avery finds a way to catch up before any damage is done. Surely the league has shown you guys, or you have seen one way or another, video of what AB does out there. His speed, quickness and flexibility are incredible. So much so that he's one of a kind. So you must know that a lot of your foul calls on him are simply bad calls.

And I'm just guessing now.... but I THINK it must be embarrassing to you to screw up in the SAME WAY over and over and over.

So here's some honest advice. It'll help you enormously if you just remember this one fact, gleaned from watching this kid play since he first came into the league: IF AVERY COMPLAINS ABOUT A CALL -- YOU'VE MADE A MISTAKE. Because AB NEVER, I mean *NEVER* complains unless he knows he's right. I've never seen him open his mouth after a call and be wrong. The video always backs him up, without fail.

So this presents an easy way to reduce your embarrassment. Just remember that when/if Avery complains about your call -- talk to your fellow refs, think it over, find a way to better understand what just happened. Because if you don't.... later, when you, or the league office, or all of you are going over the tape, the fact that you were wrong will be obvious. As it is to us at home (who have the benefit of not only broadcast slow-motion instant replay, but frame-by-frame-capable DVRs too).

Know this too: We fans RESPECT a ref that whistles a call one way, but then is able to change his mind to get it right. Conversely, what we HATE MOST OF ALL is when you get it wrong, go to the video, and STILL GET IT WRONG! -- because then we know it's about ego and not about the integrity of the game.

So: earn our respect. And our continued business. Stop abusing the best defensive guard in the league. Yes, he's doing things you haven't seen before. Yes, it's hard to see it all in real time. But that's no reason to get it wrong. Do not guess at these calls. And never assume that AB must be like everybody else. He's not.

And just so you know too -- when I say "earn our respect," I'm not talking about me and a drinking buddy. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF US. That's a lot of respect to earn.... and a lot to lose.

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