This post is about two things. Terrible referees in the NBL and why I don’t want to see the 3peat won in Auckland.
Firstly, the referees. I wonder what game they were watching. There were some pretty terrible calls on both sides, but particularly in Perth’s favour. The refs also REALLY didn’t like Dillon Boucher and Cedric Jackson tonight. Did the refs actually see that “unsportsmanlike foul” Mika Vukona supposedly did in the first half? It was borderline to be a foul at all, because he looked to get the ball, but it definitely was not unsportsmanlike. Just because whoever the heck the foul was against decided to get up and threaten a punch-up (surely THAT was the unsportsmanlike foul?) doesn’t mean it was deserving. It’s like a flop, except even more messy.
I seriously hope the NBL Commission takes a good look at the standard of referees in the NBL. Some of them do a brilliant job. Others do an average but acceptable job. However, there are far too many who either show bias, or absolutely no care for what the rules actually say. Unfortunately, the number in that latter category seems to be increasing every season. Just as unfortunate, I doubt the NBL will do anything about this, because fans have been calling for some sort of review for a number of seasons now. The NBL usually runs a poll on their website asking what one area fans want the referees to focus on more in the next season, and that area usually will improve. The only other change will be everything else getting worse though.
What’s even more disappointing though is that the poor referee quality is harming the NBL Grand Finals. Sure, there was a couple material errors that Perth made in Game 1, the most important of which was continuing to go for 3 point shots when they clearly weren’t falling (the official stat sheet I saw after the game gave Perth 18% from beyond the arc, compared with the Breakers on 30-something percent). However, I think the game would have been very different if the referee performance had been high quality. It really was closer to a “flip a coin and see who wins” because you didn’t know which was the refs would call something. Not only were their calls bad, but they also weren’t consistent.
Now, to why I want the Breakers to win in Perth. There’s a couple reasons, I’ll rank them by importance in reverse order.
3. Get it done, have some fun
If the Breakers get this thing done in Perth, they can come back to New Zealand and maybe have some sort of event when the trophy is displayed or whatever when Game 3 would be played. That let’s the team have a bit of fun. Sure, basketball must be a pretty fun job, but playing the game is much more serious than having a meet-and-great with fans and showing off the silverware.
In the NBA, you either support the LA Lakers, or you hate them. The Wildcats are the NBL’s Lakers. They are mostly hated by other teams. They are considered (and for some players, this is true) to be arrogant. And they made a really bad “anthem” and “rap”. See the videos at the bottom of the post.
1. Do something Perth haven’t done on their home court
Perth have never won three straight championships. If the Breakers win on Friday, they will have won the championship. This means they will have won a third straight championship on the court of the only team that has really threatened the Breakers this season. Perth has won more championships than any other team. Admittedly, they’ve only had two MVPs, which surprises me. But still, Perth and the Breakers are the two teams others fear playing at their home courts. To have a period of success that outweighs any period of success Perth has had will be oh so sweet.
And just so every knows, the two following videos are what EVERYONE should hate the Perth Wildcats.