Consistency will be difficult as the rule can be interpreted in different ways. The officiating isn’t perfect, but at least they’re addressing the issue as opposed to putting it on the back-burner. If players are required to ease up on their complaints to referees, the officials should be held accountable after a missed call.
“Guys will learn,” Jackson said. “The one thing about it is, guys will learn very quickly if they get fined or they get ejected. Just call it, guys will stop doing it. It may take a week or so, but guys learn real quickly in this game.”
Last night the Lakers were down three points with 45-seconds left on the clock when rookie Devin Ebanks received his first technical after throwing his hands up in disgust over a foul call. Utah Jazz rookie, Gordon Hayward, capped off his 26-point night by draining all three free throws awarded cementing his team’s win over the Lakers.
Ebanks and the Lakers can shrug it off as a rookie mistake during a meaningless preseason game, but what happens during the regular season or the playoffs when the stakes are higher?
Only time will tell how All-Star guard Kobe Bryant will fare adhering to the new guidelines. Already receiving one technical during the preseason, only averaging around 19 minutes per game, he comes off a season in which he collected 14 technicals, fourth most in the league. He previously earned 11 technicals during his 2008-09 campaign and a league-leading 15 in 2007-08.
Adjusting to ball-handling and shooting with a broken finger might prove to be easier for Bryant. Hopefully that isn’t the case. As far as Odom is concerned, he plans on sticking to the rule.
“I’m an employee. If you make rules, I’ll abide by them,” Odom said. “That’s just something that you have to do. We’re mature and old enough to do it. I want to keep my money.”