In a recent interview with the New York Times, Joey Crawford said that one of his biggest regrets as a referee was the egregious technical foul he called on superstar Tim Duncan for laughing on the bench.
The technical foul eventually led to a verbal altercation in which Crawford challenged Duncan to a fight; a confrontation which inevitably led to the suspension of Crawford from the NBA.
Referees are human. Good calls, bad calls, personal vendettas, and blatant mistakes are a part of the game. It’s what makes the game so infuriating and yet so ineffable.
Yesterday evening, however, may have been the most absurd technical foul called on in the history of the NBA. Calling a technical on Duncan for laughing is one thing, but calling a technical for high-fiving your teammate is another thing.
Right before the end of the first half of the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies game, Griffin passed the ball to Evans on a fast break. The bulldozing Evans drew the foul and the two players proceeded to high-five for what was a good basketball play. However, they were immediately hit with a technical foul by referee Marc Davis causing both players to raise their hands up in total disarray and utter confusion.
Commentators Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy of ESPN proceeded to say:
Mike Breen: Where’s the technical?
Jeff Van Gundy: I don’t know what that…wow. Cause it wasn’t anything he said. It wasn’t a taunt.
The technical foul led to a made free throw by Rudy Gay. A single point that typically would not make a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but when you lose a game by a total of two points in the NBA playoffs, it makes all the difference in the world.