Draymond Green could be the next supervisor of NBA officials – of course he could. Of course, his catch phrase – “You’re fired!” – has already been taken by a far more notorious and objectionable figure.
Parsing out his suggestion, in the wake of his 11th technical foul of the season, that all the officials be fired and replaced by a whole new crop, however, belies one immutable fact.
The next 70 people brought in will almost certainly be worse than the 70 that already have gigs.
That’s how it worked when the NBA expanded from two to three officials in 1988 – the additional officials were almost unanimously worse than the roster as it existed because the NBA didn’t hire officials 1 through 23 to join their ranks, but officials 47-70. The overall quality therefore did not rise, but lowered.
In short, Green’s suggestion is to take the first through 70th-best officials and replace them with the 71st through 140th best officials. The flaw here should be obvious.
His other complaint, that there is greater hostility between officials and players, has more merit, though he seems to modify that for purposes of his argument to “hostility from officials toward players.” Officials should be allowed greater latitude to talk with players and vice versa, and the best ones do it anyway, but Green has a habit of leading with his facial version of Edward Munch’s “The Scream” and goes from there. That approach has always failed, it fails now, and it always will.
Plus, it isn’t like he hasn’t been told by mentors and colleagues alike that his approach isn’t working for him. It took him awhile to build his rep, and even if he stopped today it would take awhile to rebuild it.
Either way, he is rapidly reaching that “I Fought The Law And The Law Won” stage of his relationship with the officiating community, and barring him asking to officiate one of the April 1 games (the Warriors play Phoenix as the second game of a back-to-back with Sacramento and can surely spare him), he seems unlikely to either change his views or have the views of him changed.
Thus, I’m guessing he will hit his quota of technicals right after the All-Star Break and miss the Los Angeles Clippers game February 22. Here’s hoping the official who brings the hammer is Courtney Kirkland, the master of the headbutt.