During my entire basketball playing career, I probably received three technical fouls. I was even-keeled and respectful to the referees, kind of like Rasheed Wallace, except the exact opposite. But once I started coaching? Man, I suddenly morphed into Bobby Knight.
I got tossed out of a few games, started a toe-to-toe verbal sparring match with one ref, and was never shy about letting a ref know when he sucked. And I was just coaching in a laid-back summer league. Imagine if the games actually meant something.
Pretty much every game I coached, I was assured of hearing a whistle’s tweet and then seeing the ref put his hands in the shape of a T. I got on the refs like Tommy Heinsohn, except with KG’s potty mouth. I can tell you exactly why my attitude towards refs became a lot worse when I coached: because I had no control over the outcome of the game. Sure, I could tell my players what to do, but I couldn’t do it myself. That lack of control was the most frustrating part of being a coach, and I took my emotions out on the poor refs.
Having no control while coaching meaningless games drove me nuts, so I can only imagine how Stephane Lasme felt the other night, watching on television as Von Wafer made a strong claim for the 15th spot. Seeing your competition play well is tough enough, but seeing it while you sit in a hotel, watching on television, with no chance for rebuttal, just because you had some visa issues? Damn, that’s brutal. I can’t even imagine how tough that must have been.
I feel for you, Steph. Keep doing your thing. Work hard, set screens, play defense, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. I can only hope you don’t look back at that unfortunate visa situation with any regrets.