After Games 1 and 2 were marred by poor reffing and foul trouble, I wondered who would be assigned to officiate Game 3. (By the way, I was called for two fouls while writing the previous sentence.)
It had to be one of the best, least-controversial crews we’ve seen yet, right? Right?
Completely wrong. (Just picked up my third foul.) Bennett Salvatore (dumb) and Bill Kennedy (dumber) will be reffing Game 2, along with Dan Crawford (actually legit).
Want a little history about Salvatore? Well, Phil Jackson had this to say about Salvatore earlier this season: “With Bennett (Salvatore), you don’t know what you’re going to get.” That about sums up Salvatore’s entire reffing career, which includes calling the foul that sent Dwyane Wade to the free throw with one second left in 2006′s Game 5. (By the way, the whole crew that reffed that game, which is widely seen as an atrociously-reffed game and perhaps proof that Tim Donaghy might not be lying? Joey Crawford, Joe DeRosa and Salvatore. Yup, each of those three has already been assigned to a game this series. The NBA, where sheisty officiating assignments happen.)
How about some history about Kennedy? (Picked up my fourth foul.) Well, he and Doc Rivers have a huge spat, detailed here, dating back at least a few years. Doc says Kennedy once called “the most unprofessional tech” Doc has ever received, and Tim Donaghy says the animosity between the two goes far deeper than that:
“I’m just gonna come out and say it like it is,” Donaghy said during an appearance on the Celtics Late Night Show. “It’s no secret on the staff that Bill Kennedy is a homosexual… I don’t have any ill will towards gays or lesbians, but it was no secret that he’s a homosexual. It was known around the league, it was obvious during a game Doc Rivers questioned his sexual orientation and I think that has stuck with Kennedy over the years and he has no love for Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics.” (Five fouls for me.)
But fear not, Celtics fans, Lakers fans or even fans of general fairness. David Stern has pitted one ref who hates Doc with another who hates Phil Jackson. He’s clearly doing it specifically so they counteract each other and make even calls. There’s no other explanation for him choosing two miserable officials with some seriously bad history on their sides. So Stern’s got a great plan!
Also, the officiating can’t possibly be much worse than it was in the first two games. I would say more but, well, the Game 1 crew just fouled me out of this blog post.