As the Charlotte Hornets struggle against a Washington Wizards team with nothing to play for; while the Golden State Warriors prepare to tie a 20-year old NBA record, more thoughts rush through my head about the meaning of the Jeremy Lin Flagrant foul video becoming such a hit, and why Stephen Curry and Draymond Green can get away with a lot more than anyone else.
The Lin video is pretty much a compilation of him getting beaten up repeatedly as he goes to the basket with the referees once giving a flagrant foul. It’s happening a lot this season, but it’s nothing new. Lin get hacked, whacked and smacked and at best gets to go to the line. The NBA has meddled over the years with the flagrant foul rules in order to protect players and make offenders be wary of getting thrown out or suspended. But there’s a different set of rules for different tier of players and teams.
And why is it such a success? It’s close to 600k views over the last four days and becoming the most upvoted r/nba submission in the last month and by the looks of things one of the biggest this year. It’s not just because of Lin’s incredibly big and loyal fan base. It has a lot to do with what it represents, which is where the Warriors angle falls in place, even if they have nothing to do with the Hornets and Lin, except for being the team Lin’s NBA career started out with.
This year people finally started to notice, although it’s been something that is going on since last season. The Warriors, like a lot of “best in the NBA” teams over the years, get preferential treatment from referees. Yes, they’re better than anyone and their defense can be incredible difficult to score against. But it’s hard to see players not called Draymond Green getting away with the things he does defensively and offensively (charging through players or his notorious moving screens). Stephen Curry? Like others on the team, he’s allowed to be uber-aggressive to call it gently and not get called for fouls. NBA fans who watch with an opinion already set love to whine about LeBron James getting calls from officials, but it hasn’t been that way for a while.
The latest example of the Warriors getting the help they need from officials came in their 100-99 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. One example is Green doing whatever he wants while fighting for a rebound, which means pushing and grabbing jerseys and anything else you can think of. The other is both Klay Thompson and Curry fouling Lance Stephenson as he goes up for a potentially game winning shot, hitting his elbow and pushing him out of bounds. Some teams and players can get away with these things. Others need to get decapitated before the whistle is blown.