Kevin Durant expressed his opinion on the barrage of technical fouls that have been handed out this season, with even certain expressions of emotions being seen as worthy of a technical.
On Twitter, Durant wrote:
"I wanna say 7 of my 10 techs have been from me talking to loud to the refs. Not even using foul language..I’d scream “yo that’s a foul” and boom…" (via) @KDTrey5
Kevin Durant was handed a technical foul during Wednesday night's 143-113 win over the Golden State Warriors after stepping onto the court from the bench after Ben Simmons threw down a lob dunk in the second quarter. Durant now has 11 technical fouls for the season.
After 16 technical fouls, a player is suspended for one game during the regular season. According to Spotrac, Durant has already forefeited $29,000 in fines this season.
For Kevin Durant, this is certainly an outlier. Last season, Durant accumulated a eight technical fouls. He had three in the season before that and 20 in 2019. Having already accumulated 11 before Christmas this season, he is on pace to break the 20 mark in 2023.
Kevin Durant is far from the only victim of poor refereeing this season
Kevin Durant isn't the only one who has been the subject of this. Bench celebrations are being fined, and after Draymond Green was handed a technical foul for coming onto the court, Stephen Curry purposefully took a charge just to make a point: techs for celebrating are bogus.
There have been several instances of harmless acts warranting a technical foul, too. Last month, Jayson Tatum was handed a technical foul for simply clapping his hands.
It goes without saying that refereeing is a hard task. NBA referees have to make split-second decisions, sometimes with limited court vision. However, handing out fouls for expressing frustration is not only bogus, but has terrible optics for referees.
NBA referees are perhaps the only working entity within the league that is not held accountable for their decisions, at least not to the extent that players, coaches, general managers and owners are.
Time and again, players have spoken out against questionable decisions taken by referees.
Slack can be cut for decisions that have a high margin of error. For example, a referee might not be able to correctly assess whether or not a player is being hand-checked because of his/her obstructed view near the basket.
However, decisions which can absolutely be avoided, such as calling bogus technicals or obvious flops to shift advantages, severely harms the integrity and watch-quality of the game.