Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Day of Rest

Yesterday was the only day off for China in group stage. The rational, objective part of me knows how much a day off means to a team and a player (especially Yao, since he's still recovering). But the maniacal, subjective fan part of me wants my favorite team and player to go out and entertain every night. Alas, my rational part of me always wins out, because they never play every night anyway.

During the break, someone took the time to make a Youtube video showing the Battier-Yao collision, and also a gif. Looking at the replay, I think that it was a good call by the referees. Even Yao said (indirectly) that it was a charge. However, you can understand Yao's frustration. Earlier in the game, he got in front of Lebron on a drive, and appeared to draw the charge, but he was called for blocking. As it has often been said, the thing that most annoys players is not bad calls by the ref, but inconsistency, i.e. calling a charge on one play, then calling a blocking foul on the next in the same situation. That's what the FIBA refs appeared to do.

However, I guess I can't complain about them, as the NBA refs are just as bad, if not worse. The refs favor superstars, seem to forget that traveling is a violation, and a whole host of other things. The reffing in these World Championships seem decent, as at least they don't favor star players (if they did, then Battier would have been called for foul, not Yao). It's certainly better than the refereeing in the 04 Olympics. In fact, it seemed everything associated with that event was bad. There was almost no fan support, because there were no fans (most basketball games were played in almost dead silence), and their courts weren't even good (in the stadium where the played the games, the players kept on slipping because the paint was so slippery). Fortunately, everything seems to be going smoothly here.

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