The whistle blows, the ref makes the gesture and a technical foul is given to a player who has just over stepped his bounds. Technical fouls occur when a player complains too much, throws a fist or just is acting in an unsportsmanlike way. The NBA has a rule that if any one player receives 16 technical fouls in a season, they get suspended for one game. Most players manage to avoid that mark and learn to control their emotions on the court and keep their snide comments to themselves.
Kobe Bryant isn’t quite one of those players. Bryant received his 14th technical foul last night against The Denver Nuggets right as the second quarter ended. Joey Crawford blew his whistle and handed Kobe his 14th T for complaining about a foul that should’ve been called on a last second shot attempt. However this technical was later rescinded by the league office after Bryant spoke with Crawford and he again only has 13.
Bryant has always gotten close, but only once in his illustrious career has Bryant been suspended for receiving a 16th technical foul in a season. Bryant is leading the league in technical fouls with 13 this season, a stat that isn’t one you’d like to be leading in. Perhaps it’s just the way things have gone, or perhaps it’s a bigger issue, perhaps it’s the sense of urgency he has and by showing this kind of emotion on the court he hopes to get his teammates fired up. We all know this has been a trying season and hasn’t gone the way anyone had hoped and maybe that’s why Bryant is letting out more frustration on the court.
Good news for Laker fans is that Kobe is the master of zen taking after former coach Phil Jackson, so fans everywhere need not worry about Bryant hitting that 16 tech threshold. Bryant knows his team needs him during this critical time and a one game suspension could be extremely detrimental to the team’s success.
Bryant and The Lakers face a tough road ahead, one that’s going to take guts, emotion, and a will to win. If Kobe can keep his cool and stay under that 16 technical threshold The Lakers have a much higher chance of success and making the playoffs.