The league, with its lack of sunshine on referee oversight, hasn't helped matters. But even further, the media itself perpetuates these rumblings. In the most recent case, a writer tossed some kindling on the fire ... with no disputed call even at stake.
Boston Globe writer Frank Dell'Apa offered the following passage in his Monday morning notes column:
An NBA source pointed out before the game that two of the referees were Chicago natives (Bill Kennedy and Dan Crawford). Kennedy also was involved in an incident with Rivers during the Bulls' St. Patrick's Day win in which both were fined by the league for jawing. The source also said that after the game family members of both referees departed wearing Bulls gear.Again, there were no disputed calls discussed in the context of Kennedy's suggested Bulls favoritism. For Dell'Apa and his source (a person of Celtics employ, one can only assume), what's the point? No one alleges (in this notes column or around the league) that Kennedy missed a blatant call, unless the discussion of the Glen Davis-Brad Miller dust-up is meant to invoke sympathy for the plight of the Celtics.
The dust-up in which, you know, Davis pretended Lennox Lewis had hit him with a right cross.
To the credit of the Celtics, no one seems to be whining. That makes Dell'Apa's decision to run with this inflammatory but otherwise useless material even more irresponsible.
(Monday morning inquiries to Dell'Apa had not been answered by time of this post's publication.)
UPDATE, 3:08 PM ET: It appears that, contrary to Dell'Apa's report, Kennedy is actually from Phoenix. Born there, attended high school there, and went to Arizona State. In fairness to Dell'Apa, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald got the same tip from a Celtics employee regarding the families of Crawford and Kennedy ... and published the same inflammatory but useless material.
UPDATE, 10:57 PM ET: Dell'Apa responded to a request for comment, and relayed that Globe beat writer Marc Spears contributed the Kennedy material. After publication, Dell'Apa said he and Spears were told Kennedy lives in the Chicago area, but is not necessarily a Chicago native. The Globe's story has not been updated with that information, however.