Sydney Kings import Josh Childress shouldn’t expect any favours from referees

admin | 杭州桑拿
5 Jan 2019

It’s an unwritten rule in the NBA that the big names get the superstar calls. Should Josh Childress expect the same treatment in the NBL? On the basis of evidence presented in the early rounds of the season, there’ll be no special treatment for the former NBA forward. On the floor.

Let’s be honest, the Sydney Kings’ marquee import got off lightly off the court at the tribunal for his hit on Perth forward Jesse Wagstaff. A one-game ban and another match suspended plus a $7500 fine which will hardly break his bank considering he is receiving $7 million from the Phoenix Suns this season not to play for them.

On the court, the NBL referees have not given any extra leeway to Childress, or any of the several other NBA fringe players in the NBL this season.

It’s an impossibly fine line for the refs. They can’t be seen to be handing out preferential treatment to anyone, however the NBL won’t want the likes of Childress, Perth’s Toronto Raptors draftee DeAndre Daniels or Philadelphia 76ers’ Melbourne United loaner Jordan McRae, to be roughed up by some of the more physical teams in the league. That kind of word spreads. The NBL doesn’t want NBA team officials to think there’s an increased risk of injury if they go the Down Under option for players they’ve invested in.

And Childress was definitely targeted by the Wildcats in Perth. It looked like the Kings were dished up a hefty serve of home cooking in that game. It would be hard for refs not to be swayed by the fans at Perth Arena. It’s easily the most hostile NBL arena, with an intimidating crowd upwards of 12,000 fans for most games.

The Perth players know they can get away with more on their home floor. Who could blame them? It truly is a home-court advantage in every sense of the term and the other seven sides would kill to have that kind of atmosphere in their own building.

Childress was clearly frustrated after being pinged for an iffy offensive foul called when Wildcats veteran Damian Martin slipped in front of him at mid-court but it’s highly dubious that he had position before the Sydney star made contact. Then when Wagstaff flattened him while setting a screen and the refs swallowed their whistle, he sought retribution.

His act of revenge did two things – it showed the refs and opponents in the NBL that he would not be pushed around but it also showed rival teams he can be put off his game if confronted with physical play.

Ironically, the referees this season seem to have been doing a much better job of limiting rough play and allowing matches to flow. If Childress was in the NBL a few years ago he could have expected a far rougher time of things.

Points totals have been better than last season and the extra spacing has allowed the likes of Daniels, Breakers guard Cedric Jackson and Cairns hot shot Scottie Wilbekin to display their extraordinary athleticism, a crucial factor in the NBL’s attempts to boost crowds.

Childress, who it must be said has handled the adverse publicity like a seasoned professional and unfortunately had to put up with some cowardly attacks on social media, makes his return in Wollongong on Friday night against a desperate Hawks team which has slumped to a 1-7 record and last place on the ladder.

The Hawks racked up four wins from as many meetings with the Kings last season by employing a robust style of play which got under the skin of Sydney’s previous big-name NBA signing, Sam Young.

With the back-court combination of Kendrick Perry and Ben Madgen yet to click into top gear and a young front-court which wilted in crunch time last weekend in Cairns, the 1-3 Kings need their biggest name to get the job done against the Hawks and then back it up in Sunday’s home clash with Adelaide.

All eyes will be on Childress to see if he contains or maintains his rage.

Taking it to the poll … 

The NBA Eastern Conference poll  attracted more than 1000 votes with 35% of votes for Cleveland, ahead of Chicago at 32% with Miami a distant third with 9%.

The Western Conference poll had 1808 votes and delivered resounding confidence in San Antonio (36%) to win again with the LA Clippers at 14% the next best.

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