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Jason Kidd Fined For Criticising Referees, Free Speech Doesn't Exist In NBA

Following Monday's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks was none too happy about the officiating and made his grievances well-known. It now appears that the NBA does not take too kindly to guys who spout off with "opinions" about "crummy" "officiating."

Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops reports that Kidd has been fined $25,000 for "public criticism of officiating." Kidd and head coach Rick Carlisle both made comments about the officiating in the game, with Carlisle in particular referring to it as "brutal," but only Kidd was fined.

Remember a couple years ago, when it was revealed that there were some crooked NBA refs? Boy, that was something, right? It's too bad that the NBA feels the correct way to handle the whole "the-credibility-of-our-officials-will-forever-be-in-doubt" thing by persisting with a draconian fining policy if -- heaven forbid! -- a player dared to take exception to perceived slights against their team.

Can you imagine a baseball player being fined an amount this large for questioning an umpire? Heck, baseball players usually have to slug an umpire to be fined for disrespecting an official. On the other hand, I can't imagine there are a bunch of umpires who are engaged in some kind of gambling conspiracy to line their own pockets. So maybe it isn't fair to compare the sports after all.

Keep up the great work, David Stern. Keep saving basketball.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.