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What players are saying about the art of complaining to NBA referees

The Thunder players and the Lakers’ Nick Young weigh in on how far they’re willing to go in discussions with officials.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 15, 2014

What the Thunder and opposing players are saying about the art of complaining to NBA referees:

Russell Westbrook: “I really try not to say much. Because once you continue to complain you’re not going to get a call. So you can’t complain the whole game and expect to get every call. They’re not perfect refs. You just kind of got to pick and choose.”

Kevin Durant: “I don’t know how other guys do it. I just go up to them and talk to them. In the captain’s circle, we always talk about if I have any concerns I can go talk to them. So they’re always good in the communication department unless there’s been complaining all game from the bench, from both sides. So it’s only once a game they usually just tell us to shut up and play.”

Nick Collison: “There’s been times I’ve been frustrated at just an accumulation of things and I’ll lay into a guy. And then I’ll cool off and maybe I’ll apologize to the guy because it was out of line. But I don’t like to do it too much because I know those guys got a tough job.”

Caron Butler: “What I would do is just always establish a good rapport with the officials; call them by their name and just let them know what to watch out for or what I see out there, or how my teammates are being played or defended, what’s a good foul, what’s a hard foul, just so they’re aware. They’re human, too. So you’ve got to talk to them on that note.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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