New Orleans Pelicans: David Griffin’s rant about refs is too late

Is David Griffin to blame for the New Orleans Pelicans failures? (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Is David Griffin to blame for the New Orleans Pelicans failures? (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Fans of the New Orleans Pelicans have been screaming all year that Zion Williamson does not get any calls.

It looked like the issue was finally starting to get some attention after Zion was hacked by Nikola Jokic at the end of a game vs. the Nuggets on a play that the NBA deemed a foul after the fact.

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This has been happening all season and I was ready for Zion Williamson to get angry. Not since Shaquille O’Neal have we seen a player get so egregiously hacked without getting a call.

After announcing that Zion Williamson was likely going to miss the rest of the season with a fractured pinkie finger, David Griffin finally had enough and went on a rant about refereeing in the NBA.

According to Andrew Lopez, Griffin had a lot to say about how the lack of whistles may have led to Zion Williamson’s unfortunate injury:

"“He’s injured because of the open season that there’s been on Zion Williamson in the paint. He has been absolutely mauled in the paint on a regular basis to the point where other players have said to him, ‘I’m going to keep doing this to you’ because they don’t call it.”"

While I applaud the New Orleans Pelicans for finally saying something, it is too little, too late.

New Orleans Pelicans: David Griffin’s rant should have come sooner

Look, it is easy to rant and rave after your best player gets hurt, especially when it cost the Pelicans a chance at the play-in tournament.

But this rant should have come a long time ago and it might have actually made a difference. The Pelicans have played the “aww shucks, we really wish we’d get more calls” card all season, but being “humble” and “classy” are not how you get calls in the NBA.

Someone on this team, whether it be Zion Williamson or Stan Van Gundy or David Griffin needed to say something a long time ago that included more than “Gee, we really wish you’d stop trying to decapitate the next face of the NBA every time he goes to the rim. Golly gee whiz.”

I definitely don’t want the Pelicans to be like LeBron James or Chris Paul, complaining after every call or non-call, but just taking it without saying ANYTHING is what led to this.

David Griffin got the attention of the NBA world with his anger, but it should have come months ago when it might have made a difference.

The NBA will probably take a look at the evidence and have conversations with some of the refs involved about how to best officiate Zion Williamson, but those conversations should have been happening at the All-Star Break, not with five games left in the season when your best player is sitting on the bench with a preventable injury.

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