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We’re two weeks into the NBA season, and already the officiating is taking center stage. During the Boston Celtics game against the Chicago Bulls, Celtics forward Grant Williams and head coach Joe Mazzulla were ejected. Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash also earned an early return to the locker room Wednesday after getting slapped with two technical fouls. On Wednesday, Celtics star Jayson Tatum had something to say about the officiating, and his team didn’t even play.

Jayson Tatum earned an ejection during a preseason game

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum argues the offensive foul called on his made layup against the Miami Heat during last year’s playoffs.
| Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

Tatum is a rising superstar in the NBA. He’s a three-time All-Star and was named All-NBA the last two seasons. He’s also developing a reputation for being a complainer.

Tatum makes his living from the outside. He rarely takes his defender to the basket, but when he does, he’s usually barking at an official after a no-call. This isn’t new, either. In a 2020 playoff preview, The Athletic’s Joe Vardon pointed out that Tatum’s complaining happened throughout the regular season that year.

“Jayson Tatum is tired of not getting star treatment from officials and has been complaining about it on the bench and in the makeshift locker room,” Vardon wrote. “Tatum isn’t your typical drive-to-the-hoop guy, but when he does, look for him to be in the ear of an official as he heads back down the court.”

Tatum earned a pair of technicals and an automatic ejection during a preseason game this year. The complaining has gone too far, and maybe the officials are making a point to crack down on it.

Tatum had something to say about the officiating, and he may have a point


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On Wednesday, Tatum took to Twitter and had a little something to say about the officiating in the NBA.

“They giving out techs left and right these days lol,” Tatum tweeted.

The tweet was posted at 9:24 p.m., so it’s more than likely he was referring to Nash’s ejection against the Bucks that night. Tatum may have a valid point when it comes to referees quickly pulling the trigger on techs and ejections.

Mazzulla, the mild-mannered, first-year Celtics coach, had a quick exit with two technicals in Boston’s loss to the Bulls on Monday. Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that the NBA rescinded Mazzulla’s second technical. The fine that comes with the second tech and ejection has been removed.

Tatum picked up a tech earlier this year, arguing a play that was eventually challenged. The call was reversed. Tatum needs to stop whining, but he has a point about those quick whistles we’re seeing so far this season.

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