The system, refs & player integrity

After seeing how David Stern wants a crackdown on homer local media supposedly biasing how (casual?) fans get their impression of the NBA’s refs, it made me wonder what if players are actually at fault here.

If you think back to your days at the playground when you didn't have refs and you had to abide by each person calling their own fouls the players themselves had to determine if the foul was material enough to alter game and be worthy of foul. Call a non-foul and you start an argument, conversely don’t call a foul and you’d be thought of a strong guy although too much of that and your team would think you’re a ‘foul wimp’ afraid to call someone out.

So fast forward to today where we have billions on the line and the athleta-media-complex who are constantly driving for entertainment value hoping (trying) to get the ‘right’ story line that will generate the most money for the system (owners->players through CBA). In this world players cannot call their own fouls or ignore a foul that didn't happen or didn't matter,

Or can they?

It made me question my assumptions of whether or not a player with the blessing of a team that has ‘had it’ could just say we are not going to be part of the ‘system’ we are just going to do what is right no matter the cost.

In this scenario I would imagine the team couldn't share this publicly at first as the tides of anger would equal no calls for the team. No I imagine a protest in a style where a team would rather do right than win a game in the short term.

It would play out something like this… a star player would have a foul called on him and walk over to refs and say ‘I wasn’t fouled – let’s keep playing’. The refs would be in shock and do <insert rules & regulations here> but the player would, no matter the consequences, refuse calmly and politely to shoot the ball <insert technical fouls, rules, etc > and either someone else shoot foul and games continues on. Fast forward to future plays the remainder of the team would do the same. At some point the refs would dial back all fouls to team with integrity to not cause a <5 player on team.

So work with me here and answer these questions assuming this could/would happen:

1) What would happen to the players in league, publicity, future calls

2) And the coach/front office?

3) League – would others follow?

4) Refs themselves?

5) How would the national media react?

6) What would the long term consequences be?

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