Technical foul calls have now become quite regular among the referee vocabulary this season, and the spotlight has been shining directly on Kobe Bryant who seems to be picking up the calls with ease this season. After practice this afternoon, I asked Kobe if he thought the technical foul whistle was getting a bit out of hand this season. He cautiously responded with a smirk.
“A little bit.”
Bryant, who had his last technical rescinded after the Denver Nuggets game Monday night, is now standing at 13 technical fouls. The hefty fine is the least of the Lakers worries, but if Kobe gets to the 16 mark before the playoffs, he will receive a one-game suspension. When pressed further about the matter, Bryant said he’s done with technicals and he won’t be getting another one.
“Like I told you, the last one got rescinded and I’m not going to pick up another one.”
If Kobe stays true to his word and the Lakers end up making the playoffs, his technical foul count will reset. Kobe currently leads the league in technical fouls, but head coach Mike D’Antoni has also expressed zero concern. Kobe has exceeded the technical foul limit just once in his career (2010-11 season), although he has come close a few times before.
The Lakers will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night. At a record of 20-34, the Timberwolves have also been battling through injuries. In their last two games, the Timberwolves lost by just one point (last night to the Phoenix Suns in overtime, and the game prior to the Golden State Warriors). If the Lakers have any chance of making the playoffs, they cannot allow this game to slip away.
VIDEO: Kobe Bryant says he won’t receive another technical foul