Wesley Matthews probably should have known better. He, along with everyone else in the NBA, was told repeatedly that referees would be quick to drop technical’s on your proverbial dome this season for any number of new infractions ranging from air punching to running at an official to complain about a call, or lack thereof.
So after Wesley picked up a technical late in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz, I was curious to find out what it was for and whether it really was easier to get a technical this season than in seasons past. Turns out Wesley wasn’t qualified to answer either question.
Matthews wasn’t sure exactly what he did to get the technical, prompting him to ask the media if they knew why he got hit with a tech. He said he clapped his hands three times after being called for a foul (one of 24 fouls called in the fourth quarter), which presumably prompted Gary Zielinksi to award Matthews his first technical of the season.
“I know it's a point of emphasis,” said Matthews of being called for a technical, “but hey, that's tough. That was a tough one. Did it look bad?”
Matthews’ question was a tough one to answer without the luxury of instant replay that comes along with playing at Memorial Coliseum, but considering how mild-mannered he has been since arriving in Portland, it’s hard to imagine that whatever he did would have qualified as a technical last season.
Not that Wesley would know what amounted to a technical foul last year either. Matthews made it through is rookie season without picking up a tech, which makes sense considering his rise through the ranks in Utah playing under a coach in Jerry Sloan who has little patience for anything, let along mental mistakes that cost his team points. But Matthews’ streak without a technical predates his days on the banks of the Great Salt Lake. Goes past his senior season at Marquette too. And his junior, sophomore and freshman seasons as well.
In fact, as far as the internet is concerned, Wesley Matthews had never been called for a technical foul until the fourth quarter of a preseason game in which the result was never in doubt. Maybe he was called for a technical while prepping at James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, WI, but having heard Wesley talk about his mother, I find it hard to believe she ever let her boy get out of line to the point of getting hit with a technical.
So Matthews, despite now being the proud owner of a one technical career, probably isn’t the best person to explain how the rules regarding technicals have changed. All he knows is that his check is going to be a little lighter this pay period.