Chris Sheridan included former NBA Development League official Kane Fitzgerald in the headline of one his ESPN TrueHoop articles Wednesday, noting that his quick whistle when it came to his calling a pair of technical fouls had "a bigger impact on the outcome of a game than someone such as Kevin Garnett."
Who, you ask, is this Kane Fitzgerald?
He is an 29-year-old NBA referee beginning his second full season who pulled out his best Shag Crawford imitation and gave a quick pair of technical fouls (from 30 feet away) and a full-armed heave-ho to Kevin Garnett in the second quarter of Boston's 104-101 victory -- the latest instance of a referee following the letter of the law and showing zero tolerance as part of the NBA's leaguewide crackdown against griping about or showing physical displeasure with calls.
Once I recognized this name (hat tip to Fort Wayne Mad Ants president Jeff Potter), I immediately looked through the Ridiculous Upside archives to see if Fitzgerald had ever drawn my ire and, disappointingly enough, there were only three articles mentioning the former D-League official.
Fortunately, one of them brought me to this box score from April 11, 2009, and this list of technical fouls:
Note the rare triple-technical in the first quarter, which my notes say came from Fitzgerald.
For those believing that Fitzgerald's new found ability to blow the whistle is simply in accordance with the NBA's new rules regarding a more strict interpretation of technical fouls, one only needs to be a follower of D-League officials to know this is nothing new.