OJ Mayo, Take A Seat.

by Lang Whitaker

I’ve mentioned before that I played on a really good high school basketball team. Actually, I didn’t play that much, only in blowout — I was like the Pat Burke of my high school team. still, we were a really good team, ranked in the USA Today Top 25 and everything.

One year over the winter holiday we played in a national tournament that was held in Atlanta, and played against teams from all over the place (including a young Rasheed Wallace and Simon Gratz HS, and no, I have no memory of Rasheed at all from back then).

One day in that tournament we had a game against some other really good team. And the referees were just horrible. I remember sitting there on the bench in shock as they made one make-up call after another. And the worst thing about it is knowing that there’s absolutely no recourse as it’s happening. If they screw it up and cost you a game — as those referees did to us — there’s no way you’ll get the game back. You lose, you lose, that’s it.

I bring all that up because our man OJ Mayo was tossed from his high school team’s game over the weekend, allegedly for jawing at other players, and there’s some talk that he knocked a ref to the floor. But everyone who was at the game says the refs were railroading him and his school. And now OJ will have to serve a two-game suspension thanks to those refs.

We weren’t there, and we don’t know what happened, obviously. But let’s take this with a shaker of salt. Because while you should always listen to authority figures, that doesn’t mean they’re always correct. Even if they are wearing striped shirts.