- Mar 5, 2004
I am not questioning his toughness, just the inability of some observers to understand how tough these guys are and how much they put up with. At the time I thought that play was a sign of how frustrated Dray was and Tatum ignoring it was the right move. (But, we know Dray doing that to Perk, KG, Bird, Parish, Grant, would end differently) I would expect in the regular season, a less dickish guy would say sorry for getting his hands in the guy's face. But generally if you block out with your arms guys drag your arm and pull it, and refs let a lot of it go, and don't call it if the ball goes in. And if you are scrub undersized forward who scored 2 pts the game before, you will go after the young star. If you are courtside you will see refs tell guys to knock it off, meaning they will call the next one.I think you have to be pretty tough to get to the point where you're a top 10 player in your sport
People complain about the late whistles on this, but if a rebounder fouls then gets the ball, the ref calls it. This is one reason I dislike the challenge play on OOB calls. Say Draymond grabs Tatum a bit and the ball goes OOB off Tatum, ref gives the ball to the Cs, rather than call a foul, but then GS challenges and they get the ball. So now the ref has to call a foul before he sees the result, so we get guys fouling out on a play where the opponent gets the board.
I am in the minority of coaches because I believe toughness can change, and it has a lot to do with physical strength.Tatum missed more at the rim when he probably 60% as strong as he is now. I don't really buy he is that much "tougher" as to why he is better at the rim. My speciality is usually working with forwards and toughness is often acquired in the weight-room, not in some inner struggle. Lots happened to Andrew Wiggins in his journey from "softass" to stopper in the finals. Gaining 15 pounds is not coincidental.