Only in America.
Here is how The New York Daily News reported a major basketball fiasco that took place last Sunday at Madison Square Garden:
"NBA or Europe, regular referees or replacements, the rules are the same: Two technical fouls is an automatic ejection, and anyone ejected must leave the floor.
Maccabi Tel Aviv wanted a pass on that rule Sunday at the Garden.
The Knicks' 106-91 victory over the Euroleague squad featured a bizarre delay in the third quarter when the visiting coach refused to leave after he was ejected.
The exhibition game was halted about eight minutes when Pini Gershon continued to linger near Maccabi's bench - a delay that included a rabbi trying to intervene by asking the NBA's replacement referees calling the game to allow Gershon to stay."I explained that this is not a regular game and the kids are watching and (it's) important that there will be peace and forgive him," Rabbi Yitchak Dovid Grossman said of his discussions with the officials. "If you forgive him, I can speak to the children and say, 'You also forgive. If you have a fight, you forgive.' But he says this is the law, that you must obey."
Gershon eventually left after a lengthy discussion with the referees, his assistant coaches and NBA security personnel. A security official said Gershon told them he didn't care if the game was stopped but eventually he agreed to leave.
"He likes the crowd, the crowd likes him very much," Maccabi's Yaniv Green said. "They're coming to the game to see him even more than they're coming to see us. He's quite a character, like you saw today."
Former Michigan State player Alan Anderson scored 20 points for Maccabi Tel Aviv. D'or Fischer added 19 points and 16 rebounds.Apparently frustrated by the officiating, Maccabi picked up four technical fouls, including two on Gershon in a 53-second span of the third quarter. Strangely, the second came after he screamed at official Ben Taylor in front of his bench following an offensive foul called on the Knicks' Al Harrington."
Maccabi Tel Aviv's Coach, Pini Gershon, is a legendary figure in Israeli professional sports. But...only in America could one see a Coach tossed for unsportsmanlike conduct and a Rabbi intervenes. ESPN, the American, now worldwide sports network, described the scene as follows: "...it took a Rabbi, several security guards and a whole lot of time to get the situation resolved." Comments to the espn.com Post included anti-Semitic rants -- of course.
So, the next time someone says to you: "Have you heard the one about the referee, the Rabbi and the basketball coach?" Just say: "Heard it."