Ah, the sound of sneakers squeaking and players whining

A deep, philosophical question:

Why do professional athletes waste so much energy whining about officials’ calls … or non-calls. … or calls that were made two years ago.

No one sport has cornered the market on belly-aching players, not to mention coaches and managers. But since these words are hunted and pecked with the Celtics in the process of dismantling the Phoenix Suns, let’s consider the NBA.

There were damned few possessions that did not elicit reactions, ranging from eye rolls and smirks to foot-stomping temper tantrums,

Phoenix coach Frank Vogel picked up a technical foul by whining and approaching a ref during a time out. The ref held up an open palm, the universal stop sign and warning that a technical will be called if you don’t turn around and offer your unkind thoughts to someone who may actually care.

Vogel kept approaching and whining. A technical was called just before the TV broadcast went to commercials.

Tommy Heinsohn, one of the greatest referee baiters in NBA history, once let loose with a salvo then walked to the far end of the bench, occupied by water boys and a cop. Being the only man in that corner standing 6-7 and wearing one of the ugly plaid sports jackets that were popular in the 1970s, they had little trouble spotting Heinsohn and giving him a T.

Jayson Tatum is the most talented player on the Celtics. He is at least in the discussion of the league’s best player.

But, someone he listens to needs to gently suggest that complaining after every missed shot, or a battle under the backboard, or an opponent calling him nasty names, is not wise.

This would be a spot to let loose with a “Back in the day …” comment, but we won’t. Players did complain to refs, but very few of them whined on every change of possession, as is now the norm.

Maybe that’s why the NBA expanded its officiating crews to three refs per game – they wanted to have another set of ears to take some of the complaints