What you just heard there is a collective fart sound. You gotta be kidding me with this. You're penalizing guys in a competitive setting for 'taunting' because you're scared it could lead to physical and passionate play. Now excuse me here for a second, but isn't that the whole fucking point of sports? Call a technical if there's an altercation, but being scared that someone is going to get butthurt over taunting is ridiculous.
This is why people complain about the NBA. You can't admit you have a soft league while trying to defend it. There is no defense for this. I'm obviously a diehard basketball fan, but this is the dumbest shit I've ever read and the fact you have the head of ref development admitting it is why it's a joke. In what world does a little shit talk hurt someone?
Instead you toss stars out of the game because refs are scared to call physical play. Sure, good thing there's no previous history of the NBA having physical play. Seemed enjoyable. You already have the game setup to be a disadvantage to defenders everywhere now you're calling bullshit technical fouls just so refs don't have to do their job. Fuck all the way off with that.
Here's an idea. Instead of being so scared about taunting, just don't let them score. It's sports we're talking about here. Sports is based on being competitive and talking some shit. Celebrate when you score, win, whatever. It happens at any level and any sport. For the love of god just let these guys play. Stop being a dumb league.