HoopsHype Officiating rumors

June 10, 2014 Updates

A new study in the Journal of Sports Economics finds that shorter NBA refs may call more fouls, in an excellent manifestation of the Napoleon Complex. Paul Gift and Ryan Rodenberg looked at 4,463 regular season games from 2008 to 2012, and—controlling for variables like race and experience*—found a relationship between the average heights of three-man refereeing crew and the foul rate (per 48 minutes) of the players they officiated. Deadspin

May 19, 2014 Updates

Ira Winderman: Just been informed the NBA WILL have a centralized replay center for next season's games. So these playoffs last games with on-site review. Twitter @IraHeatBeat

May 17, 2014 Updates

Retired FBI agent Warren Flagg, a 20-year veteran of the bureau, said he consulted with Cuban after that playoff debacle. Flagg now runs his own New York-based investigation and security firm. He looked deep into officiating, as Flagg said, Cuban was considering a lawsuit. "Cuban asked me what he should do," Flagg said of the 2006 Finals. "I told him, 'Sue and you'll win your case,' but he knew he'd be killing the Golden Goose." When asked about his discussions with Flagg, Cuban said: "I don't remember." Oregonian

Flagg was later hired by the Donaghy defense team to run an independent investigation of the league's officiating. He said the NBA's refusal to release its internal investigation during Donaghy's prosecution in 2008 still troubles him. "They wanted this thing to be closed," Flagg said, "and their story was that Tim was the only bad apple. I've never seen a cooperating witness so hammered and badgered. It was because the NBA was running the thing. "I would like to see if (the NBA) did what it did a few years earlier when the refs were picked up for selling their first-class airline tickets. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I'll bet they did. In that case, they (turned the officials against each other using the threat of termination). They said, 'If you want to work, tell us what happened.' If that Donaghy internal investigation ever gets leaked, it's going to be like the performance-enhancing drug investigation in baseball." Oregonian

Yet former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, now a broadcaster with ESPN, believes referee bias exists. Van Gundy said every coach in the league has an official he hates to run into on the court. "My guy was Eric Lewis," Van Gundy said. "The problem is if you get on the bad side of one of the main guys you are going to see them more and more. It's not an easy thing. Lewis T'eed me up four straight games once. I didn't like the way he refereed size and Yao (Ming) in particular. "So I come out for the fifth game and I see Eric and I just drop my head. He comes up to me and says, 'You want a technical foul now or when the game starts?" Oregonian

Van Gundy said, "That humanity, and sense of humor fixed everything. We never had a problem after that, but I always wondered how it might have gone had we never had that laugh. The league tries to tell you that personality conflicts aren't an issue. If I was an official, I'd (expletive) people if they were on my bad side. That's called being human. They're not drones and robots. There's personality conflicts in every walk of life, for them to insist there's not one between Jake O'Donnell and Clyde Drexler, I think that's even worse because they're claiming it's not happening and we can all see it." Oregonian

May 6, 2014 Updates
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April 24, 2014 Updates

Donaghy, who was excommunicated by the league after his conviction for wire fraud and transmitting betting information about games,then contacted the News and fired back with charges of hypocrisy. “I laugh at the idea that the NBA conveniently uses my felony conviction to routinely dismiss me,” Donagy said. “The NBA need look no further than some of the men on their own payroll to find felons. In fact, Don Vaden, the current Director of Officials, is a fine example (Vaden was one of eight referees charged with tax evasion in 1998 for downgrading first-grade plane tickets and not reporting the refunded money. He was found guilty and served six months' of home confinement and two years of probation.). New York Daily News

April 21, 2014 Updates
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April 11, 2014 Updates

The NBA issued a two-game suspension to Dallas Mavericks public-address announcer Sean Heath due to tweets criticizing officiating, multiple sources briefed on the situation told ESPNDallas.com. The suspension will begin Saturday night, when the Mavs face the Phoenix Suns in the final home game of the regular season. Heath will complete the suspension either in the first home game of the playoffs or next season's home opener, depending on whether the Mavs advance. ESPN.com

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