HoopsHype Referees rumors

February 7, 2014 Updates

Seven years ago, a pair of scholars released a study of NBA referees (pdf) that found white officiating crews more likely to call fouls against black player—and, to a lesser degree, black officiating crews more likely to call fouls against white players. The study drew broad media attention and caused a small stir in the league. Then-Commissioner David Stern, questioned its validity in the New York Times, and players weighed in on sports-talk radio and ESPN (DIS). BusinessWeek.com

The same scholars, Justin Wolfers of the University of Michigan and Joseph Price of Brigham Young University, returned to the subject of racially biased referees in a working paper released in December with an astounding result. Once the results of the original study were widely known, the bias disappeared. “When we conduct the same tests for own-race bias in the period immediately following the media coverage,” they wrote, “we find none exists.” BusinessWeek.com

February 6, 2014 Updates
February 3, 2014 Updates
January 14, 2014 Updates

As if a game involving a team riding an eight-game losing streak and trailing by 20 points couldn’t have gotten any uglier, the Celtics began fouling Dwight Howard, over and over, midway through the fourth quarter. Once Rockets coach Kevin McHale inserted his center into the final frame against his former team, the Celtics hacked a Howard seven times in 3:27, resulting in 14 mostly terrible free throw attempts for the viewing pleasure of the fans who remained until the bitter end. It wasn’t pretty, and that’s a problem for the NBA, because it worked. “It freezes everybody,” Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin explained after his team’s 104-92 victory at the Garden. “We just don’€™t get rhythm. We don’€™t play offense for a while. We’€™re just watching. We get cold, and then there’€™s no flow. At that point, their goal is to freeze us, so they are accomplishing that.” WEEI.com

“I would probably support a change in the rule that would call it intentional or call it like it would be called int he last two minutes,” admitted Stevens. “But because it’s a rule and usually if a guy’s making one out of two, it makes you think twice. To his credit, he made one almost every time up to the foul line. But we were scoring, and so we were getting a plus-one in about 10 or 15 seconds off the clock for the better part of three or four possessions. And then we went dry, and that’s when the two-minute mark hit anyways and we really couldn’t do it anymore.” WEEI.com

The Utah Jazz mascot, Bear, gave referee Mark Ayotte a standing lap dance Monday night as he gyrated on him and swung Ayotte’s hips from side to side during stoppage of play in the fourth quarter: beyondthebuzzer.com

However, the Mavs’ owner would like to see more transparency when it comes to controversial calls. Cuban wants the league to admit to bad calls that were made throughout the game, not just near the end. “No one ever wants or expects perfection, but when you’re not transparent people tend to think you’re hiding something,” Cuban said before Monday’s game against Orlando. “And I think that hurts us.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram

NBA official Mark Ayotte did not want to dance with the Jazz Bear. He’s a referee after all, and referees are not interested in shenanigans. But if you don’t want to dance with Jazz Bear, Jazz Bear will make you dance with Jazz Bear. For The Win

January 12, 2014 Updates

Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations, issued the following statement Sunday regarding a missed foul call late in the fourth quarter of the Dallas Mavericks' 110-107 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Jan. 11, at American Airlines Center: "After reviewing postgame video, we have determined a foul should have been called on Dallas' Monta Ellis for illegal contact on the arms of New Orleans' Austin Rivers while Rivers was attempting a three-point field goal. Rivers should have been awarded three free throws with 0.6 left on the clock." NBA.com

January 11, 2014 Updates

James said he never heard the whistle for a subsequent offensive foul that had been called on him against Kirilenko, who was chasing James down as he drove to the rim. "I thought Kirilenko flopped a few times, to be honest about it," James said. "He flopped a few times and he got the call. I thought the last one that fouled me out, that could've been a charge for sure. He was trying to put his hands on me as I drove and that's' what got him off balance and he was able to get the call. But Kirilenko flopped on me a couple of times." CBSSports.com

January 8, 2014 Updates

Reached this morning, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said the team will appeal to the league for a reversal on the second of two Flagrant 1 fouls called on Jared Sullinger last night during the Celts' 129-98 loss to the Nuggets. Sullinger, who is just one Flagrant 1 foul away from a game suspension, after the two called against him last night in a 23-second span in the third quarter, was called for the first Flagrant 1 when he knocked J.J. Hickson to the floor on a drive to the basket. The second was called when Kenneth Faried absorbed a Sullinger elbow to the chin as the Celts big man attempted a turnaround jumper. Boston Herald

January 5, 2014 Updates

Opponents have apparently figured out a way to stop Dirk Nowitzki’s unblockable one-legged fadeaway: Hit him on the elbow. That, of course, should be a foul. “I don’t know how many times I’ve got to say it,” Nowitzki said after Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. “The refs keep missing them tipping my elbow, but it is what it is.” ESPN.com

Trevor Ariza was fuming after getting called for his second offensive foul in the third quarter of the Wizards’ 101-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors. Ariza got up to complain to referee Kevin Scott, collected a technical foul, then shouted another expletive as he walked by referee Joey Crawford and picked up another. As he made a beeline to the locker room after getting ejected for just the third time in his career, Ariza was even more upset because he didn’t get all that he really wanted to say off his chest. “If I was going to get ejected, I should’ve gotten my money’s worth,” Ariza said with a smile. Washington Post

December 31, 2013 Updates

Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding a missed foul call late in the fourth quarter of the Dallas Mavericks’ 100-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 30, at Target Center: “Through postgame video review, we have determined that Minnesota’s Kevin Love was fouled on the right arm by Dallas’ Shawn Marion while attempting a two-point field goal. Love should have been awarded two free throws with one second left on the clock.” To view the play, click on the following link: http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2013/12/31/bballops-dal-at-min-eog-.nba/index.html NBA.com

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