HoopsHype Referees rumors

February 26, 2014 Updates

The NBA really has changed quite dramatically under Adam Silver. We know this because Mark Cuban is now gushing over decisions made by the commissioner’s office. It happened Monday night at Madison Square Garden, when Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks’ outspoken owner, was asked a general question about Silver, who took the commissioner’s reins from David Stern on Feb. 1. “I think he’s taken some great steps on the officiating,” Cuban said. “There’s been more changes in 15 days, or whatever it is, than I saw in 14 years.” Cuban then divulged the most significant of those changes: The league is now sending its teams regular reports on blown calls by the referees. It’s one of the first steps in Silver’s push for greater transparency. Cuban has been advocating for measures like this since he purchased the Mavericks in 2000. Bleacher Report

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had to be restrained as he screamed at an official following his ejection from Sacramento’s 129-103 home loss to Houston on Tuesday. This was a one-sided affair from very early on, as the Rockets led 50-19 in the second quarter, and Cousins didn’t stick around to see the end of it. With a little over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter and Houston leading 73-54, Rockets center Dwight Howard stretched to finish an alley-oop dunk with Cousins underneath him. After the slam attempt missed, Cousins was called for a foul for leaning in Howard’s direction, although there didn’t appear to be much contact between the players. SI.com

After the game, Cousins issued an apology on Twitter. “Disappointed with the way I acted out on the court tonight,” he wrote. “I want to apologize and say sorry to my team and the fans for letting them down.” Cousins now has a league-high 15 technical fouls on the season and will face a one-game suspension following his next technical foul. This was his first ejection of the season. Last year, Cousins racked up a league-high 17 technical fouls and four ejections. SI.com

February 25, 2014 Updates
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By next season, the NBA is planning to create and use a centralized replay center to help referees and speed up games. "What we're in the process of doing is we're going to create a central location where we'll have people there who will be watching every game," NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said Friday. "When the referees go over to the side, in many instances the [central replay center] will already know what happened and they'll be able to tell the referee, which will hopefully take less time." ESPN.com

The project is one of new commissioner Adam Silver's initiatives. The NBA would be mimicking a system the NHL started in 2011, when it created what is known as the "situation room" in Toronto where all goals from all games can be reviewed with calls communicated to the officials on the ice. That experiment has been successful in shortening the time replays take in addition to removing some pressure from the referees on site. ESPN.com

February 13, 2014 Updates

Phil Jackson doesn't tweet very often, but when he does and about something very specific to the game of basketball, we take notice. Phil Jackson: Dick Bavetta has been around long enuf to know that clasp Harden put on Trevor-offensive foul…okay i’ll SMH. CSNWashington.com

February 9, 2014 Updates

Former NBA referee Steve Javie took part in ABC’s telecast of Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, and gave his view on one of the long-standing perceptions of the league: superstars get too many calls. Simply put, Javie doesn’t believe that’s true. “I’d like to hear what Kobe Bryant and LeBron James say, if they get to the line enough,” Javie said to fellow ESPN commentators Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy. “I’m sure they’d say they don’t get to the line enough. There’s one thing: we can’t keep notepads and sit there and say, ‘Well, this superstar has gotten this call, and we’ve gotta elevate this player to the superstar level.’ We just go out there and try to get the plays right.” For The Win

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
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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

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