Storyline: Officiating Complaints

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5 days ago via ESPN

Officials reviewed the play and did not deem it a flagrant foul. “This is the second time in a week my lip gets split open and I got elbowed in the face,” Anderson said. “This has been a week of me getting hit in the face. It’s a part of it. It’s good. “I want to be physical. With DeMarcus, he’s a guy, he’s such an elite player, when he gets frustrated it’s when he’s at his worst. It’s part of the game plan to get DeMarcus frustrated and the moment he realizes that he’ll be that much better of a player. You want to get into him. You want to make him frustrated and that’s what I tried to do tonight. If it takes a few hits to the face, that’s what it takes.”

Dwight Howard is clearly frustrated. The Hawks center was assessed a technical foul in the third quarter after game officials reviewed contact between him and Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic. Referee Marc Davis questioned whether there was a “hostile act” when Howard’s arm went behind him after he followed a shot attempt in close to the basket. Nurkic fell to the ground. Davis ruled a technical foul citing Howard “flailed” his arm and made contact in a “physical taunt.”

On the technical foul: “I just think it was B.S. to be honest with you. I can’t sit up here and sugarcoat it. Player taunting. Me hitting someone in the chest. It shouldn’t be even reviewed. It should be going down on the next play and getting ready to play defense. Instead it was reviewed and said that I hit him in the face. You go look at the replay and it’s nowhere near his face. I don’t like it. Everybody should be treated the same way on the floor. No matter how strong you are, big you are, small you are, whatever it is. It’s NBA. It’s no boys allowed. We are all grown men out there. You have to be able to play out there.”
3 weeks ago via ESPN

As bizarre as that exchange was, Green wouldn’t be outdone. He waited for approximately 45 minutes before addressing the media. “That’s a long time,” he said. “I contemplated for a long time whether I was just going to give the 25-[thousand dollars] up and wash my hands with it. I’m going to go buy myself a nice watch tonight with that $25,000 I thought about spending tonight. I’m going to post it on Twitter. Not Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. I’m going to go buy myself a nice gift for the discipline I showed tonight.”

Pacers coach Nate McMillan got it right Wednesday night when he said Kawhi Leonard traveled just before sinking the game-winning basket in the Spurs’ 100-99 win, the NBA said Thursday. “I thought he traveled before he took that shot,” McMillan told reporters. Following a timeout with 8.5 seconds left — after Monta Ellis missed a pair of free throws — Leonard swished a fadeaway jumper over fellow All-Star Paul George at the 2.4-second mark to give the Spurs the lead by the final score.

On Thursday, the NBA concluded Leonard’s shot should not have counted, saying the refs made an “incorrect non-call” with 4.4 seconds left. “Leonard gathers the ball with his right hand and establishes his left foot as his pivot,” according to the report. “He then switches to his right foot prior to the shot attempt.” But the Pacers also got away with a travel when guard Jeff Teague moved his pivot foot with 23.8 seconds left, according to the report. The Pacers, of course, only focused on the missed call against Leonard.

Referees missed a potential game-changing foul call in the Detroit Pistons’ win over the Toronto Raptors yesterday, the National Basketball Association said Monday afternoon. In its daily Last 2 Minute Report, a review of the final two minutes of games decided by five points or less, the NBA says Marcus Morris should have been called for a shooting foul on with 3.6 seconds left. According to the report, “Morris grabs (DeMar) DeRozan’s jersey and makes contact to the body that affects his jump shot attempt.”

“I’ve accepted it, [explicit], they’re after me,” Cousins said. “Just play. Whatever happens, happens.” The All-Star big left the court and headed to the Kings locker room to take a deep breath. “I just tried to gather my thoughts, get myself together,” Cousins said following the game. “The last couple of days have been very frustrating for me. I’m looking for it to ease up at some point and it just doesn’t seem like it wants to or is going to happen.”

Cousins, who also has had three technicals rescinded by the league, already has matched his total of 17 from last season, when he led the NBA. His next technical would bring another one-game suspension. “It’s obvious I can’t be myself,” Cousins said. “Me playing how I play is what makes me the player that I am. Obviously it’s not acceptable, so I’m trying to find a way to, you know, do what these guys are asking me to do. It’s not easy, but I’m trying to find a way.”

Kings coach Dave Joerger was asked about Cousins’ technicals before the game Sunday and said the often demonstrative All-Star must find a balance on the court. “It’ll be interesting to see his approach,” Joerger said. “We want him to be competitive, but how you have to work through that mentally, it’s just a work in progress. It’s tough on him, and I think it was tough for him to handle the other night, because he’s an emotional guy, and he plays passionate, emotional basketball. So there’s some things that we can improve, and it does take time.”

But, the more he spoke, the more responsibility he put on himself and his teammates to better their relationships with the league’s officials, a long-standing problem the Clippers, Rivers said, created. “We made that happen. We dug our own grave with them. We started it. We complained and did a lot,” he said. “At the end of the day, they’re human. If someone is (expletive) at you all the time, eventually, you’re going to be like, ‘What the hell?’ It’s not that they’re doing illegal stuff like making the wrong calls on purpose, but if it’s a 50-50 call, we’re not helping ourselves. We’ve got to be better. “… They’ve got to know we’re trying to be better.”
2 months ago via ESPN

But referee Michael Smith blew his whistle under the basket and called a foul on Cousins, who had been trailing the play. Replays showed Cousins lightly putting his hand on Wade’s back, but not in a manner that would have altered his dunk attempt. Cousins and the rest of the Kings’ bench were incensed at the call. After the game ended, Cousins, who has a long history of losing his cool toward officials and opponents, used a different tactic in his remarks to the assembled media. “I think they made the absolute right call,” said Cousins, who finished with 42 points, going 16-for-28 from the field, while adding 14 rebounds and three assists. “Incredible job by the referee crew tonight. I don’t have a complaint in the world. I think they should get more recognition on how well they ref these games. I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. So kudos to them and I applaud them.”

Washington Wizards Coach Scott Brooks said he understood and accepted the NBA’s decision to issue fines relating to assistant coach Sidney Lowe’s stepping onto the court in the closing seconds of a game Thursday night in New York. However Brooks defended Lowe’s actions, saying his assistant was merely doing his job. “He didn’t say anything other than barking out instructions to our team, which we want our coaches to do,” Brooks said on Saturday night in his first comments about the incident. “Late-game situations, you have to be on the same page.”

Courtney Lee accused Wizards assistant coach Sidney Lowe of an illegal stunt on the Knicks’ final possession that forced him to drive the ball instead of taking the potential game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of the Knicks’ 113-110 loss to Washington. Lee said the NBA should look into the incident that saw Lowe, according to replays, standing on the court when Lee got the pass in the deep left corner. Lee charged that Lowe shouted as if he was a player, yelling he was going to “help’’ on him. Lee said Lowe was “two feet away from me.’’

While the collision between LeBron James and Draymond Green seemed to send a burst of energy through Oracle Arena on Monday night, the Golden State Warriors brushed it off following the game. “Was that an incident,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr asked. “Didn’t look like it. Looked just like a normal foul. It just looked like a normal foul where guys in transition you want to foul them and take away the fastbreak. He went down hard and sold it pretty well, but when I’m looking at the replay I might think, ‘Oh yeah that was definitely a flagrant.’ I haven’t seen it so it’s tough to asses, but he’s a pretty big, strong guy.”

In several internal and external memos over the past year, Seham portrays a league office unable to control or mollify Cuban, raising fears that his reported behavior is emboldening others to disregard league norms and rules. “To suggest I have influence is to suggest that the NBA officials can be influenced,” Cuban told The Vertical in an email. “If an official can be influenced by pressure from anyone, they should not be in the NBA. I don’t believe they can be influenced. As far as my influence on employment, several years ago I sent a list to the NBA of officials who had been NBA officials for more than a decade and never made the playoffs.”

3 months ago via ESPN

Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has become increasingly frustrated with the way he has been officiated this season, multiple team sources told ESPN following Cleveland’s 100-92 loss to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. James’ frustration boiled over with 2:09 remaining in the first quarter, when he shouted at referee Tyler Ford and was assessed a rare technical foul — just his second of the season — after Utah’s Shelvin Mack fouled James and put him on the foul line after an and-1 layup. While James got that call from Ford, he was upset from his previous trip down the court, when he felt like Mack fouled him on another layup attempt and there was no whistle.
3 months ago via ESPN

It’s hard to prove, but most coaches and front-office executives agree defenses get away with a little more bump-and-grind than in the mid-2000s — when the NBA was obsessed with creating a more viewer-friendly game. The league has heard the concerns, and is monitoring the hand-check stuff. “That area is tough — the freedom of movement, especially away from the ball,” Vandeweghe said. “It’s tough for referees to watch everything. But I think we’ve found a good balance.” (As an aside, Vandeweghe confirmed the controversial last-two-minute reports aren’t going anywhere. In fact, he said the NBA would “probably” start releasing full game reports at some point.)

The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar — who was issued his 10th technical foul of the season for the incident, which appeared to be unintentional — told reporters after the game that he called Maddox’s name before he threw the ball and that he would “never, ever disrespect the game” like that. “I called his name, he turned right at me, then he looked away,” Westbrook said. “I don’t know. I don’t know what to tell you, brother, I really don’t.
3 months ago via ESPN

“I saw the video,” Austin Rivers said. “I didn’t do nothing wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. I reacted to the play; I had no idea the ref was there. I was backing up and I said, ‘Call the foul.’ When I did it, I was turning and he was right there and my elbow touched him. I’ve never in my career put my hands on a ref, and I don’t ever plan to. He knows if I would have pushed him; he would have pushed back [but] he didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t mean to touch him. As he was giving me a tech, I was trying to tell him I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t do anything wrong — I stand by that I didn’t do anything wrong.”
3 months ago via ESPN

Austin Rivers was kicked out when, after missing a layup, he lightly pushed official J.T. Orr with 6 minutes, 38 seconds to play in the second quarter. Rivers yelled at Orr and waved his arms at him after the ejection and was led off the court by a Clippers employee. When he got to the edge of the court, he tried going back toward the referee and had to be held back by the employee and pulled off the court. Then, during a timeout, Doc Rivers approached lead official Jason Phillips. Rivers said he was asking why Marreese Speights wasn’t awarded any free throws when a whistle was called on a made basket following Austin Rivers’ missed layup.

Memphis weathered a bit of an early second-half rally and still led 61-45 when Westbrook was whistled for two technicals with 6:41 left in the third. “Honestly, it’s crazy, man, especially to be ejected when I didn’t do nothing,” Westbrook said. “It was just crazy, especially for me because I don’t feel I get the benefit of the doubt most of the time, especially throughout the game, with the refs.” Westbrook, the NBA’s leading scorer at 31.7 points per game, left with 21 points, five rebounds and no assists. Enes Kanter scored 19 as Oklahoma City set a season low for points.

Jason Phillips, the officiating crew chief, speaking to a pool reporter, said Westbrook’s beef was about a shot clock reset regarding whether a Grizzlies shot hit the rim. Phillips used the term “adamant” several times in describing the Thunder guard’s complaint. Officials advised Westbrook they heard his point, and it was time to move on. Westbrook continued to gripe, drawing the first technical. The complaint continued “and then even proceeds to use some profanity,” Phillips said. “At that point, he’s issued a second technical foul.”

While players like Kevin Durant and LeBron James have spoken out against the NBA’s Last Two Minute reports, some teams are pushing for a full 48-minute report on officiating every game, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In a video report, Wojnarowski described a “war in the NBA” between some teams and referees, who were “thrilled to hear” Durant’s comments after the controversial finish to the Christmas Day game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. “There is an internal push for more transparency of calls, more focus on the few calls missed over the massive majority made properly,” Wojnarowski said. “Some teams want that two-minute report extended to cover the entire game, allowing for every official to be on public trial virtually every night.”
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March 30, 2017 | 4:16 pm EDT Update
Ever since the Lakers hired Walton in the 2016 offseason after serving as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors for the previous two years, Walton said Buss has “been incredible” as she has offered support as they talked in person or via text message. “As a coaching staff, it’s really nice to hear and know,” Walton said. “We can do things that we feel are best for the team and not have to worry for now at least if we’re a part of that future. It’s very comforting to coach that way.”
“It’s a tough spot to be in with the people that hire you aren’t here anymore. Even before that happened, I always had a good relationship with her and have had random talks with her before any of that went down,” Walton said of Jeanie Buss. “She was great with the vision she had, what she saw and the way she sees things playing out. That made it a little easier even before we had official talks after all that stuff went down.”
March 30, 2017 | 3:13 pm EDT Update