Eddie Sefko: Normally mild mannered, Devin Harris is booted after two techs for arguing with ref Ben Taylor. Then Carlisle picks up a tech. Crazy.
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That buzzer-beating tip in by Hassan Whiteside last night that lifted the Miami Heat to victory over the Detroit Pistons? It never should have happened. Officials missed two away-from-the-ball fouls against the Heat during the final possession of Miami’s 97-96 win, it was revealed Wednesday in the National Basketball Association’s latest 2-minute report.
Physical play in the paint as Ryan Anderson attempted to defend DeMarcus Cousins in the fourth quarter of the Houston Rockets’ 117-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans led to two official video reviews, two common fouls and terse words afterward from both opposing forwards. “Flop, review, flop, review, flop, review,” Cousins said, in summation.
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.”
Tim MacMahon: J.J. Barea was called for a flagrant 2 and tossed after a push to the neck that sent Blake Griffin sprawling. Barea laughed at the ruling.
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.”
Aaron Falk: Asked Gordon Hayward about the Jimmy Butler play. His response? “You must be trying to get me fined”
CSN Northwest: VIDEO: Damian Lillard on the non-review: “That’s BS” #RipCity
Q: Why isn’t that play reviewable? Mott: “That is the rule, it’s not a trigger.” Q: Have you seen the replay since the game ended and what would your ruling be had you been able to review it? Mott: “Yes, we looked at it and if it was reviewable, it would have been called out of bounds, Portland’s ball.”
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.”
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr unhappy with a couple late calls tonight: “Wiggins did not get fouled. Our guys went vertical.” pic.twitter.com/r5f7EpwaPU
Chris Mannix: Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has been suspended one game for making contact with a referee, per the NBA. Incident happened on Friday.
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.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan got it right when he said Wednesday night that forward 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 afterward.
Following a timeout with 8.5 seconds left after Indiana’s Monta Ellis missed a pair of free throws, Leonard swished the game-winner with a turnaround jumper over fellow All-Star Paul George with 2.4 seconds. But it shouldn’t have counted, the NBA said.
Rod Beard: #Pistons may miss #Pelicans DeMarcus Cousins tomorrow, after he got his 18th technical and is set to miss the game — unless it’s rescinded.
Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard should not have been ejected from Monday night’s 114-98 win, the NBA said in a statement. Howard was ejected with 4:03 remaining in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics when he received his second technical foul of the game, for taunting, after pulling himself up on the rim following an emphatic dunk.
Cousins reached a suspension-triggering 16th technical foul more quickly than anyone in NBA history. From there, every other technical results in a one-game suspension, and the one last night was his 18th. Cousins: I don’t feel I did anything wrong to receive it. So, hopefully the league handles it the right way and hopefully I get the benefit of the doubt.
Butler appeared on ESPN’s First Take in New Orleans as part of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. During his conversation with the panel, Butler insisted that Smart did indeed foul him. When Stephen A. Smith told him that if the tables were turned and Butler had been called for a foul in that same situation, Butler would have “lost your damn mind.” What did Butler have to say to that? “Correct.”
Jeff Zillgitt: From today’s players’ meeting in New Orleans: Isaiah Thomas and Jimmy Butler had a playful argument about whether Smart fouled Butler.
Two days later, in a phone interview with For The Win on Tuesday before the Kings took on the Lakers, when asked why he thinks so many technicals are being called on him, Cousins called it “a process.” “I’m just trying to find a way, both sides are trying to figure it out,” Cousins said. “It’s gonna be more of a burden on my side. I’m just going to try to make it work and do what’s best for our team.”
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.”
Ref James Capers ejects Grizzlies coach David Fizdale after he loudly and profanely protested the lack of a foul call when Mike Conley got hacked on a drive.
Sam Amick: The NBA is reviewing Steve Kerr’s antics from last night’s Warriors loss in Sacramento, I’m told. Likely a sharp fine coming his way. Kerr was tossed for his profanity-laced tirade at official Bill Spooner. Don’t forget how @OfficialNBARefs pushing back on treatment lately.
Jared Dudley: As players and coaches you can see when we’re fined.. I just wish we could see when refs get fined and for what actions. #Transparency – RT: Sam Amick: The NBA is reviewing Steve Kerr’s antics from last night’s Warriors loss in Sacramento, I’m told. Likely a sharp fine coming his way. Kerr was tossed for his profanity-laced tirade at official Bill Spooner. Don’t forget how @OfficialNBARefs pushing back on treatment lately.
Ben Golliver: Warriors coach Steve Kerr unleashes a string of profanities and gets ejected… pic.twitter.com/MWlCnzAXUD
Anthony Slater: Draymond Green on the Kerr ejection: “That was fun. I liked it.” pic.twitter.com/Qxu3valb5j
NBRA Officials: As professionals, it’s not our job to “like” or dislike any team. We are tasked with applying the rules of this great game, and we address unsportsmanlike behavior whenever it occurs.
Jason Jones: DMC: “I don’t think we get the same respect as other teams in this league, which is obvious. I’m not going to go into details on that but you can pretty much read between the lines. It never really goes our way. never really get the benefit of the doubt, it just is what it is. It’s just the cards we’ve been dealt. …
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.”
Dave McMenamin: Mark Cuban has torn into refs Gary Zielenski and now Marat Kogut on the last two Cavs possessions. He’s literally screaming at them.
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.”
When a reporter continued the sarcastic tone of Cousins’ comments by noting that officials seem to make “a lot of right calls” regarding Cousins, the All-Star kept going. “All the time,” Cousins said. “They controlled the game perfectly tonight. I don’t have a complaint. Absolute great job.”
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.”
Jeff McDonald: Wiz were fined $15K, Lowe $5K. Pop thinks it should have been $250K and $50K. Pop: “Everybody would be sitting their ass down.”
Tim MacMahon: Mark Cuban said NBA office fined him $25,000 earlier this season after he criticized officiating after a no-call in a Nets-Clippers game.
Ben Golliver: Spurs’ Gregg Popovich gets ejected (“You’re a terrible referee”) and gets standing ovation from AT&T Center crowd pic.twitter.com/bEZP8WP8qf
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.’’
“I was watching Carmelo, thinking he was going to shoot the ball, then the ball comes to me,’’ Lee said. “I see [Kelly] Oubre in front of me, then I’m hearing I got your help “I’m right here. I’m right here.” And I come to find it’s the coach standing next to me. So I’m thinking he’s a player and I drove trying to make a play.”
Kenny Ducey: Closeup of Wizards asst Sidney Lowe on the floor in the final seconds of the game. Moves his arms and yells at Lee to act like a defender pic.twitter.com/UjtZfJMi4i
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.”
Chris Haynes: Steve Kerr said the Draymond Green collision with LeBron James looked like a “normal foul.” But said he hadn’t seen the replay.
Adrian Wojnarowski on NBA officiating: There are a lot of executives who feel it’s not very good. And that’s not just on bad teams, that’s on good teams, contenders. But I think it’s also that there’s frustration with the management of [referees].
NBA Referees: .@NYDNSports turns the name-calling tables on Mark Cuban. Wonder how he likes it… http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/mark-cuban-jerk-week-crossing-line-refs-article-1.2945659 … Mark Cuban: I’m devastated.
Royce Young: There have been 34 ejections so far this season. Last season at this point there were just 20. Seems to be something going on there.
In a recent letter to Byron Spruell, the NBA’s president of league operations, NBRA general counsel Lee Seham outlined what the union considers to be a lengthy pattern of documented violations by Cuban of the NBA constitution and “undue influence of the league’s management of its officials.” “We consider the threat to the integrity of NBA basketball presented by Mr. Cuban’s misconduct to be real and growing,” Seham wrote on Dec. 9.
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.”
Mark Cuban: “I asked why we weren’t bringing in better officials than those who weren’t able to crack the top half of officials. [I think it’s 37 who get selected as playoff refs.] I also asked if being an NBA official was a lifetime job and at what point do we recognize that there is someone else out there who can do a better job? I did this knowing that any terminated refs could receive substantial pensions. As far as anything else, I’ve been the same way since I bought the team and have no reason to change.”
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.
Barnes shakes his head in disappointment at this NBA buddy system. “The league is just too soft, too chummy,” he said.
So what has caused Barnes to tone down his on-court antics and become a voice of reason? “I think I’ve lost like $600,000 over my career for fines, so it’s time to just kind of wake up and realize they don’t like you, so you’ve got to stick to the book,” he said.
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.
“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.”
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.
Russell Westbrook: “I get so many techs just for talking. I can’t even say nothing when I’m getting hammered every time I go to the damn basket through the games and previous games,” Westbrook said. “Not tonight, but every night. I just don’t get reffed the same way as other people, and I don’t appreciate it.”
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.”
His ejection Thursday came after he argued what he thought was an air ball by the Grizzlies and an incorrect resetting of the shot clock. While JaMychal Green took free throws, Westbrook persisted with officials and appeared to repeat, “That’s bulls—,” over and over. Eventually, official Brian Forte hit Westbrook with a technical and then a subsequent technical seconds after.
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.”
Carmelo Anthony was ejected in the second quarter of the New York Knicks’ 102-98 overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night after hitting Thabo Sefolosha in the head while the two were entangled in the paint. Anthony was whistled for a flagrant foul 2, which resulted in an automatic ejection. “He punched me,” Sefolosha said after the game. “That was a fist right in my face.”
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March 30, 2017 | 4:16 pm EDT Update
Redick will be a free agent after this season. Griffin and Paul are signed through 2017-2018, but both have opt-out clauses that would allow them to become free agents this summer. Jordan and Crawford are signed through 2018-2019, but Crawford is 37. “I think the more time you’re together, the more impatient you kind of become,” Crawford said Wednesday. “You feel like time is kind of passing by.”
“I think we’re very confident, but there’s a different swagger that teams like Golden State and Cleveland have, teams that advance far every year,” guard Austin Rivers said. “We have a bunch of guys who want to get there, and who are close … we’re not there yet, but we can get there.”
Justin Verrier: Pelicans confirm Omer Asik and Quincy Pondexter are out for the rest of the season. Asik expected to return to bball activities in 3-4 weeks
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
Adidas offered a footwear and apparel endorsement deal worth $3 million annually for five years, sources told The Vertical, which was on par with several of the game’s top non-signature All-Stars. It would also guarantee Lin international marketing, product input, basketball camps, appearance tours and special releases in Asia.