Storyline: Officiating Complaints

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Disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy said he believes the Dallas Mavericks were screwed out of an NBA championship during their 2006 matchup with the Miami Heat. “Basically, Dallas was up in the series,” Donaghy said on the Forgotten Maverick Podcast. “With that being said, the way it was back then, was that the NBA would come in in order to extend a series, to go over plays that they felt should have went in Miami’s favor that didn’t and that went in Dallas’s favor that shouldn’t have and they started to program and training the referees to look for certain things.”

In the 2006 Finals, Donaghy cited Ed Rush’s dislike of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. “Let’s not forget at that time, Ed Rush was the supervisor of officials,” Donaghy said. “And he hated Mark Cuban’s guts. He absolutely hated Mark Cuban. “He’s programming and training these referees to look for certain things that definitely put Miami at an advantage. Ed Rush used to tell us that Mark Cuban was someone that created a lot of extra work for us, constantly calling the league office and that really just got everyone to start to dislike Cuban.”

For better or for worse, everyone gets 280 characters on Twitter now. While no one is sure how awful or great this will be in the long run, there were some fantastic tweets on the day that the character count expanded. One of the best sports-related ones came from the official Twitter account of the National Basketball Referees Association.

“They’re playing physical against me and all those little contacts maybe that go into my turnaround jumpers I get a little touch on my elbow or something — it changes your shot so much,” Porzingis said after the Knicks’ 110-89 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday night. “It’s hard for a lot of defenders to block my shot actually so I’m trying to tell the referees all those little contacts on my elbow, some on my arm, it’s bothering my shot and it shouldn’t be allowed. “It’s tough to see for sure. But I just got to be able to make those shots through contact I guess.”
4 weeks ago via ESPN

Derrick Rose left the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 116-97 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday with a sprained left ankle stemming from a hit by Bucks center Greg Monroe that the former MVP said should have been called a flagrant foul. “I think I’m the only person in the league that’s not getting a flagrant for that call, bro,” Rose said after scoring 12 points in 23 minutes before exiting the game for good with 10:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. “Come on, man. Like, I’m sure I’m the only player, but it is what it is. … That’s a common foul. Wow. Come on.”
4 weeks ago via ESPN

“I ain’t got calls in the last seven years, so I definitely understand what he’s talking about,” Wade said. “It’s unfortunate, a guy goes down and he can’t protect himself. From what we’re told, as players, if they go around the neck it’s automatic. And, Derrick said it when he got here. He said, ‘Listen, y’all, I ain’t gonna get calls.’ And it continues to happen to him. But he’s going to keep attacking the rim. That’s his nature and that’s who he is and we know that. So, hopefully next time, it’s rewarded.”

Leonard said he’s glad the NBA implemented a new rule in which they can call flagrant or technical fouls on players who jump dangerously close to shooters and don’t give them a clear path to land. “I just think it’s good to protect the players from getting hurt,” he said. “It happened in the past to the players I saw when I wasn’t in the NBA. So I think it’s a good rule just for the defender to be cautious, and not to injure the player.”

While this is nothing new, on Thursday Wall revealed for the first time that he views himself similarly to LeBron James in this aspect. “I think I get the same treatment as LeBron gets when he drives,” Wall said ahead of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal round. “I think I’m too big and physical, so guys bounce off me and they think I’m supposed to play through it, so I just keep playing and, like, coach tells me, don’t worry about it. Just try to finish plays without worrying about the fouls. So that’s all I can do.”

Brooks delivered the line like he did not want to discuss the officiating. But he returned to the topic later, unprovoked, to share a desire for the Celtics to keep their hands off Bradley Beal. The shooting guard scored just 14 points on 4-for-15 shooting and committed six turnovers. He also missed some critical shots, including a potential game-winner at the end of regulation. “We have to do a better job of getting their hands off of him, one,” Brooks said. “If they’re going to allow him to be guarded that way we’ve got to make some adjustments ourselves. We’re going to look at the film and try to figure out how to get their hands off him. You’re not allowed to do that, but we have to figure out how to get some better looks for him. But that’s part of something we have to figure that out as a staff.”

If there’s one thing Stern doesn’t love – never has, and never will – it’s the chronic complaints from coaches about officiating this time of year. Here’s looking at you David Fizdale and Fred Hoiberg. “(It’s) really just a modern version of what a coach tries to do to inspire his players and attempt to influence the officiating,” Stern said. “That’s as old as Pat Riley and Phil Jackson (doing it) back in the day. If the moon is up during the playoffs – (if it’s not) on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon – the coaches will be baying at the moon and at the officiating.
7 months ago via ESPN

The NBA said Monday that two crucial traveling violations went uncalled in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round closeout win in Game 4 over the Indiana Pacers. According to the league’s Last Two Minute Report, LeBron James moved his pivot foot at the start of his dribble before sinking a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Cavs’ 106-102 win. Indiana’s Paul George had a shot at a potential tying 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining that the league also determined should not have counted because George also moved his pivot foot before starting his dribble.

The facts of NBA life, as explained by Nelson and other former coaches Bleacher Report interviewed, may be universally accepted, but Fizdale’s assertion that Gregg Popovich’s pedigree gives his team an unfair advantage over a team with a first-year coach is dangerous, according to P.J. Carlesimo. The former head coach, and Popovich’s top assistant from 2002-07, cautioned Fizdale about making his complaint seem personal. “‘Fiz’ is treading on very, very thin ice,” Carlesimo said. “To even imply that the officials ref the Spurs differently, or Kawhi differently, is not a good place to go. I don’t know what he intended, but if he is implying the officials are not being fair because it’s Kawhi vs. Zach [Randolph] or David Fizdale vs. Gregg Popovich, that’s not something you want to be even hinting at.”

Anyone who expects a dramatic reversal of officiating fortunes in Thursday’s Game 3 at FedEx Forum may want to lower expectations. “It will have zero effect on officiating,” Carlesimo said. “Every crew, even in the first round, will have officials who have worked hundreds of playoff games, and the chance of their being swayed by a coach’s comments or what is written in the press is zero. They are above it. It’s the way it should be. The league has their back, and they could care less what is said.

Those numbers only got bigger in the second half, as the Grizzlies shot 35 times in the paint but only took 15 free throws, while the Spurs shot 18 times in the paint yet took 32 free throws. Fizdale became increasingly unhappy as spoke, saying, “Kawhi shot more free throws than our whole team. Explain it to me.” If you were thinking that Fizdale may be teetering on if he’ll get a fine or not, this part should end that discussion. “It’s unfortunate that I got a guy like Mike Conley who in whole career has zero technical fouls. He just cannot seem to get the proper respect from the officials that he deserves. We don’t get the respect that these guys deserve because Mike Conley doesn’t go crazy. He has class, and he just plays the game, but I’m not gonna let them treat us that way. I know Pop has pedigree and I’m a young rookie but they’re not gonna ‘rook’ us. That’s unacceptable that was unprofessional. My guys dug in that game and earned to be in that game but they did not even give us a chance. Take that for data.”
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November 19, 2017 | 8:03 pm EST Update