LeBron James dismissed the importance of the league’s Last 2 Minutes report initiative and made it clear Friday he doesn’t see a use for them in the NBA. “It changes absolutely nothing,” James said. In an effort to improve transparency, the league began last season releasing reports critiquing the calls officials make and do not make on games within five points with two minutes left.
“I think it sends a bad message to our fans of thinking the game is only won in the last two minutes,” James said. “A play in the first quarter is just as important as a play in the last four seconds. That’s how playoff basketball is played, that’s how the game of basketball should be played.” James believes focusing only on the last two minutes sends the wrong message to kids. “I don’t think they should hear that ‘Oh, it’s OK to talk about the last two minutes calls missed.’ We should talk about the whole game, if that’s the case because the whole game matters,” James said. “You miss an assignment in the first quarter, it can hurt you in the fourth quarter. So I’m not fond of it all.”
“It’s amazing they haven’t gotten a defensive three-seconds (violation) yet,” Whiteside said. “They stay in the paint. So… I don’t know.” Whiteside has been seen regularly chatting up officials, including at halftime of the Game 5 loss at home to Charlotte. What’s that been about? Well, in part, it’s been about Al Jefferson’s stays in the lane on defense. Just as on offense, players are only allowed to be in the lane for three seconds.
“I mean, on every offensive possession, I’m counting, I’m counting for the ref,” Whiteside said. “I got up to like six at one time, in front of him, and he still didn’t call a defensive three. I’m just going to just keep trying to get a defensive three on one of their guys…. I’m right beside him. I’m counting them off. I’ts like preschool, we’re counting together.” The officials tell him that Jefferson is moving. “I’m like, yes, he’s moving,” Whiteside said. “He’s moving in the paint. I’m going to just try to help my guys out, just try to get them out of the paint.”