Storyline: Officiating Complaints

1,446 rumors in this storyline

The NBA fined Clippers forward Paul George $35,000 on Thursday for publicly criticizing officials after a loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Following the 110-103 defeat, George said he believed the Clippers played well but that “there was some home-court cooking tonight, to say the least.” Asked whether he was referring to calls by officials that the Clippers either did not receive or were not called at all, George responded about the differential in foul calls: “I mean, it was 19 to 11. You all figure out what those numbers are. It was 19 to 11.”

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Sean Cunningham: Kings coach Luke Walton after picking up a technical in the 3rd quarter, calls over to Luka Doncic and says: “Hey Luka, do me a favor, give him your autograph after the game. (points at official) – He’s a fan, he’s a fan of yours.” 😂😂

Some of Smart’s frustration stems from not feeling he’s getting a benefit of the doubt. As he’s done in the past, Smart feels like he doesn’t have the respect of the officials. “Thought I did. First team all defense, one of the best defensive players in the league, I would think so. Up for defensive player of the year, they’re talking, but obviously not,” he said. “Continue to keep working. I mean, we have Jayson Tatum, we have Kemba Walker, all-stars, we have Jaylen Brown, potential all-star, we have Gordon Hayward, was an all-star. We got star guys, too. If that’s the case we should be getting the same calls that those stars are getting.”

Sources said the explanation officials provided to a few members of the Trail Blazers on the court at the time of the controversy was that it “wasn’t even close” to a goaltend, which further infuriated the team. “We get to the last play of the game, and they miss an easy call,” Lillard said during his postgame address after the 117-114 loss. “And then they tell us that’s an easy no-call, like that was obviously not a goaltend. It cost us a f—ing game, man.”

The NBA has seen a rise in offensive numbers over the last 10 years, as the league has prioritized its rules to cater to high-scoring games. While the trend has helped offensive output, it has caught the ire of both Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who hopes to see subtle rule changes going forward. “I would like to see a slight reversal in what we’re trying to accomplish as a league,” Kerr said prior to Tuesday’s game against the Spurs. “I think we’ve gone overboard in rewarding offensive players. And what I mean by that is we’ve rewarded offensive players for fooling the officials and attempting to fool the officials.”

The NBA announced Monday that it has denied the Houston Rockets’ protest of their 135-133, double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs last week. At issue was a James Harden breakaway dunk with 7:50 remaining that would have given the Rockets a 104-89 lead. The ball whipped through the net and back over the rim before bouncing off, and the officiating crew mistakenly ruled that Harden missed the dunk and denied Houston coach Mike D’Antoni’s attempt to challenge the call.

The league did announce that it has disciplined all three referees from the game for misapplying the coach’s challenge rule. The NBA also said it will work with its competition committee to develop procedures to ensure the situation does not reoccur. D’Antoni was unhappy the officials were disciplined. “I hate it for them,” he said. “They just made a mistake. We all make mistakes. So I hate it. That’s probably the worst part of it. They’re trying to get it right, and I’m sure they had good intentions.”

The Wizards feel like the opposite isn’t happening. Beal gets hit, but it’s not ruled a foul. Then, the same play happens on the other end and Beal ends up getting whistled for hacking an opposing player. “For me, off-ball is something I wrestle with refs all the time about because you’re supposed to have freedom of movement and half the time, I don’t even have freedom to go touch my teammate on the shoulder if I want to,” Beal said. “So, it’s just those things that are frustrating. Things that are blatant, obvious, should be called and (they’re) not called. But us as a team, I gotta be better at being physical, getting more open, stop complaining and we just gotta be better at screening for each other, me setting screens, and just figure out ways. I just can’t keep accepting it.”

Yahoo Sports reached out to all 30 teams seeking input from coaches on their feelings about the challenge through the first quarter of its inaugural season and the strategies they are using to maximize it during this trial campaign. Most declined to go on record, some of whom have publicly denounced it. One coach threw his endorsement behind the newly implemented tactic: NBA Coaches Association president Rick Carlisle. “I believe that any time you have a mechanism that could potentially correct an error in an NBA game that it’s a positive thing,” the Dallas Mavericks coach told Yahoo Sports. “I believe it protects the integrity of the competition, so I like the rule, and I believe as time goes on more and more people will feel the same way.”

Multiple coaches, however, have yet to see the benefit of the challenge. Asked what improvements he might make, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “I would tweak it by getting rid of it altogether. “In fact, I would get rid of all replay if it were up to me, because these stoppages in play just aren’t good for the game,” Kerr told Yahoo Sports. (FYI: His five successful challenges so far trail only Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens.) “I’d rather see a good flow in the game. We stop the game for so many reasons, and yet even with replay, we don’t get all the calls right. It’s impossible to get all the calls right in the NBA. It’s such a fast game, and there are so many bang-bang calls that could go either way, so even with replay you see plays on tape all the time that you think you got a raw deal on. In my mind, there should be no replay. “We should just live with the results,” added Kerr.

Rockets to file official protest

The Rockets prepared to file a protest of Tuesday’s loss to the Spurs, a person with knowledge of the team’s plans said, with an argument that will cite the James Harden dunk that did not count as an example of a “misapplication of rules.” It will also cite subsequent errors in officials’ failing to grant a coaches’ challenge, though the primary argument is with points not being awarded following a made basket.

NBA rules require a protest to be filed within 48 hours after a game. Sources said the NBA office has started conducting an investigation that could take longer than the 48-hour window. The Rockets contend that they should either be awarded the win — because they actually outscored the Spurs in regulation — or that the final seven minutes, 50 seconds of the game be replayed at a later date. League sources, however, scoffed at the suggestion that the Rockets would be awarded the victory.

The Rockets have 48 hours after the game in which to file a protest and will wait for more feedback from the NBA before determining how they will proceed. On Tuesday, on the way to losing a 22-point lead, a dunk by James Harden was disallowed after the ball worked its way through the net and around the front of the rim and nearly in again. The subsequent loose ball was ruled to have gone off Harden. The Rockets still led by 13 with 7:50 to play and were up by 16 shortly after before allowing the Spurs to come back and tie the game and eventually win in overtime.

Rockets to protest loss to Spurs?

The Rockets are weighing protesting the game, a person with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, but will wait to hear from the NBA if it rules without a protest. If a made basket was not credited, the Rockets could be given a two-point win in regulation or more likely have the remainder of the game replayed from that point on. In either case, winning a protest is extremely rare. “They said the ball hit James and went back through, so it was goaltending on James,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “So, I said, ‘I challenge that.’ Then, I didn’t get a response. Then, another guy said it wasn’t a goaltending. It went out of bounds on us, so I said, ‘I’ll challenge that.’ I didn’t get an explanation. I got nothing.

Harden’s breakaway dunk with 7:50 remaining would have given the Rockets a 104-89 lead. The ball whipped through the net and back over the rim before bouncing off, and the officiating crew mistakenly ruled that Harden missed the dunk and denied Houston coach Mike D’Antoni’s attempt to challenge the call. “When the play happened, Harden goes in for a dunk, and then the ball appears to us to pop back through the net,” crew chief James Capers told a pool reporter. “When that happens, that is basket interference. To have a successful field goal, it must clear the net. We have since come in here and looked at the play. He dunked it so hard that the net carried it back over the rim a second time, so in fact it did clear the net and should have been a successful field goal.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the most recent example of teams replaying part of a game happened on March 8, 2008, between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks. Four months earlier, the Hawks defeated the Heat 117-111 at home in overtime, but the official scorer incorrectly ruled that Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal fouled out with 51.9 seconds left in the game. The league decided to have Miami and Atlanta replay the final 51.9 seconds before the teams’ next scheduled game, and the Hawks ultimately won 114-111.
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February 20, 2020 | 1:03 pm EST Update
On Wednesday, when Gordon and his Magic teammates returned to practice for the first time in more than a week, the 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward said he was looking forward at what was to come the rest of this season. Gordon, 24, said the fate of the 24-31 Magic matters much more to him now than whatever lingering bitterness that there might be over last weekend’s dunk contest. “For sure, it’s definitely a test,’’ Gordon said of potentially using the dunk contest result as fuel for the rest of the season. “I’m just looking to help my team. That’s what I want – I want us to be a great team and (give) ourselves and opportunity to win deep into the playoffs. That’s what it really comes down to.’’
“I definitely feel some type of way about it,’’ Gordon said while carefully choosing his words. “I’m definitely kind of irritated a little bit and a little frustrated, as well. “But it’s OK, it’s really OK,’’ he added. “We’ve got to move on because it’s over now. I think it will be talked about for years and years and years, which is really cool. But at the same time, it’s over.’’
As the Knicks (17-38) get back into the swing of things with the 2019-20 season’s second half set to begin in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game against the Indiana Pacers (32-23) at Madison Square Garden, Randle opened up on Miller’s impact Wednesday. “I don’t make those decisions, but from my personal standpoint, dealing with him on a daily basis has been absolutely amazing while he interacts with us, how he coaches the game — everything.,” Randle said. “We’ve responded really well to him and he’s done a great job.”
Storyline: Knicks Coaching Search
Since he replaced Fizdale with Dec. 7’s 104-103 loss to the Pacers, Miller is 13-20 through his first 33 games in charge of the Knicks. Over that span, Randle has been an instant beneficiary of Miller’s tweaks. Randle averaged 16.5 points on 44.2-percent shooting with 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists over 31.9 minutes in his first 22 games under Fizdale. Since Miller took over Dec. 7, Randle has 21.1 points on 46.2-percent shooting, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists over 33.5 minutes in the past 33 games. “He just made some adjustments, so what he feels is best, as far as playing to guys’ strengths and stuff like that,” Randle said. “It’s just the adjustments and all that type of stuff. So he’s done a great job.”
Buchanan is widely known for his embrace of analytics. If the Bulls ask for and receive permission to interview Buchanan, his longstanding working relationship with Pritchard would seemingly indicate an ability to mesh with Bulls executive vice president John Paxson. As previously reported, ownership still values Paxson’s leadership and vision for the direction of the franchise. Paxson long has publicly stated he’s willing to accept any role the franchise thinks is best for the Bulls.
Storyline: Bulls Front Office
February 20, 2020 | 11:23 am EST Update
How does unemployment work for an NBA player? I guess I’m wondering how you train. Don’t say what specific gym, of course, but is there a random Dallas area gym that you’re just showing up to. If I had a – I don’t know – Lifetime Fitness pass, might I randomly run into a vaguely familiar 6’7 dude shooting and lifting? Ryan Broekhoff: Yeah, you might, now that we’re back in Dallas. You might see us around some spots. But just using some contacts I’ve made to get somewhere to work out and I guess, not have privacy, but make sure that I can have a free court (so I’m) able to stay ready for whatever does happen next.
The Wizards have to maximize all of their other resources, much like the Brooklyn Nets did when they ultimately overcame the disastrous 2014 trade with the Boston Celtics that left them paying a debt of high first-round picks for years. Brooklyn worked around their draft pick blackhole by hitting on late-round selections plus minor signings and trades. And they built a foundation along the way that made them surprising heavyweights in free agency. The Wizards have plenty of work to do, but first-year general manager Tommy Sheppard is already proving his worth in peripheral transactions, the types that turned the Nets around. They may be less-heralded acquisitions, but they can also become major separators between GMs.
Sheppard has been running the Wizards front office for less than a calendar year, yet he already has an impressive list of marginal moves. Just recently he turned Isaiah Thomas, who was a glaring detriment on the defensive end, into Jerome Robinson, the 13th overall pick just 20 months ago. Last offseason, his first as GM, he flipped Aaron White, a former second-round pick who was stashed in Europe, for Davis Bertans, who has become one of the best shooters in the NBA. He also turned cap space into Moe Wagner and Isaac Bonga, two guys with intriguing potential. Wagner, in particular, has emerged as a building block.
There are other minor moves Sheppard has made that stand out as good ones. He may have found something in Garrison Mathews, a rookie on a two-way deal who can light it up from three. Anzejs Pasecniks and Gary Payton II have been nice surprises as end-of-the-roster guys. And signing Ish Smith for less money instead of retaining Tomas Satoransky has proven to be a smart decision.
February 20, 2020 | 9:26 am EST Update

Giannis Antetokounmpo expected to re-sign with Bucks

Given how well the Bucks are playing, every executive we spoke to expects Antetokounmpo to re-sign with Milwaukee. The Bucks are overwhelming favorites to reach the NBA Finals, and falling short of that bar looks to be the only thing that could put Milwaukee’s MVP in play.
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No max for Brandon Ingram?

What happens with New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Brandon Ingram in restricted free agency is more divisive. Most executives believe Ingram isn’t worth a max contract, which makes his future difficult to predict. “I wonder if [Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin] will hardball [Ingram] and say, ‘Get an offer,'” one executive asked. “Where is he getting it from?”
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Several people mentioned the Nets could be active in trades. Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen are all names that rival executives believe to be available in some form. They could be attractive pieces for the Nets to package together to land a third star that sends them to the top of the conference. Some also wonder whether Brooklyn will spend big to keep unrestricted free agent Joe Harris this summer.
“He’s had a great year, for sure, but not sure everyone fully trusts it yet,” a league source told The Athletic. “It’s been the most consistent he’s shown his whole career. I think, maybe, $5 (million) to $7 million per year (is what he’ll get).” Then there’s this evaluation … “I would expect him to get a mid-level value, something like $9.7 (million) annually,” an NBA agent said.
Wood has impressed all year, as a bench man and even as a starter. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer after playing this season on a vet-minimum deal. At the trade deadline, the Rockets and Celtics, two championship-contending teams, made multiple offers to Detroit for Wood, per a source. The 2020 free agency class is considered blah, so don’t be surprised if Wood garners interest from teams with available cap space.
Storyline: Christian Wood Free Agency
“Without any hesitation or anything like that, I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’d come back and play for the Lakers,’” Howard told The Athletic following a Lakers off day in early January, shortly after his contract was guaranteed for the rest of the season. “Why wouldn’t I? For me, it was kind of like in my heart I was full of forgiveness towards the fans and how the situation ended. I think after that first stint I was super angry. I hated L.A., I hated all that stuff, but I had to let all that go. And it just made my life better.”
February 20, 2020 | 6:52 am EST Update
February 20, 2020 | 6:51 am EST Update
February 20, 2020 | 3:15 am EST Update
Much like in 2016 when Gordon was the tough-luck loser to two-time champion Zach LaVine, Gordon has spent the past few days dealing with the fall out of an event he’s always thought he was destined to win at some point in his basketball career. In the subsequent four days since the Dunk Contest ended, Gordon has heard from countless numbers of fans, fellow NBA players and celebrities in the music and movie industries about a result they felt was wrong. That, in a weird and twisted sort of way, has helped to soothe Gordon’s disappointment over the results, he said. “I definitely feel some type of way about it,’’ Gordon said while carefully choosing his words. “I’m definitely kind of irritated a little bit and a little frustrated, as well. “But it’s OK, it’s really OK,’’ he added. “We’ve got to move on because it’s over now. I think it will be talked about for years and years and years, which is really cool. But at the same time, it’s over.’’
Storyline: All-Star Contests
Embiid is well-aware of these comments. And recently, he mocked them and shrugged it off as he shot down the speculation regarding his on and off-court relationship with his fellow teammate, Ben Simmons, during an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “I was actually right,” Embiid claimed. “A few years ago, I predicted it. I’m sure if you go into the archives and stuff, you can see I predicted the media, with my social media and Ben, [the media] were going to try and drive us apart. At the end of the day, we know what we gotta do. I love playing with [Ben Simmons]. He’s a special talent. I think we can accomplish something special.”
Something that came up with you with this process was getting feedback from others and guys telling you you should go, giving you advice and that kind of brought up the question in my mind of when you have something specifically within the NBA that you’re looking for feedback on or advice on, who are the people you turn to the most? Devin Booker: Just people that I respect the most. Whether that’s a teammate, if it’s my brother, my mother — whoever it is. I said when I first didn’t make the game, a lot of people reached out to me that I never really had a personal connection with and a lot of people I respected. I said after the game Chauncey Billups was probably the most memorable. Like, I grew up idolizing this guy and for him to reach out to me and tell me it was (expletive) and I should be in the game — hearing that from Chauncey “Big Shot” Billups, it means that much more to me. I talked to Dame a lot about it. So, all these guys that have been in your shoes. It’s hard to get advice from somebody that hasn’t been in your shoes. The guys that have been in those situations, they all told me a story of when they got snubbed or a situation like that. But the consistent answer was to get there and enjoy this weekend and that’s what I did.
Beilein is, though, first and foremost, his own man. It accounts for his defiant rise through the coaching ranks, from a nobody to a somebody. It also accounts for a high degree of pride, or perhaps ego, and the staunch belief that his way works as long as everyone around him subscribes to it. And there, more than anywhere else, is most likely where you will find the fatal flaw of Beilein’s dalliance in the NBA.
It should at least be considered that Beilein could be done coaching. He told at least one fellow coach earlier this season that he could not imagine returning to the college game. Of course, comments like that could have just been a product of life on the other side. Or maybe it was hyperbole. Regardless, it’s worth understanding that Beilein’s loyalty has never been to a certain school or a certain level of play, but to the game. Basketball is his true love. Well, that and his family.
In that room, where he often shouted at guys for sloppy play, sluggishness and poor habits, and tried to find positives in double-digit defeats, Beilein poured his heart out, taking ownership for faults while also offering encouragement. He wanted to get a specific point across. We’re not that far away. Ironically, that perspective was too often elusive for Beilein during his first NBA season. He had a difficult time seeing the bigger picture through the pile of losses. It didn’t matter that Larry Nance Jr. had made more 3-pointers than at any other point of his career. Nor did it matter that second-year guard Collin Sexton had improved across the board and was named a Rising Star. It didn’t resonate that Kevin Porter Jr. was growing into a key piece of the rebuild.

Storyline: Andre Drummond Free Agency