WASHINGTON -- In theory, the NBA being transparent and admitting that its referees do make mistakes in crucial situations is a good thing. But in reality it's a horrible thing.
For starters, why is the league only admitting missed calls at the end of games?
Missed calls happen throughout the course of an entire game. Admit those, too, since you want to go there.
Like coaches always say, what happens in the first, second and third quarters ultimately affects what happens at the end of games. That includes those blown referee calls in the first three quarters.
Earlier today the NBA came out and admitted it cost Minnesota a chance to tie Monday's game against Dallas when they said Shawn Marion should have been whistled for a foul against Kevin Love with one second left in a game the Mavs led 100-98. The Timberwolves got no love from the refs, and the Mavs walked out of Minnesota with a two-point victory after Love was denied two potential game-tying free throws.
Last year the NBA admitted they blew a call in Portland that cost the Mavs a game against the Blazers. That set off a chain reaction around the Mavs that carried to the next game in Oakland when Dallas played the Golden State Warriors.
First, let's deal with Portland.
The Blazers and Mavs were deadlocked at 104-apiece when Dallas guard OJ Mayo was whistled for charging into Ronnie Price with 1.5 seconds left in the game. A timeout later, and LaMarcus Aldridge drained a jumper at the buzzer and the Blazers won, 106-104.
The next day, the NBA issued a statement that read:
"After review at the league office, the video replay confirmed the play should have been ruled a blocking foul as Portland's Ronnie Price did not get his body directly in Mayo's path prior to him starting his upward shooting motion. Mayo should have been granted two free throws."
As far as the Mavs were concerned, the NBA owed them another feint apology during their very next game against the Warriors.
In that contest the Mavs trailed Golden State, 98-97, when Brandan Wright's short jumper was blocked by Warriors center Andrew Bogut with 12 seconds left in the game. The Mavs were angered because they felt Wright was aggressively fouled by Bogut.
But no foul was whistled, and the Warriors won 100-97.
And the next day, no statement came from the NBA concerning that crucial play.
Then again, the Mavs thought the chances of the NBA admitted they made a mistake that cost them two consecutive games was very small. That's why the NBA should have never started admitted that their referees made mistakes that cost teams a game.
This is an extremely slippery slope like no other. And a multi-billion operation like the NBA should know this.
Referees have been costing teams games for many, many years. And they'll cost teams games for many, many more years.
They're human. They're going to make mistakes.
Isn't that part of the charm of this wonderful game? The human element?
What truly is the purpose of upsetting millions of folks who are already upset because they believe the refs cost their favorite team a game?
Unless the NBA plans on finding a way to pick up the game right where the referees made the game-changing mistake, don't waste our time with any salt-in-the-wound statements. That hurts even more.
-- Dwain Price
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