Martin Devlin: Shame on NBA for throwing refs under the bus

Radio Sport,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 1 May 2019, 2:51PM

Shame on the NBA.

Shame on you the most powerful governing basketball body on earth for doing a World Rugby/NRL and throwing their refs under the PCB (Public Criticism Bus) following the first Warriors/Rockets play-off match.

The biggest single sports story in the USA these last two days is what's been labelled "the Officiating Controversy". This describing the fallout from the NBA's official final two minute review that called out those refs for "missing three late calls".

What they fail to acknowledge with this review is that it isn't in fact gospel truth, at best it's only ever a matter of debate. Whether those calls were in fact right or wrong is  simply their off-court interpretation of the refs on-court opinion.

By definition it can never be 100% conclusive because, just like rugby, the rulebook in basketball is not written in clear absolutes but in fact allows for individual refereeing interpretation of different on-court situations.

So rather than regard this review as criticism I think it should be considered a positive affirmation. The whole thing started because "Superstar" James Harden said at the post-match that all he wants is "a fair chance".

By getting some right and some wrong isn't that then exactly what the refs have given him? And as for the refs (supposed) three late missed calls, how about turning that same microscope on your overpaid players?

Harden, the multi-billionaire hall-of-fame record-setter, misses two of every three shots he takes. If he takes 50 a game he misses over 30 of them. Not to mention the times he takes and misses a shot with a team-mate free.

How is that genius again? And why don't or won't the NBA call out these guys for their selfish errors and contrived attempts at securing false fouls against innocent opponents?

The proliferation of what the league calls "flopping" has become as embarrassing to the sport as football players doing the Hollywood in the penalty box.

If all James Harden wants is a fair chance then that's exactly what he got. The real injustice here is the refusal of the NBA to extend the same courtesy to their own refs.