Joey 2

Well, the NBA finally got it right. Unfortunately, they got it right about a day and one crippling loss too late for the San Antonio Spurs.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank has officially admitted what my eyes and huge, throbbing brains had already told me: Derek Fisher fouled Brent Barry. And it should have been called. Said Frank: "With the benefit of instant replay, it appears a foul call should have been made."

Of course, this statement followed a totally contradictory assertion by league spokesman Brian McIntyre, who had previously claimed that referees Joey Crawford, Joe Forte and Mark Wunderlich may have been following a league guideline in failing to make a call. "There is an explanation in the rule book that there are times during games when the degree of certainty necessary to determine a foul involving physical contact is higher. That comes during impact time when the intensity has risen, especially at the end of a game. In other words, if you're going to call something then, be certain."

Riiiiight. Because Fisher jumping into the air and landing on Barry is something that's really hard for a crack officiating crew to be "certain" of. As they said over at College Humor: "Fisher's hip slammed Barry in the ear. How is that not a foul? (Interesting fact: Fisher's hip is like a seashell; if you put your ear to it, you can hear the sound of Jazz fans booing.)" And Spurs coach Gregg Popovich smells something brown and stinky.

"It's a very strange thing. If you talk to an official, the official will tell you that the game is called at the end of the game exactly like it is during the meat of the game. That's their story and they're going to stand by it. In reality, personally, I don't think that's true and I can give a thousand examples that things are called differently down the stretch where I think most referees feel -- and I agree with them -- that things need to be more definitive before you're going to make a call. A referee is going to be hesitant to make a call that could decide a game at the end unless it's really either gross or obvious. So, that's why I said, if I was an official, I would not have called that a foul at the end of the game."

Thanks for staying classy, Gregg. So, anyway, it appears that although they Spurs will probably get knocked out of the playoffs tonight because of that now officially incorrect no-call, they at least get the moral victory from knowing they got jobbed. Too bad there's no such thing as the Moral NBA Finals.

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22 Comments:
Anonymous Digga said...
If you really think that that was the ONLY bad call in the game and that it should have decided the outcome of the game, youre sorely mistaken.

Did you see fisher's shot graze the rim on the replays but not get called (and therefore not reset the shotclock)? Did you watch Kobe Bryant NOT get to the line at all?

The Lakers led from start to finish without the benefit of getting to the line on a regular basis, yet people still whine about ONE call when clearly the officiating for the entire game was slanted in favor of the Spurs.

Was it a foul? yes. Consider it a giant makeup (no)call for the rest of the game.

If the officiating was even for the rest of the game, we would have much more evidence of a "Stern Button" or other conspiracy theory. It just didnt happen. Poor reffing is poor reffing.

BRING BACK TIM DONAGHY! At least then you know youre getting what you (someone) paid for....

Anonymous TradeBait said...
Its funny how this mess seems to make the Spurs a little less hated around this series of tubes I been reading(for now at least). I won't say for sure SA is done. I wanted them to win this but expected LA to.

How bout that flopping fine, how's that gonna work?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
The thing I hate most about this whole controversy is how many people are flogging it like "the Spurs got robbed" when really they didn't at all. A bad officiating call a mere four seconds earlier was the only reason they were even in that position to begin with. Poor officiating gave them life and then poor officiating took it away, but if the officiating had been good all along, they would have been just as dead as they are now. As soon as Fisher's shot nicked off the rim then off Robert Horry's leg out of bounds with 6.9 seconds to play, the game was officially over if only the refs had made the right call. That they then blew two huge calls within the last 7 seconds of the game really just says that they had a crappy group of refs out there, but ultimately those crappy refs and their two horribly incorrect calls at the end of the game didn't change the rightful outcome one bit.

Yes Fisher fouled Barry, and yes he should have received two free throws as a result. But honestly, truly and fairly the Spurs didn't deserve an overtime period as those foul shots should have been coming with the Spurs down four points, not two. Joey Crawford shouldn't be officiating games anymore, and that foul should have been called; but it is disappointing to me to see people like Henry Abbott, who is generally pretty level-headed when it comes to basketball, ignore that the Spurs really were not robbed by this bad call, and are instead using this as some evidence that the Lakers are helped out by the league and/or the refs. For those out there who are doing this same thing I have this to say: if you are howling for justice and integrity and are using this as an example while ignoring the play before the Barry/Fisher foul then you're being a hypocrite, because in this instance justice was served and the correct team won.

Anonymous Jonny Drama said...
If we had a Moral NBA Finals, the Suns would be a dynasty.

Blogger The wondering Mind said...
Somewhere Steve Nash is smiling

Blogger SFGary said...
Maybe I'm missing something... I played in school and in community leagues, I've watched thousands of pro and college games, and the one consistent fact about all of these games has been the uneven refereeing. Barry didn't get a call he deserved? What a giant story! It MUST be a conspiracy...

Okay, I haven't seen it labeled (outright) a conspiracy on this blog, but the dramatic fainting-couch behavior puzzles me. The refereeing was about like it always is - infuriating to everyone watching. Pop is right to downplay it because he knows there's nothing any of us can do about it. After all, we've all felt the sting of the non-call. Like that time in the 11th grade when I.... um, nevermind.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
sfgary -- I never used the word "conspiracy," nor have I ever in a serious fashion.

What it WAS was this: A terrible end-of-game call in a crucial playoff game involving a referee who has a history with the Spurs in the aftermath of a major offseason officiating scandal. It's visible and everybody's talking about it. AND the NBA specifically put in the instant replay rule to avoid situations like this. (Remember when the officials decided that Devin Brown got fouled and gave him two freethrows after a game had ended...? That happened in THESE playoffs.)

So not only was the call obviously blown, but unlike the other calls (the goal tend, Fishers rim shot), replay can be and is supposed to be used in these situations.

Blogger reuben said...
As long as we are analyzing the replay. Are we counting Barry's travel before the Fisher foul?

Or are we saying that the travel couldnt be called in the game because it was so slight, but the fisher foul was more obvious?

The Tim duncan dunk had apparently set a precendent of no travel calls in the game.. who am i kidding kba never calls travels i guess, but still doesnt make it any less of a foul.

Anonymous stultus said...
Derek Fisher is "Grotesque Clutch".
Remember when Fisher won the game for the Lakers back in March by getting a foul called on Monta Ellis when there wasn't any? (March 24)

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful, my understanding of when the league is allowed to use instant replay is only if a shot went in and no time is left on the clock, with the one exception being if a foul is called on a shot in which there is no time left on the clock. Since the shot didn't go in and Crawford and the other officials didn't call for a foul, I believe that technically they weren't allowed to go to instant replay.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is right that they weren't allowed under the rules to not consult instant replay, I'm just saying they actually did go by the rules on that particular point. Really though, all that means is that it's yet another clear illustration of how much the instant replay rule needs to be broadened. Just like it couldn't technically be used for the end of the 3rd quarter situation in Game 2 of the Magic-Pistons series, this is another instance where the rule should be changed to allow instant replay.

My understanding of the argument against instant replay is a worry that it will slow the game down, and that is why they only use it for an end of quarter situation (since in those cases it's always a dead ball already anyway). But that's why I'm in favor of it being used for any situation where there is a timeout (since you have the same logic: the game is already stopped as it is), and for any end of the quarter play that warrants a review (and not just the ones where a basket was made or a foul was called).

The idea should be to get the calls as right as possible using whatever means is available, especially if the game is already stopped. It is completely asinine for the refs to just stand around during timeouts while commercials are rolling if there is some controversy which could be cleared up by a quick look at a replay. There is no reason I'm aware of for why this is a bad idea. This way, if a coach thinks the ref made a bad call, just call timeout and tell him to look at it on the replay. Where's the downside for that? IMO, anything which might motivate coaches to not save all their timeouts for the last minute of the game (thus dragging that last minute out over a half hour) is a good thing; or if they do save them for the end, at least you know that when they are used it'll be helping to clear up any controversial endings like we've seen a few times in these playoffs.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Yams -- I don't have the replay rules in front of me. However, the NBA spokesman specifically stated that replay should have been used, AND we've already seen replay used in a similar situation this season.

I think if the NBA's official statement says it should have been used that way, and there's precedent for it being used that way...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Cavs game was different. The foul had been called, they were just determining whether or not it was before the clock expired. Completely different scenario.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
And no, the statement didn't say replay should have been used. You're changing their meaning.

"With the benefit of instant replay, it appears a foul call should have been made."

This just means that they determined, after checking the replay, that it was a foul. It does not say that the refs on the scene should have used instant replay.

Anonymous Paul R said...
Mr. Bawful (if that's your real name) -- surely you are joking when you say the Spurs will probably get knocked out of the series "because" of that call. 1) You don't know what would have happened if he got the call. 2) you lose games by your actions throughout the game -- being in position to be defeated by a single bad call means -- you lost. 3) The Lakers have totally outplayed the Spurs (and their previous opponents). That is, they are winning. They led throughout that game, and they are the only team in the playoffs with a winning road record. 4) Your statement is the verbal equivalent of a "flop" -- you are trying to "sell" something incidental to make it seem bigger than it is.

For all your clear knowledge of the game, your undue obsession with the worst of basketball has clearly blinded you to the obvious here. Fact is: bad calls happen. Everyone knows it. Teams should work hard to avoid being at the mercy of the refs. The Spurs lost that game. They know that, and that is why they are not whining. Nothing was taken from them but what they gave away.

Anonymous Greg said...
Perhaps this a case of what goes around comes around. The Spurs had everything on their side last year with Cheap Shot's hit to Nash, and I guess this is making up for it.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful (rest assured, that is his real name), looks like some other commenters addressed your response already, but I'd just like to restate what I said above. If the ref calls a foul and the play ends with no time on the game clock, they will go to the replay to see if the call was made before time expired or not, and therein lies the problem in this specific instance because no foul was called. At this time instant replay may only be used to see whether a shot (or shooting foul) happened before or after the game clock expired - it can't be used to determine whether a foul should have been called or not. The Philly game was an example of the refs trying to determine whether the foul that was called happened before the game clock expired or not, and in that case they decided the foul was called with .2 left on the game clock, so they awarded the free throws. The problem right now is just that the instant replay rule needs to be expanded in some way, and I have a feeling after these playoffs you'll see some kind of change to it.

Finally, I gotta agree with Paul R above: saying this call is the reason the Spurs could get eliminated tonight is just plain wrong. It was a bad call, but no one call determines a game. Even if you totally dismiss the number of other calls which were probably wrong (going both ways), and even if you dismiss the Fisher shot clock issue which would have made this call moot, the fact is even if Barry had got that call, he very well could have missed one of his free throws, or if not, the Spurs could have lost in overtime. They hadn't led all game, after all, so it's not like it's a lock they would have won.

This type of stuff is what I was referring to above with Henry Abbott, and how some people are really trying to over-hype this incident so they can push this agenda that the league is rigging everything for the Lakers. This particular game is most definitely the poorest example of pro-Laker fixing I've ever seen touted by people like yourself. Consider the following in this supposedly "fixed" game: the Spurs shot more free throws than the Lakers, Kobe shot zero free throws, Odom & Fisher were in foul trouble for most of the game (while no Spurs players were), and then you factor in the bad calls on the Odom block and Fisher's "airball". I mean, if the officiating crew was really trying to do everything they could to ensure the Lakers would win, they're even more incompetent than anyone has ever assumed. Look, I know you dislike the Lakers and think there are some fishy sequences here and there to point to (and I agree with that, although I think that's probably true for every team), but this isn't one of them. Put the agenda aside for a second and be honest so you can reclaim some credibility here.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Spurs have had WAY MORE than enough help winning this year (and previous ones). Popp doesn't want to bg on the refs too much cause he knows they are pretty much always in his pocket anyways. In this instance as everyone with any sense of justice and fair play should see clearly, they shouldn't have even been in a positition to tie or win since there should have been LA free throws and a 3 or 4 point defecit (assuming free throws are made). Seriously. Spurs, win a game on your own for a change. Oh yah, I really don't think you can...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey bad calls happen every game. It's inevitable. The good teams are the teams that can overcome these bad calls and still come out on top. Or teams that do not put themselves in the position to let the refs decide the outcome of the game. Spurs did not lose because of that missed call. They lost because they got outplayed and because Manu was MIA. Spurs know it themselves and everybody else knows it. That's why the Spurs are not complaining about it (which I respect).

Blogger Sony said...
I am tired of this sardoodledom.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
What Jackson said: "What did [the NBA] say about the 24-second clock? They didn't want to go all the way? You've got to start peeling that onion a long way back, don't you, if you start opening it up."

And Mr. Awful, you're wrong because that no-call wasn't reviewable. So Jax has a point, why did the NBA only speak out on 1 call? What about the 2 they missed in the prior 30 seconds (Fish's shot and Lamar's good block)?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
if it was the suns who were benefeciary of a no call, this would have never been written.
it just a bias thing.... you obviously dont like la more than the spurs. the spurs have been beaten by a better la team ,period..... if you want to place astericks, place it on the spurs win last year, when the league suspended amare and that other bonehead suns player for game 5.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
The next-to-last anonymous -- Yeah, you're right. I was wrong. The play wasn't reviewable. The league spoke out on it because it was the last play of the game, it obviously effected the outcome directly, everybody was talking about it, and we were promised transparency in these situations. I would assume that they would speak out on any highly controversial end-of-game call or no-call that caused such a furor.

last anonymous -- I'm not going to bother to be delicate about this: You're being an idiot. It's not a bias thing. I make fun of everything. I've proven time and again that I will crack down on anybody, including my favorite players (Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, etc.). So get off your high horse.

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