Last Thursday as I sat glued to my TV watching TNT I couldnít help but wonder, do the refs call these games fair? Then I got my answear, which was an emphatic NO! It seems like since the mid 1990s the refereeing crews of NBA games have been getting worse, and more blantantly giving calls to certain teams and players.
Thursdays game between the Spurs and Mavericks, where Dirk Nowitzki pushes Tim Duncan out of bounds, and no foul is called is a great example of what Iím talking about. It was an obvious call, but it wasnít called. The reason for it not to be called was, to make the game more interesting for the TV audiance. Which I find utterly rediculas. This is a game, inwhich there are hundreds of variables, that is what makes us fans. If we wanted to watch something made for TV entertainment, we would watch pro wrestling.
Calls going for TV ratings only arenít the worst of the bad calls going around in the NBA. The worst calls are calls going directly to benefit the large market teams over the small market teams. This was extremly in the second of the TNT games last Thursday, when the Large Market Lakers faced off with the Small Market Jazz. The most contraversial off calls if Kobe Bryantís last second shot, which missed, but Referee Ron Olesiak called a foul on Utahís Devin Brown. Now upon watching the replay of this, its obvious that there was no foul. Another interesting thing seen in the replay is that Bryant was behind the three point-line, yet only got 2 free throws. This makes me wonder if the ref knew it was a bad call, but didnít want to be directly responsable for a Jazz loss.
This call would never have been called if it were against the Laker, why? Because the Lakers are the NBAís darling child. No team in the NBA gets as much preferential treatment as do the LA Lakers. Every since the 2000 season, the NBA has allowed the Lakers to get away with calls that they havenít let the other teams get away with. One of the more obvious ones is allow Shaquille OíNeal lower his shoulder, lowering of the should as discribed in the NBA rule book; is an offensive foul. Another common thing the NBA allows the Lakers to get away with, is pushing off, the Lakers constantly push off, and yet it is never called.
But the worst of the bad things from the NBA officiating crew is, according to one league source, intentially calling fouls on Houstonís Yao Ming. This is a horrible decision by the league if it is true. Not only do you intentially alienate Houston, but you also hurt the integrety of the NBA as a whole.
Kobe's last second shot/foul Referees