NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn issued a statement on Tuesday admitting an officiating error at the end of the game Monday night between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. (h/t CBSSports.com)
“Through postgame video review, we have determined that Minnesota’s Kevin Love was fouled on the right arm by Dallas’ Shawn Marion while attempting a 2-point field goal. Love should have been awarded two free throws with one se3cond left on the clock,” the statement read.
The Timberwolves lost 100-98 after Marion stripped the ball from Love on the potential game-winning attempt. Here’s the video:
“He got fouled,” Minnesota coach Rick Adelman told the Star Tribune after the game. “I wonder what that would have been if [Dirk] Nowitzki, LeBron James, all the top players in the league … a guy reaches on a last-second shot like that instead of challenging it. Maybe they don’t understand Kevin is one of the top five players in this league.”
“I’m the type of person that if you see a foul—an obvious foul—you call it. I thought that was pretty, pretty obvious. Just look at the replay: Without saying too much, you look at the replay and it was obvious he got arm. I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t, I wasn’t going to yell at him. That wasn’t going to do anything. I just walked off the court, just tried to keep my head up.”
So it’s possible that Adelman and possibly Love could face fines for complaining to the media about a call the NBA had admitted was botched.
Accountability is terrific on the NBA’s part; this was an issue during much of David Stern’s tenure as commissioner, but that tide seems to have turned in recent years—when mistakes are made, the NBA is admitting them.
The problem is that these mistakes—game-changing mistakes—are happening far too frequently. This is the second time in less than a week that an official’s decision has had a direct impact on a game. The NBA admitted last week that Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was incorrectly ejected from a Christmas night game against the Golden State Warriors.
The NBA’s reputation, certainly with more casual fans, with regards to officiating is terrible. Admitting mistakes is a good step toward rectifying that.
Having officials that will make the right call in the first place? That would be even better.