Why the Knicks late-game debacle should be a wake-up call for the NBA

New York Knicks v Houston Rockets
New York Knicks v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The New York Knicks loss to the Houston Rockets is going to go down as one of the worst calls in NBA history. With just a few seconds left on the clock, guard Aaron Holiday hoisted up a prayer, hoping that it would lead to a Rockets victory.

He missed horribly but lucky for him Referee Jacyn Goble blew the whistle and called a foul on Jalen Brunson for running into the shooter. After Holiday made two free throws, he missed the third one intentionally so that the clock would run out. The Knicks then ended up losing by a final score of 105-103.

Knicks file an appeal

On Tuesday, Feb. 13th, the Knicks filed an appeal in the evening, highlighting the NBA's Last Two Minute Report. Game crew chief Ed Malloy acknowledged the fact that Brunson was wrongly appointed a foul and that the call on the floor was indeed a mistake.

The Knicks are hoping to get some positive results by being compensated either by picking up a tie game with the start of an overtime or by removing the loss from their record in total. The NBA has to resolve this problem one way or another, especially considering the Knicks and the Rockets are not scheduled to play again this season.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is the person who makes the final verdict on the case, and the main thing he is looking out for is a "misapplication of the rules." So with that being said, there is no guarantee that the Knicks win the appeal; in fact, it is highly unlikely.

There have been a total of 46 appeals in NBA history, and there have only been six times where a team has won, according to The Athletic and NBA research. The Miami Heat were the last team to win an appeal in the 2007–2008 season. They were allowed to replay the final 51.9 seconds after the official scorer fouled Shaquille O'Neal out of the game when he only had five fouls.

Why it needs to be corrected?

NBA referees make mistakes, and that is fine because we are all humans. It happens, but if instances like this begin to stockpile, it is going to cause major issues around the league.

Silver needs to take action and do something about this problem that seems to be happening more often than not. NBA Referee's blowing calls have occurred a lot in recent years, to the point where the coaches and the players are starting to voice their opinions.

I believe Mike Brown said it best when the Sacramento Kings were not getting any calls in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks this year. Brown was pretty fed up with the refs and pointed out footage of De 'Aaron Fox getting hooked by Cameron Payne off of a pick-and-roll.

"You just hope that there is A) some sort of consistency and B) some sort of communication between the refs," said Brown. "If you get communication and if you get some form of consistency in the game, then you can live with some things."

Brown's frustration was very well put, and this is just one of the many examples from 2024 alone. The only question that now presents itself is: how long is the NBA going to push these game-altering calls under the rug?