Recently, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant was quite vocal about his disapproval of the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report, which analyzes and critiques the calls and officiating of its referees.
“The league throws its officials under the bus by airing out refs’ mistakes,” said Durant after league officials announced that proper calls were not made that could have possibly changed the outcome of the marquee televised Christmas Day game between Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers, a 109-108 Warriors’ loss.
“I think it’s bullshit and they should get rid of it,” Durant said days after the game.
Although Durant’s comment could be looked at as valiant, they could also be looked at as self-serving. By defending referees, he might gain favor and be able to get the benefit of the doubt, for himself and his teammates, when a call is made during future games. In the back of their minds, it could surreptitiously register that Durant is a friend of the referee.
Even though the NBA issues reports, an acknowledgement of an error or errors in the case of the Christmas Day game, it cannot change the outcome of a game once the final buzzer sounds and the game is over.
Referees do need to be held accountable, just as players are. A player was once thrown out of a game because the ref felt that the player stared at him too long. Another was thrown out for laughing at an official while sitting on his team’s bench.
I asked this question: “Why are players and coaches fined for identifying bad calls made by league officials?” If they’re rude and disrespectful while doing, that’s justifiable, but not for bringing attention to a discrepancy that may have cost them a win.
Officiating does need improvement, not only in basketball but also in other sports as well. Furthermore, there shouldn’t be any “Jordan Rules” or any other unwritten rules that give league stars such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry and any of its other elite player athletes the benefit of the doubt regarding rule infractions. Whatever foul is called for James should be called for the 12th player on a team’s bench. League rules should apply to everyone. A player such as Draymond Green (Golden State) or Grayson Allen (Duke University) should not be judged by their reputation, but on the play during each scheduled game that they play.
During Brett Favre’s last game, a playoff game that he quarterbacked while playing for the one season for the Minnesota Vikings, there was a miscall right before halftime by NFL officials who could have changed the outcome of the game, a Viking loss. The league office issued a report days later that acknowledged the error, but it was too late to extend the remaining days of Favre’s career.