Sorry conspiracy theorists, one former NBA referee says stars don't get enough calls


reThumbnail image for Barnes_ref.jpgNBA referee conspiracy theories rank right up there with JFK, Area 51 and Tupac is alive in American mythology.

It’s an almost unquestioned belief that NBA superstars get the calls. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James get calls when they drive that Caron Butler or Jonny Flynn would not. Particularly late in games or during the playoffs. It’s probably why the Lakers won the last two titles, right?

Not even close, said former NBA official Ronnie Nunn, as told to the Toronto Star.

“The reverse is true, and that’s something the fans don’t know. To be perfectly honest, star players get fewer calls than they deserve. They probably deserve more calls,” said Ronnie Nunn, a retired NBA ref who now works as the director of development of NBA officials. “(Star players) play through contact that would make one believe the contact wasn’t significant enough for a foul. And then you look at it on tape and you see, ‘Wow, he really got bumped on that play, but he swirled around it and he made it look easy.’ And so, the no-call was incorrect.”

You know who gets the calls in the NBA? The aggressor. Almost every time. If you see a free throw disparity in a game, it’s not because a referee favored Miami over Atlanta, it’s because the Heat got the ball inside, because their players attacked the rim while the Hawks settled for jumpers.

But that’s not as much fun as saying the refs were trying to decided the game. And that Tupac was there, too, in section 114. I swear.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.