This doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, you know it was something egregious.
The NBA released a statement saying that the officials missed a foul call at the end of the game between the Raptors and the Bobcats on Wednesday. Charlotte was leading by one, when the ball was inbounded to Andrea Bargnani. He pulled up for a jumper that would have won it had it gone down, but the ball fell well short of the rim, which usually means there was some contact that caused that to happen.
No call was made at the time, and the Bobcats escaped with the victory. But Bargnani was clearly hit on the shot, and the league said so a day later. It doesn’t make any difference for the Raptors, of course, who still end up with the loss.
It’s unclear why the league bothers to make public statements like this; accountability is normally a good thing, but when you can’t go back in time to correct a wrongful outcome of one of these games, it seems to serve little purpose.
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“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.
“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”
Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.
Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.
I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.