Kevin Durant created a stir when he defended the NBA’s officials and ripped the league’s two-minute reports, but he is far from alone in that sentiment. His own coach Steve Kerr has questioned them. Gregg Popovich called them “odd,” and Stan Van Gundy is not a fan. Dwyane Wade said he “hates” them. The only people who hate them more are in the referees union. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, the prevailing sentiment among players and coaches (and plenty of front office executives) is they don’t like the reports.
“I’m not a fan of the two-minute report,” James said after the Cavs practiced on Wednesday. “I think it discredits what the referees are doing for 48 minutes. If that’s the case, you might as well do a 48-minute report.
“It’s not fair to the referees that you only talk about the final two minutes of the game and not the first 46. There’s plays that’s missed, there’s plays that called throughout 48 minutes that don’t get talked about.”
There are some executives around the league who want to see a 48-minute report. That strikes me as a disaster waiting to happen.
It’s easy to see why the referees don’t like them. With the players, I get the sentiment — the reports don’t change anything. It exposes the officials and publicly scolds them, but the NBA is not going to order the final 3.4 seconds of the Warriors/Cavaliers game be replayed with Durant getting free throws. The result doesn’t change.
Still, I’d rather have them than not. Before in the David Stern NBA, the league almost never admitted referee errors — even obvious ones in big games — and that opened the door to charges of games being fixed. While that door isn’t closed — Hello Paul George — Adam Silver has pushed the idea of transparency to help fight the tin foil hat brigade. I’d rather know what the NBA saw and thought, why certain calls were made. If the option is no information, or information that shows the referees are human, I want that info. To me, those reports primarily show how officials get tough calls right far more than wrong, and that they also are human.
But it will be interesting to see if Adam Silver responds to the push back on those reports.