But the reports aren’t going anywhere — and I don’t think they should. Adam Silver started them as a counter to the David Stern-era policy that the league almost never admitted referee errors. Silver wants transparency, even if that shows off a little of the dirt of the league (although I’d say the reports primarily show the league’s refs get things right, that’s just not what anyone focuses on). Personally, if the choices are no information, or information that shows the referees are human, I want that info.
That’s what I cover in this latest PBT Extra.
Add LeBron James to list of guys not a fan of the NBA’s “two minute report”
“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.
NBA fines Paul George $15,000, Nate McMillan $10,000 for comments on officials
“I’ve been vocal to the point where the league issues [a statement], ‘Hey, we missed a call. Hey, we missed that.’ Officials do it during games [saying], ‘I missed that call, I missed this call. We’re sorry. We’re sorry.’ It’s getting repetitive. They see it, they know what’s going on. They know what’s a foul. They know what’s not a foul. It comes down from somewhere else how these games are going, I believe…
“Since I’ve been in this jersey we’ve always fought this battle,” George said. “Ever since I’ve been playing, ever since I’ve been in this jersey we’ve fought this battle. Maybe the league has teams they like so they can give them the benefit of the doubt. We’re the little brother of the league. We’re definitely the little brother of the league.”
His coach, Nate McMillan, picked up his own $10,000 fine for these comments after the game.
“(The referees have) got to give us more respect… No fouls. We only shot 10 free throws. Paul shot one free throw the entire game. He played 39 minutes. This is the second game where he’s getting a lot of grabbing, a lot of holding. (Jimmy) Butler shoots 12 free throws tonight. I mean, they’re getting away with a lot of grabbing on Paul and they’ve got to call the game both ways.”
Hopefully, the Pacers feel they get their money’s worth out of this. Of course, they lost to the Bulls because of 16 turnovers, and because of their offense going stagnant with too much isolation too often (something that happens more than it should to the Pacers). They are a couple games below .500, disappointed and frustrated, and so they are blaming everyone and everything for their woes. It happens. But their biggest problem is not the officiating.
George Karl praises Carmelo Anthony’s offense, but says he’s too focused on off-court issues
But here’s what I’ll say now: Melo is a hell of a player, the best offensive player I’ve ever coached. I owe him as much as anyone for my having a great record. But there’s a new generation of players interested in personal branding and gaining money and power off the court, and that’s all new to me. There were too many times with Melo when what was going on off the court was more important than what was happening on the court. It bothered me then and it bothers me now. That kind of thing bothered me just the other night.
Some will praise Karl’s old-school stance, to me it shows a guy out of touch. Not just with the modern NBA player but the modern world.
Does Anthony care about his off-the-court brand? Yes. So does LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and I could go on and on — but they don’t let that impact their play on the court. Guys today put in more time on conditioning and off-season work than most did in Karl’s era. Are you telling me Kobe didn’t leave it all out there? Same with Anthony. He has flaws in his game no doubt, but those are not about his shoe line or his clothing lines or his other business collaborations and endorsements. They are about his game, and Anthony unquestionably has put in the work to get his game to the future Hall of Famer level it is.
Karl — and Phil Jackson — came up in an era when players played, many made so little money they had second jobs, and the ones that did have money hired white guys in suits to handle it for them. Endorsements were handled by agents and players just followed along. Today’s players want to control their money, their image, their brand — as they should. That’s just being a good businessman. Karl doesn’t have to like it, but his distaste for it (along with his ego) is part of the reason he rubs so many of his former players the wrong way.
After the Thunder easily handled the Heat Tuesday night, we understandably focused onRussell Westbrook — another triple-double, another dominating performance, it’s impossible to find the right words for how well he is playing right now.
We weren’t the only ones paying attention to Westbrook, so were the Heat defenders, which allowed Steven Adams to roll to the rim free and clear, and he just powered down dunk after dunk on Miami. You can see it in the video above. Adams finished with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, with five of those buckets being at the rim.