Phil Jackson slams Dick Bavetta for Trevor Ariza’s foul of James Harden


It never took Phil Jackson much prodding to criticize referees. He doesn’t even need to be involved in the game.

(hat tip: CSN Washington)

Before Harden drove for the game-winning layup, he drew a foul on an inbound, getting one free throw and the ball. That’s the play that upsets Jackson

The foul should have been called here, when Ariza has his left arm on Harden’s back and is grabbing Harden’s right bicep:


Ariza actually went across the lane with Harden while keeping the same lock on him. That was a foul the whole way.

As Harden went toward the perimeter, he hooked Ariza’s arm – a common tactic by the Rockets guard – and brought Ariza to the ground with him.


After that happened, Bavetta called the foul on Ariza. It’s not clear when Bavetta believed the foul occurred, because there is a natural reaction time between seeing the foul and raising his arm.

The end result, a foul on Ariza, was correct. But it’s quite possible Jackson has a point and Bavetta missed two calls on the play – not calling the foul Ariza committed and then falling for Harden’s hook.