The Kings lost a heart-breaker in Memphis on Thursday, after Vince Carter found Courtney Lee for an alley-oop reverse layup that the referees ruled was made before the final buzzer sounded.
But Sacramento didn’t see it that way.
Not only do the Kings believe that the shot should have been waved off due to there being only three tenths of a second remaining before the inbounds pass (meaning there couldn’t have been enough time for Lee to catch and shoot the way that he did), but they also think that the pass was tipped by Ryan Hollins before it landed in Lee’s hands.
If the ball was tipped, time would have expired, and the Kings would have come away with the victory.
Because there are two separate instances here where Sacramento feels it was wronged, the organization has filed a protest with the league office.
Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro confirmed to Comcast SportsNet CA Kings filed protest regarding Memphis game & “feels strongly” about it
And from Sam Amick of USA Today:
Kings protested result based on alleged Ryan Hollins tip AND claim that Lee didn’t get shot off in time. No verdict yet from the NBA.
Unlikely they win, but Kings are pushing the protest – which costs $10k to do – out of principle, if nothing else.
Speaking of principle, that’s as good a reason as any for the NBA to deny the protest. Not only did the Kings blow a 26-point lead, but they hit two extremely low-percentage shots during the contest, as well. Enough went Sacramento’s way in this one; despite the controversial ending, the Kings have only themselves to blame for this loss.
The NBA last granted a protest back in 2008, but the circumstances were far less subjective than they are in this particular case.
The Heat protested the game because, with 51.9 seconds remaining in overtime, the Hawks’ scoring table personnel incorrectly disqualified the Heat’s Shaquille O’Neal – asserting that a foul committed by O’Neal was his sixth foul of the game, when in fact it was only his fifth. The error occurred because the Hawks’ Official Scorer mistakenly attributed to O’Neal a foul at 3:24 remaining in the fourth period that was actually called against the Heat’s Udonis Haslem.
NBA Commissioner David Stern found that the Hawks were grossly negligent in committing this scoring error, since they failed to follow league-mandated scoring procedures and failed to respond effectively when the members of the statisticians’ crew noticed the mistake. Because of this conduct by Atlanta’s personnel, Miami suffered a clear competitive disadvantage, as O’Neal – the Heat’s second leading scorer and rebounder that night – was removed from a one-point game with only 51.9 seconds remaining. Under this unprecedented set of circumstances, the Commissioner granted the Heat’s protest, and fined the Hawks $50,000 for their violation of league rules.
The result was a double-header of sorts two months later, where those final 51.9 seconds were replayed before a full game was played afterward as scheduled The irony, of course, is that O’Neal wasn’t even involved, because he had been traded to Phoenix before the replayed contest took place.
It would be difficult to see how the league could rule in the Kings’ favor here. There doesn’t appear to have been a similar level of “gross negligence” by anyone in Memphis, and the video evidence seems inconclusive, at best.