NBA denies Kings’ protest

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The Kings protested their loss to the Grizzlies on Courtney Lee’s buzzer-beating layup.

Today, Adam Silver gave his verdict.

NBA release:

The National Basketball Association announced today that Commissioner Adam Silver has denied the Sacramento Kings’ protest of their 111-110 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on November 13, 2014.

The basis for the Kings’ protest was that Courtney Lee’s game-winning shot should have been disqualified as having been made after time expired.  Under league procedures, each team has an opportunity to make submissions in support of its position, and the protesting team is required to establish a misapplication of the official playing rules that had a clear impact on the game’s outcome.

The Commissioner determined that the game officials’ call that Lee’s shot was timely was within their judgment and not a misapplication of the playing rules.  Sacramento’s protest therefore did not justify the extraordinary remedy of overturning the game’s result.

Key words: “extraordinary remedy.”

The referees might have missed the call – either because Ryan Hollins tipped the inbounds pass or Lee held the ball longer than 0.3 seconds – but everyone followed proper protocol. The referees made the call, and the review center upheld it. Any errors weren’t due to “a misapplication of the official playing rules.”

Protests, as frustrating as it is, aren’t designed to get the call right. They’re designed to ensure procedures were followed, whether or not the result was correct.

The procedures were followed here, and that’s why the Kings lost (again).