David Stern was old-school dictatorial about it — the league always backed the referees’ in-game decisions, and fines rained down on any coach/player/executive to dared criticize them.
Adam Silver is more modern and transparent: The fines are still there, but now the league releases a “two-minute report” breaking down the calls in the final two minutes of games that are within five points at the two-minute mark of the fourth. (Those reports always existed, Silver just had them scrubbed up and released.) If the referees miss a call or blow one, the report calls them out. And they miss a fair amount (not as many as fans want to think, but some).
“I hate them. I hate the two-minute reports. I’ll go on record saying it again,” Wade said following practice Monday at the Advocate Center. “It’s bad for our game to come back with those two-minute reports…
“It’s in the game. It’s the call that’s been made on the floor, we’re mad at it then,” he said. “Let’s move on. I hate the two-minute report that comes back and says, ‘We should’ve called this’. We lost. It’s not making none of us feel better by saying ‘See, I told you.’ We lost the game. I hate them. I’ve said that multiple times.”
There are plenty of coaches/players/executives who feel the same way as Wade — if you’re not going to go back and change the outcome (and that’s not going to happen), then why publish the reports? Human error is part of the game, live with it.
At the Finals last year, Silver defended the reports.
“We’re in the second year of our Last Two-Minute Reports, and I still remain strongly behind them,” Silver said last June. “Now, I understand the criticism from some of the teams that, ‘What’s the point? Why are you telling the world that this call was decided incorrectly? May have gone in our favor, may not have. Nothing can be done about it after the fact.’
“My view, first of all, in terms of building confidence in the public, they want to see consistency. So they want to understand if we call something a foul, why we called it a foul, and we often give explanations for why we believe something was a foul, whether it was correctly called or incorrectly called. So it’s our hope that you take the Last Two-Minute Reports together with using a certain amount of replay that we’re building to build trust and integrity in the league.”
That’s Silver’s world-view summed up: While Stern preferred secrecy and just ignored conspiracy theorists, Silver wants to confront it all head on. Not that the tinfoil hat brigade is going to believe him, but he’s not going to hide when mistakes are made just to protect an image (within reason).
Silver works at the pleasure of the NBA owners — if they want the two-minute reports gone, they will be gone. But unless they pressure Silver to make a change, the reports are likely here to stay, regardless of what Wade thinks.