Dick Bavetta’s first game as an NBA referee was a Celtics-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden was Dec. 2, 1975. The first game I covered as a writer with Dick Bavetta as an NBA referee also was a Celtics-Knicks game, almost 14 years later. The once-mighty Celtics were fighting to make the playoffs. Larry Bird had missed most of the season with a back injury. His replacement was Kevin Gamble, a second-year player already on his second team. Early on, there was
The NBA doubled down Thursday on the controversial ending of Game 5 of Clippers-Thunder, fining coach Doc Rivers $25,000 for blasting the officials afterward. The fine was announced by NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn and came one day after the league came to defense of the officiating crew, whose replay ruling left most fans baffled by their decision.
Through two days of NBA playoff games, we have seen some horrendous officiating. Blake Griffin basically got benched by the refs in Game 1 of the Warriors-Clippers series. Dwight Howard picked up his 6th foul late in last night’s Blazers-Rockets game on an egregiously bad call. Four players ended up with DQs in that game, which lasted a ghastly 3:21, featured 65 fouls and made quite a few East Coast viewers a little less productive today at their jobs. Is this what
Mike Bantom, the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Referee Operations, is cracking down on a very specific point of contention. The issue at hand? Verticality. Secondary defenders are permitted to challenge an oncoming offensive player so long as they stay “vertical.” However, according to a memorandum sent to all owners, general managers, coaches and officials over the weekend, there has been a noticeable increase of players bending, if not breaking, the rule. We have noticed that defenders have been turning sideways when jumping to
NBA referees have had better weeks. On Thursday, the league admitted that Blake Griffin should not have been given a technical foul – his second of the game, resulting in an ejection – in the Christmas matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. On Tuesday, the league announced that Dallas forward Shawn Marion should have been called for a foul on his “blocked shot” on Minnesota’s Kevin Love at the end of Monday’s 100-98 win by the Mavericks.
The Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers have gotten this far in the postseason by winning at home. But the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are going to the NBA Finals by winning on the road. The Grizzlies and Pacers were very good home teams in the regular season. Memphis was 32-9 and lost just once at FedEx Forum after Feb. 8. Indiana was 30-11 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and went more than two months early in the season without a home
Having coached high school basketball for the last two seasons, I have gained a true appreciation for the quality of officiating by NBA referees. Until this week. This was a bad week for the league and its referees, as the NBA admitted there were blown calls that changed the outcome of two games.
It’s a dark, snowy Tuesday night in Hamden, Connecticut, the kind that last all basketball season in the Northeast. John W. Adams is sitting by himself in the last row at the TD Bank SportsCenter, preparing to take in yet another game in the long stretch of games that make up his life each winter. Over the next five months, the NCAA’s head of men’s basketball officials will traverse the country, going from city to city, small gym to huge arena, to