On Christmas Day, I sat down and watched basketball all day long. As someone who normally really only pays attention to the NBA during the playoffs, I was pleasantly surprised. See, I stopped watching the NBA because the games were unbearable. There's preferential treatment based on a player's status in the League, there's flopping, there's guys selling fouls when they weren't even touched, and there's the worst of all: the pump fake then lean into the outstretched arm of a defender to go to the line (AKA, the Dwayne Wade Special)
It's annoying as hell.
But for the most part, the Christmas Day games were pretty entertaining. That is, until the last minute of the Cleveland/Golden State game.
By now, you've likely seen the video and read the debate. In case you haven't, here's the play in question:
It's pretty apparent that LeBron got fouled more than once on this. Only the most ardent of LeBron haters will say that there weren't two fouls committed by Durant during that possession. In fact, the NBA's last two minute report confirms it, saying that KD "makes forearm contact to James (CLE) that affects his SQBR [speed, quickness, balance, rhythm] at the start of his drive to the basket." The report goes on to say that Durant then "makes contact to James' (CLE) arm and body that affects his driving shot attempt." So a foul should have been called...at least one of those. But there was nothing called. After a replay review, the refs gave the ball to the Warriors and they went on to get a 7 point win.
Whether or not you agree with the call is irrelevant to the point of this post. Most people on social media are saying that the refs were right to "let them play" and that "you can't call those in that situation."
See, this is why officiating in the NBA sucks. And that line of thinking is exactly why NBA fans have let it get like this.
By giving officials a pass for not making a correct call based on some randomly designated scenario, you're giving in to too much of a human element. Either it's a foul or it's not. The time in the game or the situation on the floor should have the same amount of impact on whether or not to call a foul as where the moon is in relationship to Sagittarius. It's all just bullshit.
There's already enough of a human element fucking up calls in sports. It's natural and unavoidable that some calls will get missed, or bad calls will get made because, in real time, some of this shit is hard to see perfectly. But to take that to another level and say, "you can't call a foul in that situation" means that you are OK with officials having even more leeway on turning a blind eye to calls that should be made.
And what fouls are you "not supposed to call" in a tight game down the stretch? Should refs swallow the whistle on every reach? Do they ignore every body bump? Should we allow offensive players to hook a defender as they back a guy down? How about throat punches? Are those cool if the game is tight? After all...YOU CAN'T CALL THAT IN THAT SITUATION!!
There's already a post about this particular play in the Craft Brewed Sports Facebook Group. So feel free to check it out and join the debate. But if you think I'm dead wrong on this, let me know there, in the comments below, or on the Drunk Line: 440.37.DRUNK. I'll be happy to show you why you're wrong.