NBA officiating. For the love of basketball, how bad is the NBA going to let this get? Officiating is something I’ve had very strong feelings about for quite some time. The first piece I ever wrote that was published was about how I believe the whole system needs an overhaul for a number of reasons. But I’m not going to get into that here because my take includes a solution. Here at the BUSDAs, we’re all about pointing out the dunceitivity of it all. Yes, I’m making up words. Deal with it.

So why now? Well, if you follow the NBA at all, you’ll know that in the past couple of days, there have been two utterly egregious failures in NBA officiating. Two of the biggest I can remember. I’m incredulous and annoyed. Please join me. If you haven’t been following… well, you’re in for a treat.

Shenanigans in San Antonio

On Tuesday the Houston Rockets were on the road against the San Antonio Spurs when this happened.

There is absolutely, unequivocally, no excuse for this to happen. None. Zero. Pigs should fly before this kind of mistake happens in a game. Fines are levied against players for bad behavior. Teams can get fined for any number of things. Refs should take a financial hit for missing crap like this.

There were not lots of bodies and limbs obstructing the vision of the refs and making this a difficult call. This was a fast-break dunk! What were the refs looking at!? Three sets of eyes and none of them were paying close enough attention to know that the ball went through the hoop and flipped back up with the netting? And how would the netting even get wrapped around the rim without the ball going through? This is not Rocket science people!

Rocket science. (Insert laughing emoji here.) Had to.

And where the heck was Secaucus? You mean to tell me that the replay center that reviews whether made shots were taken from two or three-point range without stopping play couldn’t be put to work reviewing this play to see if the ball went through or not? I mean, it would have only taken one viewing to get the call right.

Oh, but it’s not in the rules to review that. So!? Call a freaking audible and get the freaking call right!

It’s a Mess

How or if this situation will be resolved is still up in the air. It’s more complicated than just a regular missed call because that two points changed the entire game. In fact, this uncredited dunk happened in as complicated a game as it could have. San Antonio came back from a 22 point deficit to win this game by two points in double-overtime.

Had Harden’s basket counted as it should have, the Rockets would have won by two in regulation. You can’t really blame the Rockets for appealing to the league for this to be addressed. Even if it is only one game in an 82-game season, on principle alone someone needs to be held to account.

Unacceptable in Utah

The only thing that kept the no-call in Utah on Wednesday night from being the worst missed call of the week was the fact that what happened with the Rockets happened. Take a look.

I mean, for the love of freaking basketball. What is that!?! I’m all for remembering that the refs are human and they’re not going to catch everything. But for realsies?!? James may as well put the ball in a dang suitcase. Maybe then the refs wouldn’t have missed such obvious traveling. And let’s not be so focused on the travel that we miss the double dribble. Thanks, @meghanmcpeak for pointing this out.

Even the King himself has openly admitted that this missed call was one of the worst traveling violations of his career.

Also during that game, LeBron James in on the court during play with no shoes on. Someone, please convince me that James doesn’t get away with things that no one else would. G’head. I’ll wait. It’s almost like someone needs to remind the refs that King James is only a nickname. Guys, he can’t have you beheaded if you make him up. So do your ever-loving jobs!!!

All of this is without even getting into the every-game issues that have been going on with NBA officiating for years. So, the NBA and its officiants I say this:

Accept your BUSDA with the appropriate shame and let it be a reminder that the players and the fans deserve better. Get your crap together and clean up the officiating.

Have you seen something worthy of a Belly Up Sports Dunce Award? Share it with us @BellyUpSports or @auxiiarythings or use #BUSDA. Maybe we’ll feature your nominee.

Check out other articles by the Belly Up Sports team.

About Author

Jade "Auxiliary Things" Johnson

Jamaican born, Canadian raised lover of NBA basketball. Growing up a basketball fan in hockey nation was... lonely at times. What can I say? I like what I like.

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