Gotta tell you, I really liked what Kevin Durant had to say about the “last two-minute” reports earlier today.
Durant was asked about the reports, which acknowledge officiating mistakes in the final two minutes of a game. It’s the NBA’s version of officiating transparency and it admits potentially game-changing errors by the refs.
As it pertains to the Warriors, the league affirmed LeBron James should have received a technical foul for hanging on the rim, and Richard Jefferson should have been called for a foul against Durant in the closing seconds.
Said Durant: “They should get rid of it. Our refs don’t deserve that. They’re trying their hardest to get the plays right, and then you look at a play in slo-mo and say it’s wrong? I think it’s (B.S.) that they do that. It’s full of (s**t) that you throw the refs under the bus like that after the game, like it matters.
“They’re going to try to be perfect, without just going out there and relaxing and making the right call. You can’t fine us for criticizing (and then) throw them under the bus for a two-minute report. What about the first quarter? The second quarter? The third quarter? I think it’s (B.S.).”
Durant is right, and he’s saying something most players truly believe: that the officials, for the most part, do a good job but that they also may miss a call and it might even be at the end of the game. Durant didn’t need that report to know Richard Jefferson fouled him on the final play.
What good is the “last two-minute” report doing anyone? It’s alienating the officials, and confirms what most fans and players believe anyway. And who decided the last two minutes are the most important or the ones that need most scrutinized? Any advanced analytics person will tell you a bucket in the first quarter is worth the same as a bucket in the fourth. Ditto for a blown traveling call.
Why does the NBA feel the need to “call out” certain officials. Keep that behind closed doors, like any good boss or coach knows.
Durant’s words also carry weight because he’s not exactly an NBA choirboy. Durant has six technical fouls this year, had eight last year and was tied for the league lead with 16 in 2013-14.
Durant struck a perfect chord with his criticism, and he’s absolutely right about NBA officials. Essentially what Durant said was something most of us already know: NBA officials ain’t perfect, but they’re pretty darn good overall and they’re better than NFL officials or major-league baseball umpires. OK, so maybe I’m saying NBA refs are the best in pro sports and not Durant. Point is, they deserve better treatment from the league that employs them.