Dear Commissioner Stern,
John from Houston checking in again. After the first few weeks of these NBA Playoffs, one thing in particular has stuck out to me. No, not the constant flow of great games. No, not the amazing Game 7's. When the officiating is the first thing that comes to my mind in this amazing postseason, you know you have a serious problem.
After watching every Celtics game, every Rockets game, and about 75% of the other round one games, I can't remember watching a more disgusting, yet incredible, year of playoffs.
After seeing non-calls that would make most fans (especially Dallas fans) cry, the only thing that "outshines" these non-calls, are the horrid calls given to teams like Cleveland, Boston, and most notably, the Los Angeles Kobes.
I'd like to take this time while we wait for a flagrant foul to be called on Kobe Bryant for hitting Ron Artest in the face in Game 6...
And hitting him in the throat in Game 2...
Nothing? At all? Ejection and a foul on Artest's part in Game 2? Kobe actually ends up taking free throws after getting a technical?
This is what worries me about the NBA. Based almost entirely on reputation, Ron Artest not only gets a foul for being elbowed in the throat, but upon contesting the call and aggressively approaching Kobe about the situation, but gets ejected. Meanwhile, Kobe continues to whine about the few plays per game where a call doesn't go his way.
Why can't instant replays be used for fouls? Why not instant replays for out of bounds calls? What is so wrong about trying to be right all the time?
If there is one thing the NBA officials need to learn before the beginning of next season, it's the difference between charging and blocking. I could have sworn back when I was four years old I learned that if your feet were planted, the offensive player runs into you, and you don't move, the call should be charging.
However, time and time again, we see calls appear to only go the home teams way when it comes to charging and blocking. As I'm watching Game 7 of the Rockets and Lakers, I'm absolutely mystified as to how Luke Walton can have his right foot in the air, while moving to his right, and draw a charge.
Then, 18 minutes of game time later, Chuck Hayes has both feet planted, hands in front of him on his waist, gets rammed by Mamba, and as sure as day, he ends up at the charity stripe.
I guess all I'm asking David, old buddy, old pal, is how about a review session for the current referees? Maybe, just maybe, dusting off the rulebook and seeing if they recognize it?
Or how about a new "completely innocent" rule? Where if a player is literally just standing there (Kyle Lowry as of 8:37 in the 4th Quarter) and someone (Shannon Brown) lands on top of him, it's not a foul on Lowry?
I know that I have a lot of questions, but you leave a lot to be answered Mr. Stern.
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