Cavaliers-Bulls' Officiating Is Prime Example Of Why the NBA Is Losing Fans

Adam SpragueContributor IApril 28, 2010

CLEVELAND - APRIL 27:  Shaquille O'Neal #33 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks to get around Brad Miller #52 the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 27, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 96-94 to win the series 4-1. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It’s the fourth quarter and the underdog Chicago Bulls were outplaying the King and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers.  However, that all changed when the Cavs dumped the ball down low to Shaq. Brad Miller was whistled for two straight fouls playing stand up defense against Shaq.

Miller did manage to take an elbow to the face from Shaq so maybe that’s where the contact came from.  Even the Cleveland fans starter roaring wildly when the ball was dumped back into Shaq anticipating another foul call, and they got it.

Forums and message boards across the Internet heated up this morning with more outcries from fans stating that once again the officials determined a game winner.

Snypershawn said on one forum, “The imaginary fouls on Miller and Noah—that’s when the Bulls' control of the game disappeared and the refs took that glimmer of hope away.”

Another disgruntled fan noted, “I would love to see this series with fair officiating. Those three quick fouls on Miller and Noah defending Shaq were disgusting. And that was just adding insult with LeBron's expected pampering by the refs.” 

Later in the fourth quarter Derrick Rose drove to the basket and split two Cleveland defenders, bumped into Shaq and made the continuation shot off the glass in what might have been the play of the game.  A moment later the officials overruled the call and said no continuation and the basket didn’t count.

Even NBA announcer and former player Reggie Miller stated “That’s an 'and one,' that’s an 'and one'.”  Earlier on the Brad Miller fouls, the announcing crew on TNT had no idea why the fouls were being called and Reggie Miller said flat out that the Bulls did not commit a foul. 

I’ve lost count of the number of times NBA announcers have been left stunned by calls on the court.

The very next drive LeBron James crossed to his right and drove directly into Joakim Noah who had his arm down and the refs quickly call the continuation foul and award James the basket and the free throw.

So why do we put up with this?  What keeps us tuning in to this discriminatory officiating?

Well if you ask my friends who I was watching the game with, the answer is nothing because they literally walked out of our house they were so upset.

“This isn’t a sport, it’s so obviously not fair even to me,” said my friend who has watched the NBA only a handful of times and is already proclaiming the NBA-officiated version of basketball unwatchable. 

My other friend who has watched basketball since he was child like I have admitted after some time, “So basically if you are a Bull you are not allowed to guard Shaq.”

On Cleveland Cavs forums even Cavs fans had a good laugh about the game and one forum post said, “Guess you should trade for Shaq next year and once Rose is an All-Star the Bulls will be fine.”

In other words, once the Chicago Bulls have enough “names” on their team they can be “allowed” to win by officials.  Moreover, the Bulls can play hard or even harder than the Cavs, but they won’t be rewarded or treated fairly because of it.  It’s discrimination.

If this was a workplace environment the refs from last night’s game would be fired for discrimination and would probably have a lawsuit on their hands.

Last night is just another night the NBA lost fans because of their officiating.