NBA, Video / Apr 29, 2010 / 5:00 pm

The Worst Foul Call Ever In The NBA

With the Suns and Blazers slated for Game 6 this evening, I thought we’d take a look back to Game 5 when the unspeakable happened: The worst foul call ever in the NBA. Say what you will about Joey Crawford, but Marcus Camby may as well have been sitting on the bench when this fouled occurred. Thankfully the call had no affect on the outcome of the game, but I think Camby should send Crawford a bill for $35,000. Just saying.

What do you think?

Source: The Hoop Doctors

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  • Ian

    ahhh mr. crawford who else?

  • adam ivy

    yup tim was the only currupt ref… the NBA refs are the worst, i dotn care about the speed of the game or how big the players are the NBA refs are turrible..

  • geoluhread

    >.> it’s in arizona. any brown guy is suspect.

  • Eman

    The fourth foul on Camby! clearly affects the game…

  • AirKaris

    WTF??? How can the NBA not fine or suspend a ref for such a pathetic call??

  • D A

    Same thing happened when he t’d up Duncan a few years ago for NOTHING… Crawford needs to get dumped hard. David Stern is protecting this?

  • B-Rad

    AirKaris — The same way they don’t suspend players for missing free throws, coaches for calling a bad play, etc.

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    THE FIX IS IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Foul

    Joey Crawford’s explanation to Nate McMillan “He grabbed his neck.” IF there was a foul fighting through the screen (forearm to neck area?), then it should have been G.Hill shooting free throws.

  • Dagger

    An absolute disgrace. Where is Stern’s promised transparency or accountability? Crawford is a blight on the league. Fire him!

  • Dagger

    B-Rad: refs are employed by the NBA. Players and coaches are employed by their teams, participating in a league regulated by the NBA. When players and coaches don’t perform they are removed from the team, quickly or slowly depending on the state of their contracts. When refs don’t perform they should be removed from the NBA. Simple as that.

  • Baby Huey

    “Thankfully the call had no affect on the outcome of the game”

    Really? The 4th foul on Portland’s only real rebounder/interior defensive presence, in the 3rd quarter of a 7 point game doesn’t affect the outcome?

  • mules

    send Crawford to the D-League

  • b-rad

    Dagger — we’re talking about a miss call — did he miss every call? I’d venture to say he probably got over 80% of his calls correct. So if a player shoots less than 80% they should be cut you’re saying?

  • Bob

    This is probably what happened:

    If you remember, Joey Crawford was suspended by the league not too long ago. He probably threatened to expose officiating ranks in the league which would challenge the integrity of the league as a whole. To cover up the mess, the league in turn re-instated Crawford in order to keep the lid sealed. True story.

  • the cynic

    i had a good laugh when i saw that play live, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Seeing the replay and slowed down, just WOW.

    This was a monster call too, the Blazers are terrible when Camby isn’t on the floor and this took him out of the game again. This game blew wide open right after this call

  • mrgnh

    “Thankfully the call had no affect on the outcome of the game”

    thats a laugh… were you actually watching the game?

  • http://stonerodco.com Dennis stone

    i cant believe you think this call had nothing to do with the outcome of the game.you didnt watch it, or didnt understand the blow this meant to the blazers ability to defend.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Lucas Shapiro

    I almost started crying, I was laughing so hard when I saw this.

  • Mike Mihalow

    Joey Crawford’s just doing his job. Stern knows that Suns will draw more ratings than the Blazers in the 2nd round.

  • Corebean

    It’s a shame this forum cannot be turned into a petition to remove Crawford from the league or at least fined. Come on Dime, surely you have some weight to throw around.

    If there is nothing that comes out of it, it has to be proof that the league itself is very corrupt and give some truth to the conspiracy theories.

  • Tbone

    Can somebody PLEASE PLEASE break this guys leg or something? Find a way to obliterate his foot or SOMETHING so that he can NEVER ref another game in his LIFE.

    He should never ref another game in this league. He’s (one of many) ruining the game we love. Pathetic.

  • AirKaris

    b-rad – i think you are off point, you can’t compare missed shots or shooting percentages to such a blatant bad call.

    this is more like a player punching a team mate in the face and kicking the ball into the crowd – it makes no sense and it tarnishes the game…

  • b-rad

    Air — How is missing a call (and the call is right, the free throw shooter is wrong) any different than missing a free throw which is a wide open shot? How many calls/no calls did he get RIGHT during this game? 80? 90? So lets say he was 80% on his calls, thats still a better percentage than most players doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

    And for those of you who think its fixed, you complain about the officiating in college games and even local high school games — do you think that at every single level where bad officiating exists (and its even worse in college and high school), that someone is trying to rig something?

  • baron

    So now he is the proud owner of the worst foul call ever, and the worst technical foul ever called (Duncan on the bench, laughing)

  • weng santos

    What a disgrace. NBA refs are the worst. Not only in how they interpret the rules, but especially in how inconsistent they are. They see things that aren’t there and miss things that are obvious.

    Tell you what, the FIBA refs that are gonna call this year’s Worlds in Turkey, give them the NBA rulebook and get them to call these playoffs. Let’s see travelling get called for guys even like LeBron (what the fuck is a crab walk and why is it legal?) and Kobe (jab steps then moves his pivot), Dwight to foul out of games even quicker (coz he has bad positioning on D and just covers it up with his athleticism), and forced shots and flops to get exposed for what they really are.

    Dumb-ass refs.

  • flegman

    Joey Dreaming Crawford
    Joey Hallucinating Crawford
    Joey Blind Crawford

    what the mother fcuk?

    however, go suns

  • flegman

    in that level I could do refing. Anybody. Just call anybody from the streets, pay 3 guys 100 USD each, they’ll be happy to ref. that wouldn’t be any worse.

  • JAY

    @ B-Rad.
    It’s not about “missing calls” per se. It’s about the lack of consistency between calls. NBA refs as a whole (using a broad paintbrush) are terrible not because they “miss calls” but because that same play would be a foul on another occasion. They’re calling games with blinders on.

    People were claiming refs fixing games years before Donaghy got caught. And people just like you were saying the same thing… there’s no fix. Wrong. There was just no evidence until Donaghy slipped. You really think Donaghy was the ONLY ref involved in the conspiracy?? he was just the only one to get caught and Stern is hanging him out to dry. Tell me you watched the Miami/Cle series. After Cle went up 3-0, did you see the calls they were handing Miami? To me, it really looked like the refs were doing all they could to keep Miami in the series. Miami is just THAT bad.

    And how can you compare shooting percentages to calling fouls? Lol. That’s retarded. I’m glad it makes sense to you though. Have fun in your world. I hope the weather is nice.

  • DNice

    You can clearly see Camby breathe air in the direction of Nash. As he exhaled Camby’s breath reached in on Nash. Crawford had to call a foul.

  • flegman

    Let me ref only one game plz!!! I could do this shit, too! Only one game, only one! for example, finals game 7?? :-D

  • B-Rad

    Donaghy never said he fixed games or that the NBA told him to fix games. Show me a quote where it says that.

    There is inconsistency in calls in the high school level and the college level too – sometimes in the same game… you’re telling me because of inconsistent calls it means a fix is in? Because people make the SAME exact complaints about college games and high school games and hell even 10 year olds playing.

    And Flegman – why don’t you start reffing? Call your local association.

  • control


    Are you an NBA ref or something? There’s no way any fan can watch a game and say “damn, those are some good fair refs”. You can’t compare reffing to free throw shooting either, otherwise all these refs would have “rondo” on the back of their jerseys. Refs in the NBA apply a different set of rules to different players, it’s a fact. How can you watch any game (or series, Dallas/Miami, Phoenix/San An for example) and not see how reffing puts finger prints all over the game. This is the only professional league in the world in which reffing has such a blatant impact on the outcome of the game. It ain’t about the athletes playing the game, it’s about how the reffing caters to certain ones…

  • ENEW

    I did not read anyones comments, all I have to say is that this guy needs to go.

    Joe Crawford has made the game about his ego, nothing more, nothing less.
    The fact that he was allowed back after that Tim Duncan nonsense a few years ago is mind boggling. Duncan is a perfect example of a pro’s pro and Crawford treated him like an angry JV player.

    That call was not only complete nonsense in the Suns Blazers game, he then puts the wrong guy on the line!!! WTF?!?!

    Players and coaches can’t speak their minds but this guy gets away with a phantom 4th foul call on Camby in a game 6 and then puts the wrong guy at the line who happens to be Steve Nash.


  • B-Rad

    Control – so you’re saying the guys who make 1/100th of the players are expected to be perfect everytime… but the players are not?

    If there were not the same exact complaints happening at EVERY level of the game basketball, then we could say its at the NBA level refereeing is horrible. Do they miss calls? Of course — but again show me a level they don’t. They’re human beings not robots. They are getting 85-90% of the calls correct which is a much higher percentage than refs on average at lower levels.

    And when they make an incorrect call, they know about it right at the end of the half as soon as they get to the locker room and see the video.

    Why should they for 1/100th of the pay be held to perform at 100% when no player or coach is expected to be? And if you don’t want them refereeing, who do you want that you think CAN get 100% of the calls correct? Because they aren’t on any refereeing circuit out there.

  • control


    Refs are actually clearing a pretty good 6 figure salary, only about 1/10th of the average player, vast difference from 1/100th.

    You are comparing a sport, in which you have other athletes stopping you from achieving your goal to reffing, in which there are no people stopping you from achieving your goal. Ain’t nobody running interference on Joey Crawford so he can’t see the plays clearly. Your comparison just doesn’t work, it’s insane.

    Nobody is expecting refs to be perfect, but on the other end of the spectrum, no one is expecting the refs to obviously interpret the game differently depending on which players are playing. In college and highschool, you don’t quite have the “superstar” factor, you don’t have a sport in which there is so much money involved, and you don’t have people saying for years that there is a conspiracy. You have all of that in the NBA.

    How can you watch a game and be happy with the reffing, regardless of who you are cheering on? The only games in which it’s fair, is when the reffing is so bad that the refs fuck up both teams equally. Reffing is hard in any sport, and exceptionally difficult with the current crop of players in the NBA…so shouldn’t the NBA have the BEST qualified people involved in doing the job? The ref’s impact on the game is so obvious and well known that announcers will typically say some shit like “well, the refs are calling it tight tonight” or “refs are out to control this game early”. That is DEAD FUCKING WRONG. The REFS shouldn’t have an IMPACT on the game, they PLAYERS should…the refs ain’t there to “control” the game, they are there to fucking officiate it.

  • Tim E.

    You people are all wrong. Don’t you see that Joey Crawford was using the Minority Report method of officiating? Camby was clearly going to foul Nash if Crawford hadn’t stopped him. The man’s whistle is just faster than Camby’s feet. Joey Crawford should be lauded for the visionary that he is.

  • B-Rad

    “reffing, in which there are no people stopping you from achieving your goal.”

    So you don’t consider players flopping, doing things outside of their eyesight (10 players, that’s 4-5 matchups and only 3 refs to watch them all), trying to influence you by talking to you, people getting in the way of the angle on the play, players being deceptive, etc — these are all things that stop a ref from being able to achieve their goal of a perfect game.

    If the players self-officiated and raised their hands when they committed a foul or a violation, then their have nobody in the way of trying to do their job. Again, a free throw NOBODY is getting in the way of a player doing their job which is to make a wide open shot.

    So even if you call it 1/10th of the salary, for 1/10th the money they are expected to be perfect (because you haven’t disputed that they are getting 85-90% of calls/no calls correct on a night).

    You hear MORE complaints at the high school and college level about officiating than you do at the NBA level — so your logic is reversed.

    “shouldn’t the NBA have the BEST qualified people involved in doing the job?”

    That’s who they DO have, thats my entire point… name a referee who should be there that is more qualified? That’s the whole point, the referees out there while not perfect, are the BEST there are.

    And because the announcers say the officials are controlling a game because a team fouls doesn’t mean the officials are talking saying “let’s make an impact on this game” — announcers are not and with one exception, have never refereed a game in their life.

  • http://www.eligr.com Funny Guy

    Until the Federal government steps up and modifies their laws to allow a reasonable number of immigrants to enter this country legally, we have no other choice but to start enforcing the laws. The intention of this law is to penalize the illegal criminals and while it will no doubtably spill over unfortunately to good people I don’t see any other option. Other than legalizing the drugs that are really the problem here. Drug trafficking is responsible for the increase crime not the illegals.

  • Richie

    I totally agree with B Rads comments. I do not believe that there is rigging going on. The refs have a very hard job to do and do it reasonably well and like players are not perfect.

    Crawford obviously made a mistake and sent Nash to the line instead of Hill.

  • Kermit The Washington

    DANG I’m late to this conversation. DANG IT. But I still gotta say to everyone who thinks this was a “blown call” or a “bad call”. This was not even CLOSE. There was NO WAY he thought Camby fouled Nash. Not even possible. The ONLY explanation here, and you really have to be honest with yourselves and admit this, is that he called it on PURPOSE. That was no accident; COULDN’T have been.

    Now you have to ask yourself, “why would he do that on purpose?” and also “why can’t a player or coach question this call without getting fined $35,000?”.

  • Bizz

    Any player/coach that has been fined 35k these playoffs for ref criticism should be offered full refunds with apology notes after that “foul”…if Dwight Howard thought the refs were calling ticky-tack fouls on him in round one, he better start reading the book “How To Give Joey Crawford A Satisfying Blowjob” written by Joey Crawford if he gets assigned to the Magic series. LMAO

  • http://jjaazzmmaann@yahoo.com Jazzman

    Perfect example of why the NBA has the WORST officials in pro sports BY FAR!!!