NBA, Smack, Twitter / Feb 13, 2014 / 1:55 pm

Phil Jackson Calls Out Ref, Dick Bavetta, On Twitter Over Trevor Ariza Foul

Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

The Zen Master Phil Jackson watched the flurried finish to the Rockets-Wizards game on Wednesday night. The game was mired by a one-sided number of free throws for the Rockets (47 vs. the Wizard’s 16), culminating in a call against Trevor Ariza before the ball was inbound with 4 seconds remaining and the Wiz ahead by two. Jackson called out septuagenarian referee, Dick Bavetta, after he whistled Ariza for the infraction.

The called foul on Ariza gave the Rockets a single free throw plus the ball back, since the rules stipulate that’s the consequence of fouling before the ball is in play. As we already know, Harden knocked down the free throw and then eurostepped his way to the win.

Thanks to the Truth About It’s Kyle Weidie, we get a second look at that foul:

Um, yeah, it certainly seems like Harden tangled up Ariza, and it should have probably been an offensive foul on Harden. In which case it would be Wizards ball and they’d most likely get the win. But that’s not what happened.

Following the game, someone asked Ariza about the foul before the inbounds. Weidie, provides Ariza’s glorious exhalation of breathe (i.e. I don’t want to get fined by the NBA for throwing the refs under the bus, but damn they really screwed up that call):

But Weidie and most of the Wizards fans who watched the game have to be happy that Jackson ended up explicitly calling out Bavetta on Twitter:

And as Weidie also mentions, the screen Dwight Howard set on John Wall to free Harden for his game-winning drive, looks an awful lot like Dwight just grabs Wall and holds him long enough to give Harden his opening.

Dick Bavetta was born in Brooklyn 74 years ago, and Jackson astutely points out that he’s old enough to know better.

(via Truth About It)

Did Harden actually foul Ariza?

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  • diablofreak

    just coach the knicks phil

  • Ethan

    Refs still decide who wins and loses night in and night out in the NBA. It’s pathetic sometimes but doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon

  • 2cents

    So I know this doesn’t count in the rule book for a review, but honestly, in a close game ANY call needs to be reviewed when under 2 minutes left.

    I’m getting so sick of the quality of calls in the NBA these days.

  • JAY

    I’m down for that but no more 2 mins conferences at the scorers table!! It kills the flow. Most people don’t know this, but in the NBA there are actually 4 refs in the building – 3 officiating the game and 1 spare ref just in case a game official is injured. That spare ref does NOTHING for the whole game. He’s just waiting to get subbed in… and how often do we see a ref substitution?? That ref-sub should be the guy making the call on the monitor. He’s getting paid anyway… the league may as well get him to work.

  • 2cents

    Nice call Jay. I didn’t realize that and agree 100% that another over paid butt should be put to work. And how hard can it be to review a video from multiple angles and come to a decision within 2 minutes?