20 06 2006

“Forget about who’s winning the championship. I’m starting to feel like the future of the NBA is at stake. ”

-Bill Simmons (

Cuban, Mavs furious with Game 5 officials

19 06 2006

Owner says Wade committed offensive foul, backcourt violation


Image: Cuban
Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wasn’t happy with the officiating in Sunday’s game.

Updated: 9:50 a.m. CT June 19, 2006

MIAMI – Mark Cuban has plenty more reasons to be furious with NBA officials.

From his perspective, referees made two huge mistakes before hitting his Dallas Mavericks with an unwanted timeout during the closing moments of their 101-100 overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA finals on Sunday night.

Cuban said replays show that referees missed a backcourt violation against Dwyane Wade at the start of his final drive to the basket. The Dallas owner also believes Wade fouled the Mavericks’ Jason Terry before drawing the contact that led to his winning free throws with 1.9 seconds left.

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How much is too much?

2 06 2006

NBA Officials Take Too Much Abuse

Players and Coaches Cry, Beg and Plead for Calls

By Mark Krug
June 02, 2006

I have never been a huge NBA fan. Sure, when Jordan, Magic and Larry were balling it up I loved it, but today’s NBA simply has never caught my attention.

The NBA has lost many fans who once tuned in for the classic battles of the 80’s and 90s. The league has reversed its age and become younger and younger. As a result, the league has become immature and the level of play has declined causing many casual fans to turn the channel, including yours truly.

Conversely, living in Arizona the past two years, I have somehow found my way onto the Phoenix Suns bandwagon. Although, my seat is in the back of the wagon (1972 Ford Station-Wagon, it’s a woody!) next to a literally huge three-hundred pound Suns fan that has his body painted purple and is holding a sign that reads “NASHtasitc!” Have I really become a fan of the NBA? If so, can you blame me?

The 2006 playoffs have featured many exciting overtime classics and last second miracle shoots. The Phoenix Suns are an exciting team to watch and they boast some of the best players in the league. Their nucleus of two-time league MVP Steve Nash, Shawn Marion, and Amare Stoudamire has produced a level of success that the state of Arizona has not experienced since 1993.

The Suns have lured many casual fans like me back into the NBA the past two seasons with their exciting, fast-paced tempo. Due to the Suns ‘run’em out of the gym’ style along with the exciting play of the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks, ratings for the NBA are up compared to last year.

Yet, after watching the most professional basketball in my life since 1998, I am reminded every night why I turned the channel years ago. No matter how much I try to look past it I still can not seem to understand why coaches and players find it necessary to constantly whine to officials. Every game you can virtually count on watching players and coaches cry to referees during the game over calls. Do they really think they never foul? It is pathetic and needs to stop.

NBA officials take too much abuse and are not given an ounce of respect from players or coaches. Every single coach and player is guilty of this offense and they continue to do it because nobody has told them to shut-up. They actually think complaining is their job.

Similar to how Major League Baseball home plate umpires don’t put up with any back talk from players regarding balls and strikes, the NBA needs to implement new rules that would prohibit players and coaches from constantly complaining about calls. You can bet that if a zero-tolerance policy were enforced in the NBA on this subject, the begging, crying, posturing and pleading would cease.

Contest an official’s call or show him up and you get a technical foul. Do it a second time, and you’re out of the game. And forget about playing favorites with star players, because they cry just as much as the Ron Artest’s and Rasheed Wallace’s of the league.

The current assault on officials in the NBA projects a bad image of the league to the casual fan that the NBA so desperately needs. It gives the wrong impression and helps aide conspiracy theorists out there who think that the games are fixed. It also brings to light the ever so frustrating ‘make-up call.’

And if you think you could do a better job officiating then I suggest you find the 10 best athletes in your town and try it on for yourself. When you begin to get yelled at and called every name in the book, remember that the referees you watch on TV are officiating 10 of the most athletically-superior human beings on this planet. It is not easy. NBA coaches and officials know this, but they continue to cry, complain, plead and throw temper tantrums like a five-year-old on a nightly basis, all in hopes of tipping the game in their favor.

You would assume that a commissioner would never willingly expose his employees to such routine abuse. Of anyone, NBA Commissioner David Stern should understand that the integrity of the officials is just as important to the success of the league as the coaches and players.

Want to show fans that the NBA is a serious professional sports league that has integrity? T-up Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash the first time they open their mouths to argue a call. I think coaches and players around the league would start to get the picture real quick. Suddenly attitudes would be adjusted and the league would begin to be more sportsman-like.

Though I probably will never be a die-hard NBA fan, the league will continue to lose the casual fan due to images fans see on the court. Last year, Stern made a bold move by imposing a dress code for all players to help improve the NBA’s image off the court…it’s time for him to improve the game’s image on the court and put an end to the crying game.

Read the article here.