Are you ready for the whistle & lanyard?

25 09 2008

From the quiz NBA’s Director of Officiating Programs and Development Joe Borgia gave to the media:  (Originally Posted on

  • A defender must be in position when an offensive player gathers the ball in order to draw an offensive foul. FALSE. The key moment is not when the player gathers the ball. It’s when he begins his upward motion.
  • A team has 30 seconds to replace an ejected player. FALSE. A team has 30 seconds to replace a player who has fouled out with six fouls. But if your’e ejected, a replacement is due immediately. 
  • Player A1 is injured as the result of a flagrant foul assessed to player B1. Following his two free throw attempts, player A1 is unable to resume play. He may return to the game at a later point. TRUE. If he shoots those free throws, he’s available. 
  • Player A1′s poor frontcourt pass is in the air over the midcourt line. Player A3 jumps from the frountcourt, secures possession of the ball over the backcourt, and calls for a timeout. The timeout should not be granted. TRUEIf the ball has broken the plane of the sidelines or the mid-court line, and you’re not inside the boundary yourself, you can’t call timeout.
  • Defender B5 is in the key area and not actively guarding any opponent. He steps three feet off the court on the baseline directly under the backboard. The three-second count stops. FALSE. The key area extends four feet deep off the court under the basket.
  • Player A3 commits a traveling violation in his frontcourt at 1:23 of the third period. Substitute A6 is walking towards the table but not within the substitution box. He may not enter the game. FALSEIn the last two minutes of periods, referees now (it wasn’t always this way) allow reasonable time for teams to get the players they want on the floor, even if they’re not waiting in the box.
  • The official hands Player A1 the ball to attempt his final free throw. It is now noticed that Team B has six players on the court. The official will stop play prior to the free throw being released and assess Team B with a technical foul. FALSE. Teams have until the free throw is released to recognize and correct the problem before being penalized.
  • Offensive player A5 is assessed a flagrant foul penalty 1 when he turns into defender B5 with an extended elbow. No free throws will be attempted since this is an offensive foul. FALSE. It’s a flagrant foul which deserves free throws no matter where it occurs.
  • Player A1 throws a poor pass over A2′s head. As A2 goes for the ball he pushes B2 out of the way. A loose ball foul should be assessed to player A2. FALSE. This is a tricky one! It may seem like a loose ball foul, but in fact it’s an offensive foul — which has ramifications for team fouls and bonus. The reason: Team A still has the ball, they are just investigating the idea of ending the possession. But they haven’t actually given up the ball yet.
  • Player B3 receives his second flagrant foul of the game and is ejected. The officials will use instant replay to confirm the ejection. FALSE. Only with a flagrant 2 can instant replay be used to confirm an ejection.

  • Tim Donaghy reported to prison Tuesday

    24 09 2008

    Tim Donaghy reported to prison Tuesday in Florida, but many of the issues he raised about the culture of the NBA’s officiating remain unresolved.While NBA clubs gear up for the start of another training camp, disgraced referee Tim Donaghy began serving a 15-month sentence on Tuesday at a minimum-security federal prison camp in Pensacola, Fla.
    Donaghy, a veteran of 13 NBA seasons, created a public-relations nightmare for the league when he pleaded guilty last year to felony gambling charges. Two other gamblers who attended a Philadelphia-area high school with Donaghy — James “Baba” Battista and Thomas Martino — also pleaded guilty in the tips-for-payoffs gambling scheme. Battista was sentenced to 15 months; Martino to a year.
    Over the past year, NBA commissioner David Stern has cast Donaghy — 41 and a divorced father of four young girls — as a “rogue, isolated criminal” solely responsible for the betting scandal that threatened the credibility of the league and its referees. No other refs have been charged, nor has the league publicly announced disciplinary action against any others.


    Remembing Dan Cook

    4 07 2008

    The fat lady sang Thursday evening.

    Our thoughts and prayers with the family of Dan Cook.  The man who coined the term ‘it ain’t over till the fat lady sings’, passed away Thursday.

    Rest in Peace.


    Congratulations Celtics NBA Champions 2008

    17 06 2008

    The Celtics have done it again.  The NBA has done it again, put horrible officials in critical roles.  Having Crawford officiating tonight made it clear to me that the NBA was looking for a physical game.  Flashback to Rambis being clotheslined.

    A physical game is clearly to the Celtics advantage.

    Somebody should have told Doc that the refs would allow players to do just about anything, throw a player aside, poke a player in the eye, etc.  Just don’t talk…  that will give the other team free throws.  Especially don’t laugh as Tim Duncan did against Crawford, and get ejected.

    NBA “2002″ Series Fixed

    11 06 2008

    2002 Lakers-Kings Game 6 at heart of Donaghy allegations

    LOS ANGELES — Was Game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals held at the scene of a crime?

    Disgraced ex-referee Tim Donaghy alleged as much Tuesday in a filing made by his attorney in U.S. District Court in New York, saying the highly controversial Game 6 of the Lakers-Kings playoff series in 2002 was impacted by the actions of two of the three referees who worked the game.

    NBA commissioner David Stern vehemently denied the allegations, saying they are the desperate act of a convicted felon. He also disclosed that the league has already briefed members of the U.S. Congress on certain facets of the Donaghy investigation.

    “We welcome scrutiny here. This is something that should be scrutinized,” said Stern, who called Donaghy a “singing, cooperating witness” and repeatedly referred to him as a felon as he spoke with reporters for more than eight minutes near the loading dock of the Staples Center as he arrived for Game 3 of the Finals.

    The allegations are some of the strongest ever made against the NBA, coming at a time when the officiating of this year’s Finals between the Celtics and Lakers has come under heavy scrutiny.

    In the letter submitted by Donaghy’s attorney, the following “manipulation” is alleged:

    Read the complete story!

    Flopping Fines

    29 05 2008

    The NBA announced yesterday that, starting next season, it will impose fines for ‘clear cases of flopping’.

    Funny how the NBA is now putting the blame on the players because they can’t make the right call. Should Brent Barry have flopped the other night when fouled by Fisher? Maybe he would have got the call, and won the game.

    It starts with admitting YOU have a problem.

    Rasheed [Bleeping] Wallace

    29 05 2008

    All that bull[bleep]-ass calls they had out there. With Mike [Callahan] and Kenny [Mauer] — you’ve all seen that [bleep]. You saw them calls. The cats are flopping all over the floor and they’re calling that [bleep]. That [bleep] ain’t basketball out there. It’s all [bleeping] entertainment. You all should know that [bleep]. It’s all [bleeping] entertainment. -Rasheed Wallace

    League acknowledges Spurs’ Barry was fouled

    28 05 2008

    The league office on Wednesday reviewed the final play of the San Antonio Spurs’ 93-91 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals and acknowledged that a two-shot foul should have been called on Derek Fisher for impeding Brent Barry.

    After falling behind by seven points in the final minute, San Antonio sliced the deficit to two and regained possession with 2.1 seconds to play.

    Barry then wound up with the ball in the center of the floor on a play called for Manu Ginobili and faked Fisher in the air but struggled to get off a 3-point heave at the buzzer after Fisher came down and bumped Barry.

    “With the benefit of instant replay, it appears a foul call should have been made,” league spokesman Tim Frank said Wednesday.

    The miss sealed an L.A. victory that moved the Lakers into a commanding 3-1 series lead entering Thursday’s Game 5 at Staples Center.

    But the Spurs did not protest the non-call afterward, even though a foul called before the shot would have sent Barry to the line for two free throws and a chance to force overtime.

    The non-call nonetheless generated more than the usual scrutiny because the closest referee to the play was Joey Crawford, with whom San Antonio has a contentious recent history.

    “That play,” Barry said, “was not where the game was lost.”

    The Spurs, in truth, wouldn’t have had a chance to tie or win the game in the final two seconds if not for a fortuitous non-call on the previous possession.

    Television replays indicated that Fisher’s shot with 6.9 seconds to go grazed the rim before bouncing out of bounds off of Robert Horry’s leg, meaning that the Lakers should have had a new shot clock instead of asking Kobe Bryant to hurry a fadeaway jumper after the ensuing timeout.

    The new shot clock likely would have forced San Antonio to foul Bryant as opposed to getting the ball back off Bryant’s miss to draw up a potential game-winning play.

    “It wasn’t a foul. … I think it was a proper no-call from what I saw,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Fisher bumping Barry.

    Added Spurs forward Tim Duncan: “You’re not going to get that call. They’re not going to make that call.”

    The Lakers were likewise adamant that no foul should have been called on Fisher, pointing at least in part to the fact that they didn’t get a new shot clock on the Fisher miss — and that Bryant didn’t earn a single trip to the free-throw line despite attempting 29 shots from the field.

    “Yeah, he bumped him,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Fisher landing on Barry. “You know, games go like that.”

    Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for To e-mail him, click here.

    Link to ESPN

    Joey Crawford vs Spurs part III

    27 05 2008

    With 2.1 seconds on the clock, Brent Barry has the ball.

    If he has a shot at the basket he has a chance to win the game.

    Instead he is jumped into by Derek Fisher, if a whistle is blown he shoots 3, no call.

    The announcers after the game argue that ‘he didn’t sell it’. I guess to sell it he would have had to FLOP the other extreme of not getting the call.

    Joey Crawford should have blown the whistle, he didn’t. He continues to show his bias against the Spurs. David Stern and Stu Jackson are either the most ignorant people on the planet, or else know this and continue to show how pathetic their decision making.

    Naive to think fixes haven’t been common

    19 05 2008

    by Michael Rosenberg, Special to

    Updated: May 19, 2008, 1:18 PM EST

    280 comments add this


    If you watched much of the NBA in recent years, you might have gotten duped at some point. Former referee Tim Donaghy bet on 14 games that he worked in 2006-07, according to court filings.

    Please, please, PLEASE: Do not be surprised.

    It is not a surprise that Donaghy bet on games; this was fairly apparent last summer, when he was arrested. It is not a surprise that he bet on games in which he officiated; this too was evident.

    And we should not have been surprised last summer, when the news broke. The sports world is in denial about gambling.

    We think point-shaving is extremely rare and isolated, mostly because that’s what we want to believe. We think of Donaghy as a rogue criminal, because it’s easier to think of him that way. But enough point-shaving scandals have emerged in the last 20 years to make fans and executives re-evaluate the threat.

    Consider that A) gambling is an addiction that leads people to commit acts out of desperation, for money; B) basically every game you watch is fixable, since every game is gambled upon; and C) well, do you really need a C?

    No matter the sport, we watch because we assume the outcome is not pre-determined.