NBA officiating is growing beyond frustrating late down the stretches of games.
It is far to common for games coming down to the wire to be decided by either a no-call, or a bad call by the ref. It frustrates fans, players, and most of all coaches.
But don't worry, the NBA will happily come out and inform us that the refs have in fact made the wrong decision. I don't know about you guys, but if my team loses by 1 after a no call to one of my players having a shot for the win, an apology would definitely make up for everything. Especially when the playoffs are so close, and every win is critical (does Kobe Bryant's shot against Atlanta ring a bell?)
I understand how hard refereeing is first hand. I have attempted, and failed at trying to ref several sports (soccer, Australian Rules and basketball to name a few). It's hard to do. The crowds intimidating and the coaches are intimidating. It's all very, very stressful, and something I find completely unenjoyable.
That being said, the NBA isn't local sport. It's a multi-million dollar organisation. People are expecting everyone to perform at every level of the game. If a ref is afraid to blow his whistle late on a clear foul, then he should not be a ref.
Ricky Rubio is the latest player to fall victim to a no-call. Kobe Bryant fouled Rubio as time expired on a late desperation 3 to potentially tie the game. He air-balled the shot, and no call was given. Further replays showed Kobe slapping the wrist of Rubio during his shooting motion. The game ended with Rubio pleading to the ref as the Lakers walked out of the stadium.
"...I don't understand how things go sometimes. We just want to play basketball, play hard as we can and do all the things. Sometimes it's not fair because we give 100 percent and sometimes we can't control things..." said Rubio in an interview with NBA.com.
It's psychologically crippling for players to perform at a high intensity level throughout a basketball game, only to realise that the game could come down to the refs final play, not the players.
If the refs aren't sure, let them go to the monitor on such a critical play. You could potentially be talking about ruining a teams season on the basis of one call or no-call. It's something that should never be allowed to define a season.