In addition to scoffing at the Bulls’ rehire of Doug Collins (“how Chicago chairman Jerry Reinsdorf can endorse a person he fired in 1989 under shadowy circumstances after the Bulls were evicted from the Eastern finals defies comprehension”), the New York Post’s Peter Vecsey still hasn’t quite gotten over the final moments of the Spurs’ Game 4 loss to the Lakers earlier in the week.
Despite repeated evidence to the contrary, ex-coaches and former players-turned-TV-analysts continue to stamp Joey Crawford as one of
the NBA’s elite officials. I challenge them to cite a controversy within the past 20 or 30 years he was judged to be correct.
If the league office isn’t calling Crawford on David Stern’s carpet, or fining and suspending him, it’s apologizing for a game-deciding mistake – his non-call on Derek Fisher jumped into Milk Bonespur Brent Barry in the waning seconds of the Lakers’ two-point Game 4 victory.
With the aid of instant replay – and the help of Crawford’s seeing-eye dog – the league felt compelled to admit a foul had been committed for fear its fans would buy into the twisted perspective of those same commentators that the game is whistled differently in the last minute of a game than the first 47.
Naturally, mixed messages lead to confused reception. On one hand, the league boasts that only the highest-grade refs are assigned to work late into the postseason. Then it undermines them by announcing they screwed up.
Nobody can deny Fisher created contact, yet nobody on TNT’s air (or connected with the Spurs) expected Barry to get “bailed out” from behind Joakim Noah’s arc? Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith admonished Barry for not “selling” the foul to officials the way Indiana Bones and Walt Frazier did. Yup, Brent should be ashamed of himself for not kicking his opponent as Reggie was wont to do.
Later in the column, Poison Pete declares ABC/ESPN’s “Bill Russell-Kevin Garnett made-for-TV lovefest could not have been more contrived”.
I missed the chit-chat in question, but I am willing to take Garbage Time All-Stars‘ word for how it went down.