Re: Oh, That's Why I Stopped Watching The NBA

1

So awesome. But Lamar's block was good. It was a makeup no-call.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:14 PM
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The playoffs continue to suck. This might be the first time since I started watching the NBA that I haven't been interested in seeing either of the conference finals.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:17 PM
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Gah, why does the officiating have to suck so bad?

Spurs got outplayed the entire game though. Suck it, Spurs.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:17 PM
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The Lakers' defense has come along like gangbusters. The length they have--especially with Lamar--is being used to such good effect. You're missing out, eb.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:25 PM
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I was grateful to see the announcers acknowledge that last foul. A lot of NBA game-calling consists of rationalizing ludicrous officiating. Tonight, at least, they pointed it out.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:25 PM
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A lot of NBA game-calling consists of rationalizing ludicrous officiating.

That's a really recent change. I agree that it's a change for the better.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:27 PM
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You're missing out, eb.

Actually, I've been watching, bored.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:32 PM
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Gah, why does the officiating have to suck so bad?

This is generally a sign that the sport is corrupt.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:36 PM
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Looks like there was a conspiracy theory about game 4 even before it started.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:37 PM
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This is generally a sign that the sport is corrupt.

Impossible!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:38 PM
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Actually, I've been watching, bored.

A man who is bored watching the Spurs' hearts break is bored of life, eb.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:38 PM
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Looks like there was a conspiracy theory about game 4 even before it started.

I have zero sympathy for the Spurs getting fucked by the refs. Karma's a bitch.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:39 PM
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As bad as the NBA refs are, they are godsends compared to NCAA refs.


Posted by: Brad | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:47 PM
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11: That sounds about right.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 10:50 PM
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A man who is bored watching the Spurs' hearts break

Duncan often looks like he's about to burst into tears.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:02 PM
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I think the idea is that traditionally refs don't intervene in such a crucial situation in the playoffs unless the foul is obvious and egregious and alters a real shot, not just a lame toss meant to look like a shot. By a fairly consistently applied convention of the sport, similar to those extra steps one gets driving the ball, shooters get fouls by suckering defenders into the air during a shot, thus getting the shot and the foul. "Selling it" here means actually being in the act of shooting. Barry got the contact and then pretty belatedly shot it. This is not corruption but a set of tacit, but still rule-bound conventions that have evolved in the game over time. As for the refs being sensitive and being part of the home court advantage, well thats another conventional and basically evenly distributed "corruption" of the game.



Posted by: ImFineReally | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:03 PM
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This is generally a sign that the sport is corrupt.

Yeah, but it doesn't seem to be one sided.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:03 PM
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I thought it looked like a regular non-shooting foul. Two shots instead of three if the Lakers were over the penalty.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:09 PM
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But I was bored so what do I know?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:09 PM
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kobe's expressions look so artificial in interviews. I get the sense there is a little egomaniac in his head furiously pulling levers trying to act like he imagines non-egomaniacal superstar athletes should act...


Posted by: ImFineReally | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:11 PM
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This is not corruption but a set of tacit, but still rule-bound conventions that have evolved in the game over time.

...that result in an elbow to the head going uncalled.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:17 PM
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a little egomaniac in his head furiously pulling levers

It is Unfogged's official postion (well, baa and I agree) that Kobe is probably a psychopath.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:18 PM
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16: But in this case, I think you could argue that the contact was significant that it prevented a real shot from being taken, so I am not sure the convention applies. I am not overly invested though, a lot of questionable ref/rules stuff in the NBA and as pointed out the Spurs certainly have ended up on the plus side of it a number of times. I quit being outraged after game 6 Lakers-Kings (they owe you one Chris).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:20 PM
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elbow to the head: conventional NBA play


Posted by: ImFineReally | Link to this comment | 05-27-08 11:48 PM
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Gah, why does the officiating have to suck so bad?

As I understand, it's because the formal rules are almost the same as ever, but refs don't call contact and traveling except when they feel like it.

I was a basketball scorekeeper for middle school and HS in the early 60s and also in the early and middle 80s, and contact and traveling were then called very strictly. I only occasionally watch pro ball, and up until recently I believed that the rules had been rewritten. But apparently not.

Mere anarchy is loose on the world.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 4:41 AM
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The NBA still enforces it's rules better than the DoJ enforces the law.


Posted by: joejoejoe | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:17 AM
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"Better than Alberto, at least": new NBA refs slogan.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:23 AM
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I guess I should feel good about the Celtics tonight.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 5:42 AM
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I wonder if Manu Ginobili has ever flopped clear through a glass sliding door after having been unexpectedly rubbed up against by a cat?

Fuck the Spurs, sideways. Almost as unlikable as the 90s Jazz in their dirty, disgusting 'prime.'


Posted by: norbizness | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 6:52 AM
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...that result in an elbow to the head going uncalled.

That wasn't the only no-call. Kobe took twenty nine shots without being fouled.

Fuck the Spurs, sideways. Almost as unlikable as the 90s Jazz in their dirty, disgusting 'prime.'

That's what I'm talking about. Bruce Bowen is the John Yoo of NBA players. (Actually, I guess the Spurs' defensive assistant is the John Yoo of the NBA, and Bowen is merely one of the nameless waterboarders.) Support for the Spurs is objectively pro-terrorist.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:15 AM
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||

Weiner's response to Ta-Nahisi, here and some of the other comments, are good.

|>


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:43 AM
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28: I'm glad the league finally leaned on the refs to give them a road win. Now we're back to the status quo.

Seriously I like the Celtics, but the officiating -- contra the unofficial rules laid out above -- is just meaningless bullshit anymore. The NBA is taking its cues alternately from soccer (foul on the guy who weeps most convincingly after some shit I pretend not to see happens!) and MMA. Pick one and stick with it, fellas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:44 AM
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"Selling it" here means actually being in the act of shooting. Barry got the contact and then pretty belatedly shot it. This is not corruption but a set of tacit, but still rule-bound conventions that have evolved in the game over time.

I agree with this thinking from #16. Barry could've drawn the foul, but was scared to sell out. B/C if he sells out to draw the foul, he knows he'll miss the shot and that's risky b/c the foul might not be called. He chose to gather himself up after the bump so he could try to take a shot he might actually make. His poor choice, not the ref's.

However, NBA refs do stink out loud and watching the Spurs lose is always quite pleasurable.


Posted by: keatssycamore | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:56 AM
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"Referees are sensitive."

Some sports referees are made of sterner stuff.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 7:56 AM
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My larger question about that game was whether or not Kobe's last shot hit the rim?

I was pretty sleepy at that point, but it looked like he air-balled it and the shot clock ran out with 4 seconds on the clock. But the shot clock buzzer didn't sound, and the Spurs never seemed to complain that they only had 2.1 seconds left.

So did the rapist hit the rim, or not?


Posted by: keatssycamore | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:03 AM
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Ogged, must you talk about the NBA at the very moment that the Spurs are about to lose?

I love watching the Spurs play in the playoffs, and I cannot ever root for the Lakers. I didn't expect the Spurs to win, but I am bitter that it is the Lakers that they are losing to.

Oh well, perhaps the Seattle Sonics will make it to the playoffs sometime in the next ten years, assuming they don't move to OK City first . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:05 AM
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So did the rapist hit the rim, or not?

I thought that was just a rumor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:05 AM
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So did the rapist hit the rim, or not?

He did.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 8:07 AM
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31: Oh, sure, remind us of how Weiner still comments elsewhere, and how clever and insightful he is. Thanks, idp.

Say, have you seen my ex lately? Is she looking gorgeous? Was she with that guy? Did she look really happy?

Jeez.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:13 AM
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Hey, can we talk about how basketball games crawl at the end of games with intentional fouling and free throws.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:18 AM
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41

?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:19 AM
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40 and 41 are related to onomatopoeia in some way, and probably can be described with some technical term of rhetoric w-lfs-n knows.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:22 AM
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Oh, and I know that it's an old white guy's ranting about the NBA, and thereby disreputable, but I do think that John's basically right in 25. It doesn't happen often, but traveling still gets called once in awhile, which is just absurd - it's like pulling over someone for going 57 on the interstate.

I don't know how, practically, they could rewrite the rules to reflect the game as it's played/refereed, but I think there would be concrete benefit to it. We all know that arbitrary enforcement of laws IRL is a recipe for selective prosecution and/or anarchy. There shouldn't be any surprise that the same is true in sport.

I wonder what would happen if the players self-called fouls, like a pickup game. There are probably too many psychopaths in the game (as at elite levels of all endeavors) for it to work, but it's an interesting idea, and would reverse the current tendency of players committing even flagrant fouls pretending that they did nothing wrong at all.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:22 AM
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I wonder what would happen if the players self-called fouls, like a pickup game.

Dude, what?!? You would enshrine the flying kick to the head as a valid defensive move, is what would happen.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:29 AM
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45

OK, flagrant fouls would still not be self-called.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:30 AM
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The totally racist answer to 43 is, have you ever played self-call pickup with a bunch of black guys? The ratio of arguing to playing is about 70/30.

How to rewrite the rules is an interesting question. Maybe just make everything a jump ball. He might have fouled you! Jump! It might be kind of awesome.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:32 AM
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I say just do away with fouls entirely. Soon enough the ideal center would resemble an offensive lineman, and how awesome would that be?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:35 AM
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Maybe just make everything a jump ball. He might have fouled you! Jump! It might be kind of awesome.

thus making jumping a far more important skill.

eight-time all-stars, Josh Smith and Keon Clark!


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:37 AM
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48: The Cuban volleyball dude.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:38 AM
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have you ever played self-call pickup with a bunch of black guys? The ratio of arguing to playing is about 70/30.

Have you ever played capture the flag with a bunch of white teenagers? A 70/30 ratio would have meant a lot more playing.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:40 AM
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Capture the flag, eb?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:41 AM
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I used to be so good at gaming the "call your own fouls" ethos in Ultimate. "Hey, I'm just a big dude. I wasn't setting a pick, I was just running directly into you in an attempt to get the frisbee. What, it was over there? Nah, doesn't really rise to the level of a foul. I was acting in good faith. I'm just big!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:44 AM
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Is there something wrong with that? The flags were on different sides of a small lake in the Sierras. And we were all 15 or under.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:45 AM
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There is! But I'm not going to tell you what!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:46 AM
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Anyway, what the NBA needs is a constitutional convention.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:47 AM
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Where the European players only get 3/5 of a vote.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:49 AM
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55- At which there will be a flopping contest.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:53 AM
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Soon enough the ideal center would resemble an offensive lineman, and how awesome would that be?

I see that, and think "Like Wes Unseld?" and then think "I'm old."


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:54 AM
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Some of the Bob Huggins Cincinnati teams looked like they were made up of football players.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:56 AM
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43: Yeah, self-officiating is already tried at top levels by Ultimate, and it attracts a healthy cohort of total dicks who abuse it even without any money involved (I'm not talking about what Tweety's talking about, but kinda flagerant elbows and the such as well). Boo to that.

Though it does sometimes result in good times when the person who's had a load of really petty fouls gets "accidentally" kneed in the nuts during the pivot by the guy he's defending.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:56 AM
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The totally racist answer to 43 is, have you ever played self-call pickup with a bunch of black guys? The ratio of arguing to playing is about 70/30.

That is, at best, the semi-racist answer. The totally racist answer says that because they are black and you are not, it wasn't much of a game, and that they were killing you irrespective of foul calls right up until the game ended because of gun play.

And the idea that refs were better thirty to fifty years ago is nutty. Nobody called palming, superstars got more leeway than they have now, and favored teams/stars got away with murder. McHale nearly killed Rambis on national television. I'm not sure that the foul was even called. (It must have been.) Barry's last second shot while fouled would have been dismissed with an airy "He's not a star; he's not going to get that call."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 9:57 AM
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My larger question about that game was whether or not Kobe's last shot hit the rim?

You're thinking of Fisher's last shot, I think. And it did hit the rim. (And the refs shouldn't have called goal-tending on the play before.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:00 AM
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61: I've seen shit at least that bad this playoffs that leads to, basically, a shrug. Anyhow, dude deserved it wearing those nerd glasses.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:03 AM
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Andy Roddick lost a match because of a self call.

Roddick believed he had won the third round encounter at the Foro Italico after Verdasco apparently served a double-fault and was making his way to the net for the obligatory hand-shake when he looked down at the marks left by the balls on the clay. To his amazement he saw evidence of the fact that the second serve was good. Roddick told the umpire, who was just a split second away from announcing game, set and match, the point was ordered to be replayed and Verdasco went on to win the match.

Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:04 AM
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McHale nearly killed Rambis

That was a weak clothesline; Rambis was up and charging him immediately. Now when a former Tarheel goes for the decapitation foul, suckers stay down.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:10 AM
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linking issues


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:11 AM
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I have no idea what you're talking about, eb.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:11 AM
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64: Now that's class.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:11 AM
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comment editing issues


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:12 AM
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65: yeah now that, that was a hard foul. Shit McHale basically lowered Ramblis gently to the ground.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:13 AM
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65: That's a horse collar--basically an aggressive hug, such as one might expect from a young child excited to see his parent--not a clothesline. And Rambis was able to get up only because he's secretly Superman.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:16 AM
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71: are kids in the habit of hugging their (smaller) parents out of the air and (forcefully) into the ground at a full run?

Because totally remaining childless if that's the case.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:20 AM
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72: Only the ones that love their parents.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:22 AM
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a healthy cohort of total dicks who abuse it even without any money involved

Well, as I said, psychopaths. The black guys down at my park seem to be playing a lot more than 30% of the time, but I can't say I've stood and watched for any length of time. Probably what you'd need is an enforcer-type player (a la NHL) to make clear to everyone that cheap shot stuff that you won't fess up to will get you hurt. But I doubt the NHL should be viewed as a model for much of anything.

61.2: They call palming now? And, Superstars don't get preferential calls now? Anyway, by 25 years ago, slippery slope refereeing had already set in, although my guess is that, if you look at tape from 1980 alongside tape from 1990, you'd see a big change in traveling calls, if nothing else. I'm pretty sure I remember witnessing the process that started with Dr. J sometimes getting an extra step and ended with bench guys running up the lane, putting both feet on the floor, then jumping (it was the 2 feet that killed me; I get the continuation - I played in HS, you know - but planting both feet? Nuh-uh.)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:23 AM
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The NBA is taking its cues alternately from soccer (foul on the guy who weeps most convincingly after some shit I pretend not to see happens!) and MMA.

I think what's happened is that the players are too big, too fast, and there are too many of them in too small a space. So it's very difficult to perceive and call subtle fouls in time. So there's a premium on having things pointed out to you, and there's a constant temptation to let things slide into chaos. The solution? Four on four pro basketball! (never happen, but whatever).

Also, they do call travel, probably half the time that people actually travel -- but the two legal giant steps carries some of these behemoths a huge distance.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:28 AM
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putting both feet on the floor, then jumping (it was the 2 feet that killed me;

all right, that part is true. It's been a tacit rules change.

When you look at those 70s games, it seems like there's a different ethos on fouling -- what looks today like an unspoken agreement not to play physical defense.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:30 AM
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a different ethos on fouling

So is it all Pat Riley's fault?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 10:56 AM
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Doesn't it seem like those Knicks/Heat series were a key moment in the NBA's fall from grace?

(Hopefully the temporary fall...encouraging signs over the last few years, etc.)


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 11:07 AM
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The refs were not necessarily better 30-50 years ago, and they're not necessarily worse now. An official decision was made to give the refs enormous leeway on how they called games, specifically with regard to contact and traveling, about which they are generally infinitely more lenient. This was done without changing the rules. That certainly leaves the door open for corruption, favoritism, and game-fixing from the league office.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 11:13 AM
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78: Were the Riley Lakers thugs? I don't ever recall anyone calling them that, but I was young, and everyone focused on Magic and Kareem.

Maybe they were marginally rougher than necessary, but when Riley didn't have all that talent, he went all-thug.

I apologize for using that now-loaded term, btw. Not sure of a good alternative for how Oakley played D (and I loved him).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 11:25 AM
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SCMT at 62:

You're thinking of Fisher's last shot, I think. And it did hit the rim.(And the refs shouldn't have called goal-tending on the play before.)

Actually, I saw that they blew the Fisher call, but missed the Kobe shot. Didn't the Parker lay-up hit the back board before it was blocked? I thought in the NBA that was an automatic goal tend regardless of whether the ball is on the way up? Or did I miss that play too and he blocked it pre-backboard contact?

BTW, SCMT, you are a good commenter in the blogosphere. You should be proud of your contributions to it.


Posted by: keatssycamore | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 1:35 PM
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Didn't the Parker lay-up hit the back board before it was blocked?

I guess that's right. Someone else pointed that out at Yglesias's place. I was sure that the replay had him tapping it first, but I was just wrong. I still say using facts is tantamount to cheating.

And thanks.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-28-08 3:36 PM
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