Officiating is a thankless job. If your workday goes well, no one notices you. And if it doesn’t…well, it might be an understatement to say that you’re going to have a rough week.
Here are a few sticky officiating situations from earlier this week, one of which is still ruffling some major feathers throughout the NBA.
Officiating Issue #1: Jaccob Slavin
During the Carolina Hurricanes’ game against the Bruins, defenseman Jaccob Slavin made a play that you don’t see every day. The officials may have technically made the right call by overturning this bizarre backhanded goal, but the ruling has since sparked plenty of post-game debates.
Verdict: Good call, bad rule.
Officiating Issue #2: James Harden
The refs officiating Tuesday’s Rockets-Spurs game, however, may not have the rule book on their side. Houston got shafted out of what turned out to be two vital points after officials failed to count this James Harden dunk.
The refs really didn't count this Harden dunk 🤔 pic.twitter.com/tkpFWpqu9f— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 4, 2019
While the play was admittedly weird, in hindsight there’s no contesting whether or not the ball went through the hoop. And since San Antonio went on to win 135-133 in double overtime, Harden’s two uncounted points ended up being even more valuable than they seemed at the time.
Houston isn’t letting this go without a fight; the team filed a protest with the league on Thursday. In the complaint, the Rockets claim that because officials did not immediately provide an explanation for their decision, head coach Mike D’Antoni was unable to challenge it in time without knowing the exact ruling he would be arguing against.
Since the NBA requires a miscarriage of the officiating process (as opposed to just poor judgment by a ref) in order to overturn an on-the-court call, it appears that the Rockets may have a shot. If the league rules in Houston’s favor, it will be the first time since 2008 that a call has been overturned after the fact.
Verdict: VERY BAD CALL. However, it will be interesting to see what happens next if Adam Silver rules in favor of the Rockets.
Officiating Issue #3: LeBron James
Wednesday’s chapter of Weird Officiating took a turn for the even more ridiculous. Please join the world in shaking your head at this egregious no-call as LeBron enjoyed a leisurely stroll down the court.
LeBron got away with one 😅 pic.twitter.com/Uv4uMKKcDi— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 5, 2019
Gus Kenworthy is Crossing the Pond
Say it ain’t so, Gus Kenworthy.
The two-time Olympian announced on Tuesday that he’ll be strapping into his skis in the name of Great Britain for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Kenworthy, who was born in Chelmsford (about 30 miles from London), says that the move is motivated partly by his wish to honor his British mother in what is likely to be the last Olympics of his career.
“I feel like these are going to be my last Olympic Games for sure. I just wanted to do it for my mom,” said Kenworthy. “She’s held up the American flag for me for two Games now, and I would love to be able to hold up the British flag for her for one.”
Whoever Kenworthy represents in the Olympics, we’ll be cheering him on. He’s been a vocal representative of the under-represented LGBTQ community in action sports since publically coming out as gay in 2015. Plus, I’ve still got feels from his work to find homes for stray puppers after the Sochi Olympics.
Who says snowball fights are for kids? Not the Celtics. Check it out:
Photo credit: Bleacher Report