First off, keep up the great work. Since New Year’s Resolutions are on everyone’s mind, here’s one thought….
Following an entertaining Christmas day slate, the next day media chatter centered largely on two plays featuring the two best players in the NBA. On two separate drives Lebron James (1:10 left and 24.5) appeared to be fouled by Kevin Durant, however KD wasn’t whistled for a foul.
By 5pm ET the next day, as the league has done since March 2, 2015, the official last two minute report surfaced from the Warriors narrow 99-92 victory over the Cavs. The report indicated that the trio of Matt Boland, Mike Callahan (worked NBA Finals 2017), and Sean Corbin had missed three calls in the L2M of the game.
Never afraid to voice his opinion, Warriors forward Draymond Green weighed in telling the media that the reports “make no sense”. He added that “LeBron can’t go back and get the play over and get two free throws”. The inquiring Green continued saying, “Who does it help?”
These reports began as an effort by the league to provide greater transparency to calls, but why is the NBA limiting the reports to the last two minutes of the game? What about the other 46?
Draymond agrees. “That’s not transparency. If anything it’s putting the official on the spot that missed the call. But you’re not going to put him on the spot in the third quarter. So why act like you’re blaming the game on them.”
If the goal is ultimate transparency, it says here that fans should have access to a report on every call that may affect their favorite team. This can provide insight into which officials are at the top of their profession.
This is an idea that I’ve heard Utah’s general manager Dennis Lindsey speak at length (27:10) about on the “Woj Pod” with Adrian Wojnarowksi. Lindsey discusses that as front office executives they have a plethora of information at their disposal to make decisions, with each bit of data a chance for a competitive advantage.
Fans and executives should have data into what referees are more proficient in certain areas, but not in others. Say one particular ref struggles mightily with block/charge calls, teams should have this knowledge to advise their players. Likewise, if a referee calls more body bumps on drives going to a players right, this is something NBA nerds and executives would like to know.
Much like other professions where there are clear performance indicators, we know who the league’s best three point shooters or shot blockers are.
This also isn’t to attack the officials, who have an incredibly difficult job. These reports could be teaching points, allowing for an official to get training or praise where needed.
As Mike Bantom, Executive VP of Referee Operations puts it, “Our fans are passionate and have an intense interest in understanding how the rules are applied.”
I appreciate the goal of transparency, I just want transparency for every call – not singular ones at the end of the game.
I love many of your decisions in office MR. Commissioner, particularly the global intiatives, I just want to add 46 more minutes to last two minute reports.