I’m one to really defend the officials. I’ve officiated multiple sports from football, basketball and softball. I’ve done football at the collegiate level, basketball and softball at the high school levels only. However, two things I’ve learned are they officials are in a super tough situation and their view is often better than ours, for the most part.
That said, the official’s in Oklahoma City’s 103-99 loss to Portland on Sunday night were not up to standard. Carmelo Anthony was ejected with 4:26 left in the third quarter after the official’s deemed what Anthony did was “excessive” and “unnatural.”
Billy Donovan said he’s never seen in the history of the game a player get an and-one and then get ejected. Russell Westbrook called it “nonsense.” Even Anthony himself was quite confused.
“I don’t have no thoughts,” Anthony told reporters following the game. “I don’t have anything to say about that play. I think the league will do what’s right.”
So confused, he shot out a double negative. When ESPN’s Kevin Pelton asked the officials on was the reason for the flagrant-2, here’s what lead official Rodney Mott said:
Some things to consider: The NBA replay center doesn’t make a ruling on this. This is a crew decision only. If Anthony some how picks up a second one of these, he’s suspended for one game.
Mott and this crew messed up. Hopefully, the NBA will do what they can rescind this call to a flagrant-1 or even a non-call.
The real call was not reviewed. Westbrook was popped in the face by Nurkic and was thriving in pain on the ground but the officiating crew did not review the hit to the face, but they reviewed the other hit to the face.
“I got hit in the face. They didn’t review it as they should,” Westbrook said. “I just think that when it’s us, our team, myself, they don’t do the same thing they do. Last game, tipped ball, against Celtics, I accidentally hit the guy in the face. Flagrant foul on me. It was an accident, but I hit him. I actually got hit in the face today. Nobody looks at it. Melo goes, hits Nurkic. They go review. It’s a bunch of bulls—.
The NBA needs to make this right and fix this call. They also need to get better consistency in officiating. This season has been unpleasant to say the least.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!