Tuesday nights Spurs vs. Lakers game was a tightly fought contest that came down to the wire and the San Antonio Spurs ended up getting the short end of the stick. The game did not conclude without some controversy. Brent Barry hoisted a three point attempt with less than 2 seconds left on the clock that would have won the game for the Spurs. However, before getting the shot off, Barry collided with Lakers guard Derrick Fischer, the officials allowed play to continue, and this proved to be a pivotal non-call.
Many traditionalist and true grit basketball fans believe that NBA official Joey Crawford made the correct call on Tuesday night when he swallowed his whistle. There is a popular belief among many fans that in the final moments of a tight game that referees should avoid making any calls unless it’s a complete blatant foul and even then consider twice.
There is another school of thought that says, a player only gets the foul call depending on their status relative to the rest of the NBA. Meaning; Brent Barry (role player) does not get the call last night, but Kobe Bryant (superstar) would have gotten the same call. This is based simply on the fact that everyone knows who Kobe or an equivalent star and therefore they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Finally there is one last group of fans who believe that floppers should be rewarded. They believe if Barry sells the foul more he would have gotten the call. However, because he tried to continue to play rather than falling to the ground with arms flailing then it is his fault that he failed to get the call.
There are legitimate arguments to be made that support all of these lines of thought. However, it is my belief that they are all wrong. The rules were created for a reason. When a player bumps falls, crashes, or runs into another player it is a foul. Derrick Fischer jumped and landed on Brent Barry, even if Barry was able to keep his balance and attempt a shot after the contact he was fouled and the Spurs should have been awarded a non-shooting foul.
There are plenty of fans who claim they don’t like the idea of a referee deciding the outcome of a game. However, I ask you; isn’t a referee making a non-call still leaving the outcome of the game his hands? The rule of thumb should be if it would have been called in the first quarter then it needs to be called in the fourth.