Trendwatch: Will NBA Refs Ever Admit Mistakes?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the referee who admitted he ruined the Seahawks-Steelers SB a few years ago. He said he made a few boneheaded calls in the fourth that may have cost the city of Seattle its first Superbowl victory. This came after an MLB umpire admitted that he cost a pitcher a perfect game. These are once-in-a-lifetime moments that were ruined by bad calls. Needless to say, apologies are foreign to me, an NBA enthusiast. An official admitting they made a mistake?

Often times in the NBA, refs will make mistakes. After all, they are only human, right? It’s not the fact that they make mistakes that rubs fans the wrong way, it is their responses to the mistakes they make. The ref is never wrong, even when they are.

Any words of discontent will be met with a technical foul. Any criticism by a head coach will be met by a fine. When you know the names of NBA officials, it is a bad thing for the league. When the people who are supposed to be unbiased are known for “keeping a game close” or “being quick with a whistle” how is that good for the NBA? These refs walk around like they are above the law and that belief is validated by the NBA coddling them at every turn.

It’s time for the refs to admit to some of their mistakes.

One of the most controversial NBA playoff series was the one that occurred between the Kings and Lakers in 2002. In the fourth quarter of a crucial game six, the Lakers attempted 27 free throws to the Kings' nine. Having said that, the Lakers won by only four points. This was the centerpiece of Donaghy’s claims that the NBA officiating was fixed and plenty of people became believers of fixes after this allegation.

Another game that fans won’t forget anytime soon is game five of the 2006 NBA Finals....

About the Author