Going all retro with foul calls
MILWAUKEE — The NBA doesn’t retroactively change calls on a daily basis. It just seems like it to the Lakers.
The latest day-after fix involving them was announced by the league Thursday.
Turns out a foul should have been called on Kobe Bryant during Ricky Rubio’s last-second, desperate, 28-foot three-point attempt in the Lakers’ 120-117 victory Wednesday over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The NBA office reviewed the play and said Rubio was fouled “in his shooting motion” and should have received three free throws.
Forgive Lakers fans for instinctively flinching. These retroactive rulings have been fast and furious this season.
In fact, the league said a day earlier that a flagrant 1 foul should have been assessed against David Lee after the Golden State forward elbowed Dwight Howard in the mouth on a drive in Monday’s game.
The problem: Howard was given a foul on the play, then he picked up a technical foul for arguing it. He also received three stitches in his lower lip from the elbow.
Too little too late?
On one hand, the NBA has tried to create transparency and accountability by acknowledging errors a day (or two) after games.
On the other hand, teams and fan bases get irritated by what could have been, what should have been, etc.
“It’s great when you’re on the good side, bad when you’re on the bad side,” Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni said Thursday.
Two weeks ago, the NBA issued a day-after decree that Atlanta swingman Dahntay Jones should have been called for a foul because he didn’t allow Bryant the chance to land cleanly after a jump shot.
Not only did Bryant sustain a sprained left ankle on the play, but he was denied the chance to make potential score-tying free throws with 3.9 seconds to play and the Lakers down two.
The Lakers were, um, unenthused when the NBA acknowledged human error the next day.
Less egregiously, Howard has had a personal foul upgraded to a flagrant foul a day after the fact, and Metta World Peace has had personal fouls upgraded to flagrants after two games.
Also, Howard has had two technical fouls rescinded and Bryant had one erased in day-after league reviews. One of the technical fouls the league wiped off Howard’s record was the second one he received against Toronto in January, leading to an automatic ejection in the second quarter of a game the Lakers lost, 108-103.
World Peace surgery
World Peace had surgery to remove cartilage in his left knee Thursday in Los Angeles. His timetable did not change after the procedure, the Lakers saying he would be sidelined at least six weeks.
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