There is no worse feeling

in the NBA than walking off the court after being eliminated from the playoffs. None. Six months of looking forward to the next game. Then it’s over.

It was a weird game yesterday. Exciting. Intense. And they called travelling. I almost didn’t know how to react in the game at certain points. I’m so used to reacting to missed calls and was so used to watching Webber drag or switch pivot feet, that I was already halfway out of my chair to ask why they hadn’t called it when the ref blew his whistle and signaled travelling. All I could do is offer the “we are not worthy wave” to the official who made the call. When the whistle blew, the whole bench immediately looked over at me with that “I can’t believe they actually called it” look.

When they called it a 2nd and 3rd time it was nice to see, but more importantly it made the point that officials CAN call travelling. Even when they got the travel call on Walker wrong in the 4th quarter, it showed that it’s possible to make this call one that is actually part of the game once again.

Which leads to a couple questions. If they can call it, why don’t they?

It also leads to the question of why do they call playoff games differently than regular season games? The league says that it doesn’t. EVERY player, coach, mediaperson and fan knows they do. Who is lying?

The game last night game came down to the final shot. Sac had a foul to give. Their coach tells the players to foul with 3 seconds left. We know it.The players know it.Everyone on our bench knows it. Its basketball strategy 101. How in the world could the officials not know it? Peja intentionaly fouls Dirk. They don’t call it.

We will never know if it affected the outcome. It doesn’t really matter either way. But it leads to other questions.

Is there someone in the NBA office telling them to do their jobs this way? Is it just an unwritten rule that the refs share among themselves, but not with their bosses?

If it’s an unwritten rule, where is league management to change this? It’s not like they don’t know about it? If the head of the officiating group denies this happens and the league believes him why not come out and allow the media to offer examples of games where it happened and let the league explain why things happened as they did, so we would all have a better understanding. The league is very much concerned with the integrity of the officiating and the game. So am I. The best way to prove “playoff officiating” is an urban myth is to provide the facts that support their position.

The league needs to do the right thing and offer transparency and public accountability for the officiating at the same levels we have for players and coaches. Let’s dispel these urban myths.

And one more thing as it relates to the blog. I’ve decided to turn off the comments going forward. The comments haven’t let to any meaningful discussion or interaction, and there is always an idiot who comes in an posts things off-topic or rude. Since I don’t have time to babysit this, there is no point in leaving them on.