After the conclusion of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat, ESPN interviewed Michael Wilbon on location.
Wilbon spoke glowingly of the performance by Indiana’s Paul George. However, Wilbon also commented on how George’s whining and complaining about the refereeing the day before may have had just as much of an impact on Game 5′s outcome as George’s 37 points.
The real story there was not that it happened or that Wilbon said it. The story was that no one even batted an eye after the comments.
It was almost an accepted truth.
These days in the NBA, if you complain, you will be rewarded next time. This is a disastrous route these playoffs are heading down.
Fans don’t want to believe the NBA fixes games and it probably doesn’t in the basic sense of the phrase. But knowing who the refs are going to favor and knowing how a game is going to be called is a huge loop hole in the idea that these games are on the up-and-up.
Besides the fact that it is outrageous to reward the people complaining the loudest, shouldn’t each game be refereed as its own entity?
Announcers make throwaway comments all the time about how a ref just blew the whistle on a makeup call. Why does that even exist? Why are there makeup calls and why do fouls always even out quarter to quarter or throughout a series?
It makes no sense.
Teams and players are different. Some are better than others at avoiding fouls or drawing fouls. So why do analysts and commentators raise havoc when one team has a foul advantage? Didn’t they earn that?
Robbing NBA fans of the pleasure of watching LeBron James is one thing.
Calling four bad fouls against him is highly questionable. The fact that Paul George got that to happen by getting fined the day before is just the last straw.