Durant defends refs in Two-Minute warning
Kevin Durant on Tuesday called on the NBA to toss out the Last Two-Minute Report because he, like the league’s officials, believes it will make referees more tentative and result in errors.
“They should get rid of it, refs don’t deserve that. They’re trying their hardest to get the plays right then you look at a play in slo-mo and say it’s wrong,” Durant said.
The Golden State star said it was unfair “that you throw the refs under the bus after the game, like it matters. The game’s over, we’re moving on.”
However, there was no stewing by Durant and the Warriors after the NBA acknowledged two missed calls late in the team’s onepoint Christmas Day loss at Cleveland. They lost that one all on their own.
“The refs didn’t lose us that game. We lost it. We could have been better,” Durant said.
“This happened to be in our favor — not even in our favor, we don’t get the win.
“To say that I got fouled and the tech and all that stuff, just move on. You don’t have to throw the refs under the bus like that.”
In an NBA Finals rematch, the champion Cavaliers won 109-108. The NBA said on Monday that LeBron James should have received a technical for hanging on the rim with 1:43 to play and that Richard Jefferson fouled Durant on the final play.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Sunday’s officiating crew “outstanding ... some of the NBA’s best.” He also said he appreciates the league “being transparent”.
“The officials didn’t decide that game, we had a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter,” Kerr said.
The National Basketball Referees Association has called for reform of the Last Two-Minute Report because it “will cause more harm than good for the officials and the game”.
“We call for an end to L2M reporting and other transparency measures and a return to private, leaguemanaged evaluations, reviews, education, training, and discipline for NBA officials,” added the refs’ union.
Durant is concerned how Sunday’s crew might perform in upcoming games given it was called out.
“So for the next game, that group of refs, whoever it is, they’re going to come out and they’re going to ref the game, they’re going to be tense when they’re reffing and they’re going to try to get every play right and try to be perfect without just going out and relaxing and making the right call,” he said.
“You fine us when we go out there and criticize them but then throw them under the bus for a two-minute report. What about the first quarter, what about the second quarter, third quarter?”
Draymond Green also dismissed the idea the Warriors were robbed at the end.
“If we do what we got to do it doesn’t come down to that Last Two Minute Report any- way,” Green said.
“Not that I care about that report or not. It’s kind of pointless. But it should have never got to that point.”
Meanwhile, Green, who was hit with a technical for hanging on the rim against Utah last Tuesday and has been penalized for excessive celebrations, said he won’t do anything differently.
He picked up his teamleading seventh technical on Sunday when he emphatically walked to the bench after a foul call and yelled. Late last season, he tried to curtail his Ts and cut down on arguing.
“It is what it is. I’m going to continue to be me,” he said.
“Continue to play my game and however they’re going to officiate they’re going to officiate. I can’t change that. I worry about the things in life I can control. Everything else that’s out of my control, why stress over it?
“I don’t know what else I can watch. I don’t really talk to them much anymore. Just continue to be me. If I get a tech, so be it.”
Houston Rockets guard James Harden reacts after sinking a 3-pointer during the second half of their NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas on Tuesday. Harden scored 34 to help the Rockets win 123-107 and complete a four-game season sweep of the Mavericks. The game was marred by eight technical fouls.