It's sort of refreshing, really. Two birds with one stone. The Sp*rs get robbed on a call and "the League" actually admits to a mistake. Here is a link. Well, they say it appears to be a foul on the replay. Really? Jumping on someone's head takes a replay to figure out?
I was waiting to see some of the other articles before posting something, but I really didn't see anything interesting. So, I put up my own boring post.
It was a foul on Fisher. It was on the floor and the Sp*rs were in the bonus. And it made a huge difference. Don't give me this, "It shouldn't have come down to that play." It came down to that play because, in the final 70 seconds of the game, the champs were about to pull one out. They were. Kobe mis-managed the clock by trying to go the length of the court. Fisher jacked up a bad shot because Kobe made a bad decision.* Gasol choked from the stripe.
On the other side, the Sp*rs executed and got off some quick shots. I was getting upset and worried because it looked like the Sp*rs were going to pull it out, then make a comeback and add to their legacy. That's the worst way to see your worst enemy win.
Back to the point:
When you've got two highly competitive teams competing at a high level, obvious gaffes like this do, in fact, affect the outcome of the games. Crappy statements like "We shouldn't have let it get this close" are inaccurate cliches. It is close because the teams are so evenly matched! A close call that goes the wrong way (e.g., was it a charge or a block?) can be forgiven. This, however, is flat-out wrong.
And don't give me the line that Barry should have gone straight up. He pump-faked the guy and tried to get around him. Instead of trying to draw a foul, he tried to win on a basketball move. By arguing that he should have "gone up strong to draw the foul" you are arguing that he did the wrong thing by giving a pump fake to get to an open spot. In my book, either play is acceptable, so don't penalize him for trying to make a jumper instead of trying to sell a foul.
At the same time, I'm glad the Sp*rs finally got screwed on a call. Having Crawford officiate that game only reinforces my tin-foil-hat-conspiracy-theory.
*Yeah, he did graze the rim and the shot clock should have re-set, but that mistake was only apparent in super-slo-mo. It wasn't an obviously bad call.
** On the "close call" issue -- I still have no problem with "exaggerating" a close call. This is not a flop; you're just helping the officials. "Flopping" is when no foul occurs but the player flails around as if he's been killed.