With a little more than four minutes left in the third quarter of Sunday’s Thunder and Trailblazers game, Carmelo “I like to curse when I rebound” Anthony was a part of basketball history: He made a bucket, got the and-1 call and then was….ejected?! This is where my bookie friend runs off a list of 100 reasons why the NBA (with about $5 billion in revenue) is rigged (the sports betting industry is believed to be worth at least a trillion dollars).
“I’ve never seen, in the history of the game, a guy gets an and-1′ play and then get ejected from the game,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said after the 103-99 loss. “That’s probably something you’ve got to talk to the league about.”
Here’s what happened: On his way to scoring the bucket, Melo’s elbow made contact with Jusuf Nurkic, who laid dead on the ground for almost a minute after the contact and foul on Melo. The refs decided to review the play and change it to a flagrant 2 foul on Melo. The “historic” call meant an early shower for Melo.
Here’s the explanation crew chief Rodney Mott gave for the call.
“We deemed that the contact was excessive and that it was not a natural basketball move where he seeks out Nurkic, hits him in the face with an elbow and goes back to the basket.”
When asked about the ejection, Melo stayed classy and chose not to rip the refs.
“I thought it was the wrong call to make, to be honest with you. But just take it. They called it,” he said. “Ain’t no need to overreact to it. I’m pretty sure a lot of people seen it. People saw it. I’m pretty sure people’s opinion is in favor of the way that I think. So we’ll see what happens. There’s nothing we can do about it now. I just hope the league look at it and do the right thing about it.”
A rapid eye twitching Russell Westbrook wasn’t as nonchalant about the officiating he considered “bullshit.”
“They don’t referee the same way all the time. They pick and choose when they want to do it which is not fair in my opinion. I’ve been in this league for a while and I’m able to see and understand what’s right and what’s wrong but I can see is blatant shit that’s not getting looked at in my opinion. Like, you get hit, you got to look at everything and need to take a look at it.”
On Melo’s ejection.
“It was nonsense, man. You can’t get kicked out for some nonsense like that,” Westbrook said. “Being able to go to the basket, protecting himself. Guy got hit, that’s fine. He got up. The crowd reacted. They made a play, kicked him out of the game. That’s unacceptable in my opinion. That’s not worthy of getting kicked out the game. But it is what it is.”
Paul George on Melo’s ejection.
“I thought it was crazy. I didn’t think they could do that, review a play that they called an and-one, call it back,” he said. “I thought the officials was overturned by the crowd, them showing the replay. Didn’t look like nothing illegal or Melo did anything intentional. He got contact going to the rim, finished the play. Should’ve been an and-one. It’s crazy that it was an ejection flagrant on that play. Especially when Russ just got dinged right in front of them and they didn’t call anything.”
And Andre Roberson.
“It’s unbelievable, man,” Thunder wing Andre Roberson said of the play. “I thought he made a basketball move, to be honest. I guess when the refs look at it, they see something else but I don’t think he did it intentional. That’s one thing I think refs gotta get better in is trying to realize where a player is coming from, what he’s thinking at the time. They missed two calls before that, so it’s whatever.”
Source: The Norman Transcript