The Golden State Warriors blew another lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, this time during their Christmas day rematch of last season’s NBA Finals. The Warriors were up 14 in the fourth quarter and still managed to allow Kyrie Irving and LeBron James to storm back and steal a win for the Cavs.
The next day, the NBA released a statement saying that officials missed some big calls at end of the game, in keeping with their new habit of putting out “Last Two Minute” reports detailing what referees did wrong. Specifically, they said that James should have been called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim with 1:44 left and that Cleveland forward Richard Jefferson definitely fouled Kevin Durant on the final play of the game, which ended 109-108.
The NBA’s admission of errors was no consolation to Durant though, who called the Last Two Minute reports “bulls**t” and accused the league of throwing their employees under the bus.
Kevin Durant is not a fan of the L2M officiating report: “It’s bulls#** that the NBA throws the refs under the bus like that” pic.twitter.com/j14Jdb1R97
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 27, 2016
“The refs didn’t lose us that game. We lost that game, we could have been better,” Durant said. “I think it’s bullsh— that the NBA threw the refs under the bus like that.”
“Just move on,” Durant said. “Don’t throw the refs under the bus like that. Because the next game, that group of refs or whoever it is, are going to come out and they’re going to ref the game. They’re going to be tense when they’re reffing the game and they’re going to try to get every play right. They’re going to try to be perfect, without just going out and relaxing and making the right call.”
“You can’t fine us for when we go out there and criticize them, but throw them under the bus for a 2 minute report,” Durant argued. “What about the first quarter? What about the second quarter, the third quarter?”
Durant concluded with a summary of his thoughts, stating, “Our refs don’t deserve that, and they’re trying their hardest to get the plays right, and you look at a play in slow motion and say it’s wrong. I think it’s bullsh— that they do that. That’s full of sh— that you throw the refs under the bus like that after the game like it matters. Game’s over, we moving on.”
On the other side of that game, Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue was slightly more diplomatic.
“There’s a lot of fouls that go on throughout the course of the game that doesn’t get called,” Lue said on Monday. “I can tell you this is a tough game to officiate, the players we have, the way guys can draw fouls and contact. That was an incidental play at the end of the game. You don’t want this game decided on two free throws at the end of the game. There wasn’t much contact to me.”