Next time you start the familiar, tired refrain that NBA referees “have it in” for Mark Cuban and the Mavericks, let Monday night edit your thoughts.
The Mavs got away with one last night in Minnesota. You know it. Shawn Marion knows it. And, yep, even the NBA league office knows it, as they issued a hollow apology this afternoon.
With Dallas having frittered away another huge lead (this one 21 points), the Timberwolves inbounded the ball with three seconds left needing a bucket to force overtime. With two referees eyeing the play from three feet, Kevin Love went up for a corner jumper. Without the ball.
That’s because Marion slapped a lot of his right hand and a little of the ball, jostling it free at the buzzer. No shot. No foul. Ball game. Think about how you’d feel if the situation was reversed. You’d have spiked your remote control. Cuban would’ve been fined for his post-game rant. And the NBA’s admission of a mistake would do little to soothe feelings or correct standings.
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Marion was great with 32 points and the too-close-for-comfort defense on Love. But the Mavs needed some unlikely help to avoid possibly blowing their fourth 17-plus point lead of the year.
Consider it a late Christmas gift.
Now stop your whining. Before it even starts.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.